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Zogry Receives Section Award

Zogry Receives Section Award

The Juvenile Justice & Children’s Rights Section of the North Carolina Bar Association presented the Children’s Champion Award to Eric Zogry of Raleigh. The award was presented in conjunction with the section’s annual meeting on Thursday, May 9, at the N.C. Bar Center.

Zogry works in the N.C. Office of the Juvenile Defender, where he became the first State Juvenile Defender in 2005 after previously serving as an assistant public defender in Guilford County.

“I have been involved in one way or another in juvenile justice since 1997,” Zogry said. “I was working as a research associate at the N.C. Sentencing Commission when the state  worked on the last major rewrite of the Juvenile Code, and from there I worked with the Administrative Office of the Courts in their Research Division working on the proposed new Juvenile Code and later got the opportunity to work in the Public Defender’s Office in Greensboro working almost exclusively in juvenile delinquency court .”

Zogry is a former chair of the Juvenile Justice & Children’s Rights Section and has also recently been active in the Criminal Justice Section, where he presently serves on the section council.

“I was surprised to receive the award but very humbled and grateful,” Zogry said. “What is great about our section is its diversity, and the broad range of expertise the attorneys and non-attorneys bring who work in the field to pursue positive outcomes for young people. It is a unique space to be in.”

In addition to his duties in the Office of the Juvenile Defender, Zogry served from 2010-14 as director of the Southern Juvenile Defender Center, which provides resources and support for juvenile defenders in seven southeastern states.

““I really enjoyed it,” Zogry said. “It gave me a broader perspective of juvenile defense counsel from the seven southeastern states that are involved in that region.”

Zogry is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1992) and the Paul M. Herbert Law Center of Louisiana State University (1996).

In 2013 he was in the first class of North Carolina State Bar board certified specialists in criminal law-juvenile delinquency, and in 2013 was honored with the Robert E. Shepard Award for Excellence in Juvenile Defense from the National Juvenile Defender Center.

Zogry was nominated by Reginald O’Rourke II who serves as associate counsel in the Guardian Ad Litem Program.

“Eric is a tireless advocate for juveniles and the attorneys who represent them,” O’Rourke stated. “Eric has been integral in the passage of the Raise the Age legislation. He upholds and embodies the highest moral and ethical standards. He is honest, collegial and humble.”

The Children’s Champion Award was established to honor section members who are true “champions” for North Carolina children and youth. It was presented for the first time last year to Deana Fleming.

The recipient of the award should be a person who:

  • has the highest ethical standards;
  • is held in the highest regard by both the bench and bar;
  • demonstrates a deep, caring desire to help children;
  • demonstrates a long-term commitment to improving the well-being of children through a minimum of five years of professional service related to the protection of children and/or children’s rights, with particular emphasis given to the length of the nominee’s commitment and service;
  • has taken action to improve the administration of justice for children through direct advocacy, research, policy development, and/or volunteer service; and
  •  is committed to the mission of the Juvenile Justice & Children’s Rights Section as demonstrated by exemplary service to the Section.