Blog Posts: Spring Break 2012 (Western)

Although the trip presented several challenges and frustrations, I enjoyed every moment of it.

I’ve now gone on several will-drafting retreats across the state of North Carolina, but I suspect this will be the most memorable. There are multiple reasons for this. For one, I am starting to feel comfortable with the entire drafting process—not only compiling documents and spotting potential issues, but also conducting the client interviews, explaining complex documents and concepts, and generally communicating with clients.


Read More... (Although the trip presented several challenges and frustrations, I enjoyed every moment of it.)
No Comments | Posted by Frederick Johnson (Fred) on Thu. March 8, 2012 11:16 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Western)

It was a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to go on another Wills Trip.

I expected to learn a lot about document preparation on the trip and for our clients to be very nice and thankful that we were helping them, and of course, these clients met my expectations. I admired how gracefully they approached sensitive issues, such as naming someone to make decisions for them when they lose the capacity to do it for themselves and discussing their end-of-life wishes. They also were all wonderful clients with big personalities–some were sweet and kind and others were hilarious, and I felt very fortunate to be able to help them.


Read More... (It was a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to go on another Wills Trip.)
No Comments | Posted by Jordan N. Wolfe on Thu. March 8, 2012 11:13 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Western)

To have the opportunity to do this before I had completed my education? Amazing.

What an amazing privilege for me to be able to help people in Western North Carolina in this way! As a practicing financial planner, I often had the opportunity to explain to my clients why having a will and advance directives was important. I came to law school because simply explaining why these documents were so important was no longer good enough. I wanted to have a bigger impact. I wanted to be able to ensure my clients took the important next steps and actually followed my advice. I wanted to prepare wills and advance directives. To have the opportunity to do this before I had completed my education? Amazing.

Knowing what moves a person to action with respect to making end of life plans makes this experience all the more meaningful. All of our clients were so appreciative. I hope they all know how appreciative I am of everything—not only to have had the opportunity to provide such an important service to them, and to have them place their trust in me to put their intentions in writing, but also to learn from them. To learn about how to draft these documents of course, but also to allow me to learn about them, what matters to them, what motivates them, and to allow me into their family for just a short time, long enough to make an impact. I hope they realize that this experience means at least as much to me as it does (or it will) to them and their families.


Read More... (To have the opportunity to do this before I had completed my education? Amazing.)
No Comments | Posted by Deborah A. McDermott (Debbie) on Wed. March 7, 2012 5:04 PM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Western)

It was empowering to be able to help so many people in such a direct way.

At Career Night in last fall, the very first attorney with whom I spoke worked on estate planning. I decided to speak with her on a whim, and frankly, to “warm-up” my networking and conversational skills. I had never even considered the possibility of working with wills and other estate planning devises, but this attorney was passionate about the work and clearly found it rewarding. After speaking with her, wills work sounded like an area in which the legal staples of researching and writing are nicely balanced with client interaction.


Read More... (It was empowering to be able to help so many people in such a direct way.)
No Comments | Posted by Ramona H. McGee on Wed. March 7, 2012 11:10 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Western)

I leave the mountains of North Carolina feeling very satisfied, knowing the positive impact we made on the communities and clients we served.

Having participated in a wills trip before, I never cease to be amazed by how wonderful trips like this are for everyone involved. Multiple clients explained that they had been meaning to take care of these documents for years and finally having executed documents gave them great peace of mind. All of the clients I worked with were so appreciative of the work we were doing for them, but I hope they know how appreciative I am of the opportunity to work with them.


Read More... (I leave the mountains of North Carolina feeling very satisfied, knowing the positive impact we made on the communities and clients we served.)
No Comments | Posted by Laura N. Sloan on Wed. March 7, 2012 11:08 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Western)

The relief and gratitude expressed by our clients made this spring break far more fulfilling than any other I could imagine.

When I decided to attend UNC Law one of the opportunities I most looked forward to taking advantage of was the Wills Trip. Luckily, I was able to realize that opportunity over spring break, and in an area of Western North Carolina where I grew up and would like to one-day practice. After two months of Property Law I was excited to put my education to practical use.


Read More... (The relief and gratitude expressed by our clients made this spring break far more fulfilling than any other I could imagine.)
No Comments | Posted by James T. Deal (Tucker) on Wed. March 7, 2012 11:06 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Western)

It was validating that I was able to draft the documents but it was even more validating to know that I was able to help people.

I was very nervous about this trip. I was worried that I would make a mistake when someone was relying on me. I feared my minimal experience would render me useless. However since I have been here and worked with clients, I have learned that I know a lot and a little at the same time. With clients that wanted relatively simple Wills and Advanced Directives, I found I was able to explain how the documents worked and what they were for. It’s true that I have little experience in actually drafting Wills but I do have more experience than I realized. The clients were coming to me for information that they might not otherwise have had access to. It was validating that I was able to draft the documents but it was even more validating to know that I was able to help people.


Read More... (It was validating that I was able to draft the documents but it was even more validating to know that I was able to help people.)
No Comments | Posted by Teresa L. Cook on Wed. March 7, 2012 11:04 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Western)

The only certainties in life are death and taxes. Both involve quite a lot of paperwork.

The only certainties in life are death and taxes. Both involve quite a lot of paperwork, but at least UNC’s Pro Bono Wills Project provides crucial peace of mind for low-income Western North Carolina residents as they deal with end-of-life legal issues. Working in Avery and Watauga counties over the first three days of Spring Break offered an opportunity to apply the skills we’ve learned in the classroom to help out real, live clients who actually exist in the real world beyond the imaginary parameters of our professors’ final exam fact patterns.


Read More... (The only certainties in life are death and taxes. Both involve quite a lot of paperwork.)
No Comments | Posted by Timothy A. Henderson (Tim) on Wed. March 7, 2012 11:02 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Western)

Wills reflect the stories of our lives, and every life is a new story.

This was my third experience drafting wills and advanced directives, but what was most surprising was that every client’s situation is completely unique. Wills reflect the stories of our lives, and every life is a new story. Even the simplest will speaks to the testator’s circumstances.


Read More... (Wills reflect the stories of our lives, and every life is a new story.)
No Comments | Posted by Troy D. Shelton on Wed. March 7, 2012 11:00 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Western)

As soon as the pleasantries passed and we were in our interview room, it was as if we were lifelong acquaintances.

While the training we went through the week before the trip was very helpful, there were a number of things it did not prepare me for. We discussed cross-cultural interviews, professional responsibility, and will construction. Celia explained the different documents we would be able to provide, and she skillfully answered our nit-picky law student questions.


Read More... (As soon as the pleasantries passed and we were in our interview room, it was as if we were lifelong acquaintances.)
No Comments | Posted by Belal Elrahal on Wed. March 7, 2012 10:57 AM
Categories: Spring Break 2012 (Western)

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