NCAWA is excited to announce a new partnership between NCAWA and the North Carolina Bar Foundation that will provide our members with an easy way to do pro bono and community service work.  North Carolina became a participant in the American Bar Association’s ABA Free Legal Answers™ project when it launched NC Free Legal Answers in 2017.  NC Free Legal Answers is an entirely web-based pro bono program aimed at increasing access to legal advice and information about non-criminal matters for low-income people.  This project has been nicknamed “Pro Bono in your PJs” because you can literally do this work anywhere -- and in your PJs! 

NC Free Legal Answers allows financially eligible users to post civil legal questions for volunteer attorneys to answer pro bono.  Generally, questions take 5-7 minutes to respond to.  With the sort and filter features, you can readily find a question that aligns with your interests.  Then you can either answer the question, hold it for three days, or return it immediately to the queue.  Users receive an email when their question receives a response from a volunteer attorney.  

There are 17 categories for questions: Family/Divorce/Custody, Housing, Debts & Purchases, Work, Workers Compensation, Wills/Inheritance, Benefits, Health Care, Medicaid/Medicare/Affordable Care Act, Natural Disaster, Personal Injury, Expungement, Special Education, School Discipline, Immigration, Civil/Constitutional Rights, Emancipation & Delinquency. 

NCAWA has an incredible chance to make a real impact across our state through this project.  Chapters that host a “Clear the Queue” event will have an opportunity to be spotlighted in an upcoming virtual newsletter.  Please note that you do not have to be a member of a chapter in order to participate.  Individual members that contribute their time in a significant way also have an opportunity to be spotlighted.  ABA Free Legal Answers™ has been a success in other states so let’s make it a success in North Carolina and in our communities.  Here’s how you can get started today!

Getting Started

  1. Read the NC Free Legal Answers Attorney Agreement for volunteers.
  2. Register online.
  3. Sign In.
  4. Browse the queue of questions.
  5. Respond to a question, whenever and wherever you like.

If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact NC Free Legal Answers Administrator at [email protected], or direct general questions to NCAWA.

We hope that you will join us in this exciting partnership, but most importantly we hope that you continue to pursue the worthy causes that you may already be pursuing in your local communities.  If your chapter is doing something great in your local community, please share it with us!  We would love to hear about your efforts.  Furthermore, sharing your events with other chapters will stimulate ideas and give chapter ways to become involved in their perspective communities.  Thank you in advance for volunteering your time and talents.

--Nihad Mansour, 2019 NCAWA Community Outreach Chair

About the Community Outreach Committee
The NCAWA created the Community Outreach Committee in 1997 in recognition of the need for NCAWA members to provide service to our communities. The committee organizes projects across the state to serve children and adults in need.  Projects to date have included distribution of clothing and other items to shelters, the collection of books for libraries for female inmates, and the sponsorship of the legal TV talk show, “Laying Down the Law,” which educates the public about the law.  The television program features North Carolina attorneys discussing consumer-oriented legal topics.  Future community outreach projects will focus on service, education, and assistance to those outside our profession in hopes of improving their lives and improving the public’s perception of attorneys.
Are you interested in becoming a part of the Community Outreach Committee?  If so, please contact Committee Chair Rosa Boatwright.