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Endowment Grants Awarded for January-June 2015

Endowment Grants Awarded for January-June 2015

The North Carolina Bar Association Foundation announces its most recent endowment grants approved on Jan. 22 at the Board of Directors Meeting in Cary. A total of 25 grants for January–June 2015 were approved in the amount of $205,881 consisting of 18 statewide grants and seven local/regional grants.

This grant cycle includes support for six legal services projects, two scholarship programs, four domestic violence/children support projects, three projects in Charlotte and one in Salisbury, Asheville, Winston-Salem and Turkey, N.C.

All of the organizations and their projects are listed below with dollar amounts for each grant in parenthesis.

The purposes of the NCBA Foundation Endowment are:

  • To build respect for and understanding of the law;
  • To support the delivery of legal services to eligible indigent communities;
  • To support legally related community service projects;
  • To study, improve and facilitate the administration of justice; and
  • To enhance the professional competence of lawyers

Semi-annual grants make possible dozens of statewide bar projects and the legally-related service/educational projects of many bar-affiliated non-profit organizations. The Endowment is the philanthropic workhorse of the NCBA Foundation and the NCBA. Since 1988, 621 endowment grants totaling more than $4.9 million have been awarded.

Statewide Grants
Center on Actual Innocence – Innocence Claim Review: The Center identifies, investigates and advances credible claims of innocence made by inmates convicted of felonies in North Carolina. The Center’s secondary mission is to educate policymakers, the public, students, the media and the legal/law enforcement communities about causation issues that lead to wrongful convictions. ($2,000)

Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC)– Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer Internship Program (2015): This grant will provide summer internships for 4 law students who are interested in public interest and poverty law at LANC field offices providing civil legal services to the poor. ($10,000)

Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC) – Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program: Funds will be used solely for the LANC Student Loan Repayment Assistance Project for Wake Forest University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke law school alumni and others on staff at LANC to sustain attorney retention. ($12,996)

Legal Services of Southern Piedmont (LSSP) & LANC – Medicaid Advocacy Project: There is a significant unmet need for legal representation of Medicaid recipients who are indigent, have limited education and are elderly or disabled who file Medicaid service appeals. This joint project of Legal Services of Southern Piedmont (LSSP) in Charlotte and Legal Aid of North Carolina helps to address this unmet need. ($25,000)

LSSP– N.C.’s Unaccompanied Immigrant Children: LSSP will represent vulnerable children in the Charlotte Immigration Court. ($15,000)

Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC) – Homelessness Prevention Project Fellowship: LANC works to protect the very low-income families who depend on federal housing subsidies from losing their homes as well as protect tenants in private housing from suffering unsafe and unhealthy housing conditions. It is made possible by the LANC Endowment Fund. ($24,191)

LANC – Farmworkers Unit: LANC will partner with the NCJC Workers’ Rights Project to expand the capacity to provide legal services to migrant and seasonal farmworkers. ($7,450)

College Scholarships: For more than 20 years, the NCBA Foundation Endowment has awarded need-based college scholarships for the children of NC law enforcement officers who were killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. During the 2015-16 school year scholarships totaling $29,600 will be funded.

Law-Related Education: Justice Iredell Middle School Mock Trial Competition, Justice Teaching Institute, Lawyers 4 Literacy will support civics education in our schools. ($15,377)

NC Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (NC LEAP) – Inventor Assistance Program (IAP): In partnership with the USPTO, NC LEAP will provide assistance to income-eligible inventors with pro bono patent attorney expertise. ($2,000)

Bar Exam Fund – Laptop Usage Fee: This grant provides limited financial assistance for the computer fee for 42 North Carolina law students taking the N.C. bar exam. ($5,250)

YLD Bar Exam Meet and Greet: YLD volunteers congratulate bar exam survivors with refreshments and encourage them to join NCBA upon licensure. ($1,000)

Law Student Scholarships at each of the seven NC law schools made possible by The D. Staton and Maude B. Inscoe Law Foundation Education Fund (14,000)

Dr. I. Beverly Lake Public Service Award: The NCBA’s highest public service honor is awarded at the NCBA Annual Meeting in June. The restricted grant funds will be used to award an honorarium in the honoree’s name to his or her choice of select NCBA programs to help further their mission. ($5,333)

25th Annual Meeting Professionalism Speaker: A distinguished national figure will be invited to be the professionalism/ethics speaker at the NCBA 2015 Annual Meeting in Asheville. This is made possible by the Willis Smith & Willis Smith, Jr. Justice Funds in the NCBA Foundation Endowment. ($8,380)

North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence – Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Project: The Coalition works to create and maintain accessible legal materials for survivors; provide comprehensive technical assistance to domestic violence advocates and lawyers through email and telephone; conduct trainings for lawyers and advocates to increase their capacity to assist domestic violence survivors; and recruit and train volunteer attorneys to represent domestic violence survivors on a pro bono basis. ($5,000)

Carolina Center for Civic Education – National High School Mock Trial Championship: The Center is hosting the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Raleigh in May 2015. The NHSMTC is an annual event hosted by a different state that supports mock trial programs as a part of civic education for students. ($10,000) Total project support is $20,000.

Federation of N.C. Historical Societies – National History Day: Helps pay registration fees for students to participate in National History Day. ($500)

Local/Regional Grants
Rowan County Families First – NC, Inc.: This grant will help provide for an on-site child care center serving Rowan County Courthouse to provide a safe place for 1,400 children while their parents/guardians conduct business in court.($1,000)

Safe Alliance – Legal Representation Project: They will assist victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to obtain protective orders in Charlotte. Without legal representation, many victims of domestic violence risk are being traumatized by our complex legal system. ($2,000)

Council for Children’s Rights: Volunteer Attorney Advocacy Program will train pro bono attorneys as child advocates in child custody cases in Mecklenburg County. ($2,000)

Pisgah Legal Services – Law Student Intern Program: PLS will train interns in poverty law to assist clients in crisis in the Asheville area. ($3,000)

Latin American Coalition: The Coalition provides legal immigration services to needy clients in Charlotte. ($804)

The Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina (CLCNC): The Centerprovides advocacy and representation to vulnerable children embroiled in high conflict custody or domestic violence cases. The CLE attorneys are appointed as Guardians ad Litem by District Court judges who need accurate, thorough investigated reports as they make custody and visitation decisions. ($3,000)

Project Outreach, Inc. – Resolving Conflicts in School: Focuses on teaching youth in grades 6-8 in rural Sampson County how the legal system works by teaching them courtroom procedures. Students with leadership ability are chosen to be trained as court officials to oversee nonviolent conflicts. ($1,000)

Direct any questions about applying for grants to Tom Hull, director of development for the NCBA Foundation, via e-mail (thull@ncbar.org) or phone 919-677-0561 or 800-662-7407.