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Children's Law Center Honors NCBF

Children's Law Center Honors NCBF

Caryn McNeill, left, and CLC Executive Director Iris Sunshine display their colors at Birthday Bash.

The North Carolina Bar Foundation received the Outstanding Supporter Award last week during the Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina’s annual Birthday Blast in Winston-Salem.

NCBF (and NCBA) President Caryn McNeill accepted the award. The Foundation, as McNeill noted in coverage appearing in the Winston-Salem Journal, has supported the Children’s Law Center since its inception in 2005.

“The North Carolina Bar Foundation,” states an announcement on the CLC website, “was one of the first supporters of the Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina at the time of CLC’s founding in 2005. The Foundation’s numerous grants, conveying the collegial support of the legal community, have changed the lives of over 1,000 children in the course of CLC’s work.

“The Foundation’s recent grants have made up the ‘matching amount’ gap in state funding for Staff Attorney positions in Forsyth and Guilford counties. CLC’s growing presence in Guilford County is due in great part to this funding and the growing support of the local bar.

“The Foundation’s partnership with CLC,” the announcement continues, “enables an average of 17 attorneys each year to offer pro bono service that provides a direct benefit to the children of our community. We are also committed to the “practice ready” education of law students through the Child Advocacy Clinic at the Wake Forest University School of Law, and internships for students from Wake Forest, Elon University School of Law, the UNC School of Law, and other schools.

“The North Carolina Bar Foundation is the charitable cause of the North Carolina Bar Association. It combines the skills of thousands of pro bono attorneys across the state to educate students, teachers and all citizens about the importance of the rule of law, helps bridge the gap of access to justice for low and modest income families, and provides direct services that strive to improve our justice system.

“The longstanding support of the N.C. Bar Foundation’s board and staff speaks to the commitment of the legal profession to the pursuit of justice and making the legal system available to all. We will continue to demonstrate through our daily actions that the legal profession is committed to the goal of a healthier, more productive society in which children feel safe in their homes.”

Since 2012, NCBF Endowment grants have been earmarked for the Children’s Law Center through the Ranlet S. Bell and Frank M. Bell Jr. Restricted Justice Fund. The Bell Fund was established through the generosity of Winston-Salem attorneys Ran and Frank Bell and lawyers from Bell Davis & Pitt. Ran Bell has practiced throughout her career with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, where she now serves of counsel, while Frank Bell is a founding member of Bell Davis & Pitt.