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Pro Bono Awards

Want to nominate an attorney, firm or project for an NCBA Pro Bono Award?

Fill out the nomination form here

William Thorp Pro Bono Service Award: Presented to an attorney who has provided exemplary legal services without a fee. Particular consideration is given to lawyers whose voluntary contributions have resulted in the increased access to legal services on the part of low-income people.

Criteria: A lawyer who 1) practices in North Carolina; 2) is not employed on a full-time basis by an organization that has as its primary purpose the provision of free legal services to the poor; 3) has provided direct delivery of legal services with no expectation of receiving a fee to a client or client group that could not afford to employ compensated legal counsel and that those services are substantially in excess of the aspirational goals of Rule 6.1; and 4) has made significant voluntary contributions that have resulted in the increased access to legal services on the part of low-income people. Note that the nominee should have engaged in the direct delivery of legal services and in making significant voluntary contributions over an extended period of time and those efforts should be ongoing.

Deborah Greenblatt Outstanding Legal Services Attorney Award: Presented to a legal services attorney who has made an exemplary contribution to the provision of legal assistance to help meet the needs of the poverty population in North Carolina.

Criteria: A lawyer who is employed full time by a legal services program in North Carolina.

Chief Justice Award: Recognizes a local, district or statewide bar organization whose members have performed outstanding legal services or have given outstanding support and assistance or maintenance of such programs for low-income people.

Criteria: Any local, district or statewide bar organization in North Carolina.

Outstanding Law Firm Pro Bono Service: There are two categories for law firm awards.

  • Small & Medium Law Firms: Recognizes firms employing fewer than 30 attorneys for their commitment to the provision of pro bono service.
  • Large Law Firms: Recognizes pro bono efforts in North Carolina from among law firms employing 30 or more attorneys in North Carolina.

Criteria: Consideration will be given to a firm’s hours of service and/or percentage of “billable hours” devoted to pro bono work; number/percentage of attorneys providing pro bono legal services; creative approaches to encourage pro bono participation; and consistence of the firm’s efforts to provide pro bono assistance.

Law Student Group Pro Bono Service Award: Presented to an outstanding law student group whose pro bono project benefits low-income people in North Carolina.

Criteria: Consideration will be given to 1) a group project consisting of 2 or more students at a North Carolina law school; 2) who are not receiving law school academic credit for their work; and 3) providing assistance to low-income people in North Carolina.

Younger Lawyer Pro Bono Service Award: Presented by the NCBA Young Lawyers Division to a younger lawyer who has made extraordinary contributions by providing exemplary legal services without a fee to persons of limited means or to charitable groups or organizations.

Criteria: A lawyer who 1) practices in North Carolina and is 36 years of age or younger or in the first three years of practice; 2) is not employed on a full-time basis by a legal services organization; 3) has provided direct delivery of pro bono legal services; or 4) whose voluntary contributions have resulted in increased access to legal services on the part of low-income people in North Carolina.

 

NOMINATION GUIDELINES

Background Information: In addition to completing the form below, for individual attorney nominations, please include a resume. For firms or bar associations, provide an introductory statement (no more than 200 words) including information about the firm’s/association’s size, primary officers and other descriptive information. For law student group projects, provide an introductory statement (no more than 200 words) including information about the student group or organization, its structure, including officers and other descriptive information.

Narrative: Explain the nominee’s pro bono service and why the nominee should be selected for the particular award category. Pay careful attention to the category’s criteria. Give detailed information about the nature of the pro bono service and the effect it has had on the targeted group. Include any supporting data such as news articles, statistics, publications and similar documents. The written portion, excluding the supporting data, should be no longer than three pages.

Letters of Support: Letters from individuals or organizations that support the candidate’s nomination should also be included. No more than three letters, please.

If selected, you will be asked to provide a high resolution digital image of the recipient. If not selected, your nomination will be held over for reconsideration again next year.

Nominations are due by 5 p.m. February 1, 2018.

The nomination form is available here.