Blog Posts: Spring Break 2010 (Western)

If we hadn’t prepared this simple document for them, who knows what would have happened … the law doesn’t necessarily see things the way the Smiths did.

While so much of the Western NC trip is memorable and blog-worthy, I’d like to share my experience with one particular couple I met during the trip because it exemplifies why we do these pro bono trips. My drafting partner, Hector, and I got to know an elderly couple I’ll call the Smiths. The Smiths had been married for almost 40 years, and for each, it was their second marriage. Both Mr. and Mrs. Smith had children from their previous marriages and children together, totaling six children. When Hector and I asked what the Smiths wanted their will to say, they vehemently requested that each of their six children, biological or not, be treated equally in the distribution of their possessions. We explained all of their options, making sure they knew they had the power to divide things in different percentages, and leave different amounts to different children, but the Smiths insisted that they had been a family for 40 years and blood relation made no difference to them. In their eyes, each child was their own and they wanted them treated accordingly.


Read More... (If we hadn’t prepared this simple document for them, who knows what would have happened … the law doesn’t necessarily see things the way the Smiths did.)
No Comments | Posted by Merab Myres Faulkner on Mon. March 29, 2010 4:51 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Western)

In telling us their stories, each client puts their faith and trust in us … not one UNC student shied away from this responsibility.

Last week myself and nine other intrepid young law students set out from Chapel Hill to Western Carolina on the WNC Spring Break Pro Bono Trip. This trip to the “mountains” was to consist of writing wills and other legal instruments for the residents of Watauga, Yancey and Wilkes counties. We pointed our van west and headed to a place where the air gets colder, the accents thicker, and the beards longer.


Read More... (In telling us their stories, each client puts their faith and trust in us … not one UNC student shied away from this responsibility.)
No Comments | Posted by Daniel R. Mangual on Mon. March 29, 2010 10:28 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Western)

This trip and all of the other pro bono opportunities at Carolina Law have confirmed for me...

Thinking back on my time on the pro bono trip with Team Boone, I can’t think of just one single moment that defined the trip. The entire trip was one of the most unique, educational, fun, and spiritually fulfilling experiences that I’ve ever had. The feeling you get from interviewing people and creating documents for them that will ensure the fulfillment of their wishes in case something tragic should occur to them, is one that can’t even be described in words. On this trip, if only for a brief time, I was able to experience a lifelong dream of mine by doing actual real-life legal work while at the same time providing people with a service that they probably wouldn’t have received if I or another law student such as myself weren’t there to help them.


Read More... (This trip and all of the other pro bono opportunities at Carolina Law have confirmed for me...)
No Comments | Posted by Hector L. Melecio on Sat. March 27, 2010 4:49 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Western)

There were 10 students on the Team Boone trip, and before this trip, I only knew a few of them. Now, I would consider all of them friends.

It’s been a week since Team Boone has returned from our pro bono trip excursion to write wills, powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, and living wills for the residents of western North Carolina. Every moment of our trip was amazing whether we were meeting with clients, drafting documents, meeting local attorneys, or bonding as a team.


Read More... (There were 10 students on the Team Boone trip, and before this trip, I only knew a few of them. Now, I would consider all of them friends.)
No Comments | Posted by Lindsey Wheeler Spain on Tue. March 23, 2010 4:46 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Western)

An opening question such as “Tell me about your family” was never followed by a quick, simple answer.

As we loaded up the law school van in preparation for the WNC Spring Break Pro Bono Trip, I couldn’t help but get nervous. As a 1L whose only experience with practice of law had taken place in the classroom, I was extremely concerned about the prospect of actual client interaction. Nervously pouring over our instructional materials on the ride up to Boone, my only solace was the shared hesitation from my fellow “green” 1L spring-breakers. My anxiety, however, ended immediately upon introductions with my first client.


Read More... (An opening question such as “Tell me about your family” was never followed by a quick, simple answer.)
No Comments | Posted by Barrett Grey Holland on Tue. March 23, 2010 4:44 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Western)

It was a great way for myself to get out of law school theory and actually apply knowledge acquired from my academic studies.

My trip to Western North Carolina with UNC School of Law was an eye opening experience and allowed me peer into what it feels like to be an actual practicing attorney. It was a great way for myself to get out of law school theory and actually apply knowledge acquired from my academic studies thus far. This trip also allowed me to make a HUGE impact on some people’s lives in only my first year of law school. At first, some clients seemed hesitant to disclose all of their personal issues to a young adult, but once they realized that we were competent in writing Wills, they were more than willing to give us the information necessary to execute a this important document. Many clients sought legal help for the very first time in regards to Wills, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, and Health Care Powers of Attorney and it was gratifying to know that we could provide these items free of charge as just 1Ls and 2Ls!


Read More... (It was a great way for myself to get out of law school theory and actually apply knowledge acquired from my academic studies.)
No Comments | Posted by Andrew J. Darcy on Tue. March 23, 2010 4:43 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Western)

I was able to draw on my Real Estate experience to draft original language in a will.

Today was our busiest day yet. We powered through appointments and walk-ins. I got my first experience working with a client one-on-one, which was extremely rewarding. I was also able to draw on my Real Estate experience to draft original language in the will to conform to an individual need. The West Jefferson center where we took in clients was a nice facility. Local attorneys and Legal Aid staff came out to help us as well.


Read More... (I was able to draw on my Real Estate experience to draft original language in a will.)
No Comments | Posted by Amelia A. Thompson on Sat. March 20, 2010 4:39 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Western)

Team Boone Day 4: STATS

Wills: 15
Powers of Attorney: 7
Health Care Powers of Attorney:8
Living Wills: 7

TOTAL DOCUMENTS DRAFTED AND EXECUTED TODAY: 37

TOTAL CLIENTS SERVED TODAY: 15

TOTAL STUDENTS PUMPED ABOUT PRO BONO: 10

Trip totals:

Total Docs: 102

Total Clients: 46


Read More... (Team Boone Day 4: STATS)
No Comments | Posted by Shelly C. Anand on Thu. March 11, 2010 4:38 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Western)

Team Boone Day 3: STATS

Wills: 18
Powers of Attorney: 12
Health Care Powers of Attorney:9
Living Wills: 9

TOTAL DOCUMENTS DRAFTED AND EXECUTED TODAY: 48

TOTAL CLIENTS SERVED TODAY: 21

TOTAL STUDENTS PUMPED ABOUT PRO BONO: 10

Trip totals:

Total Docs: 65

Total Clients: 31


Read More... (Team Boone Day 3: STATS)
No Comments | Posted by Shelly C. Anand on Wed. March 10, 2010 4:38 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Western)

Team Boone Day 2: You just walked in on a little piece of Americana

Today might have been our free day, but that didn’t mean we weren’t up early- we were at the Watauga County Courthouse at 9 a.m. We were lucky enough to see something out-of-the ordinary on the criminal docket- a pro se trial. The District Attorney promised that this case would be “better than TV,” and it really was. We got a chance to chat with the DAs and had quite a few “teaching moments” from Tammy, our fearless leader, about courtroom practice in North Carolina. The pro se case was not only really interesting in subject matter, but also highlighted the necessity of legal representation- the defendant was very sophisticated, but had difficulty navigating the niceties of the courtroom. For many of us, this was our first time seeing a trial from start to finish.


Read More... (Team Boone Day 2: You just walked in on a little piece of Americana)
No Comments | Posted by Shelly C. Anand on Tue. March 9, 2010 4:36 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2010 (Western)
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