NC Bar Association inaugurating "Call 4ALL" for volunteer attorneys
Thursday, March 03, 2011
- Organization: NC Bar Association
In addition to NCBA's Statewide Service Day on March 4, the NC Bar Association 4All Task Force is inaugurating a new project, "Call 4ALL", that will provide attorneys the chance to help a pre-screened client in one of the following areas of law—private landlord/tenant, public and subsidized housing, Medicaid, disability and non-disability issues in Social Security matters, consumer collections, employee rights, custody, guardianship and simple estates.
In most instances, Call 4ALL volunteer attorneys will work with clients through monthly or weekly one-hour telephone interviews to provide advice or discrete services to pre-screened Legal Aid of NC (LANC) clients. Even if you don’t practice in one of these areas, Legal Aid of North Carolina will offer training opportunities.
As stated in Rule 6.1, “A lawyer should aspire to render at least 50 hours of pro bono publico legal services per year.” Call 4ALL will provide a structured way for lawyers to meet this goal, within a limited scope of engagement (unless the attorney wants an expanded role), and provide essential assistance to people in need in these difficult times.
The official kick-off of "Call 4ALL" is March 4.
"CALL 4ALL" - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Q. What is "Call 4ALL" ?
A. The 4All Task Force of the NC Bar Association Foundation and Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC) partnered to provide another way for private attorneys to provide pro bono service to low income persons in North Carolina. This new program allows attorneys to conduct interviews with eligible LANC clients and provide advice (similar to the service provided by volunteeer attorneys on the "4ALL Statewide Call-In Day").
Q. When can I start?
A. After receiving your application and paperwork, LANC staff will be able to assign a client to you within a month or less.
Q. What areas of law can I help with?
A. LANC staff members select cases with the following legal issues: private landlord/tenant, public and subsidized housing, Medicaid, disability and non-disability issues in Social Security matters, consumer collections, employee rights, custody, guardianship and simple estates. There is a particular need in cases involving custody, guardianship and estates. The volunteer attorney will select a preference(s) for specific legal areas and the attorney will only be assigned those cases for which a preference was designated.
Q. What training and/or assistance will I get from Legal Aid of NC?
A. At the request of the volunteer, LANC will provide substantive law training and may offer group trainings that would allow participants to receive free CLE hours. Once the attorney interviews the client and provides a written summary by fax or E-mail to LANC, then LANC staff will send the clients a closing letter including the advice provided and any other additional written materials. For example, the attorney interviewed a client who has been sued for failing to pay a debt and has no defenses; LANC staff will send a closing letter advising about exemptions and collection of a judgment.
Q. How do clients contact me – or me them?
A. LANC staff will provide you with the client's contact information and you will call the client with a one week time limit.
Q. Will I have any information about the client's case or problem before we talk?
A. Yes. LANC staff will send you the client's name and contact information, adverse party, if any, and a concise statement of thesubject of the case. Also, you will have a script to explain the limited service that you will provide the client at the beginning of the interview andanother script explaining that you will not provide any additional legal services other than the telephone interview and advice.
Q. What happens to the case once I provide the written summary to LANC?
A. Once you return the summary, LANC will send the client a closing letter detailing the advice provided. If LANC determines that additional services should be offered to the client, the client will be informed that the case is being referred to a LANC local office. The local office may assign the case to a staff attorney, may attempt to refer the case to a local volunteer attorney, or may determine that no attorney is available to provide further assistance. In any event, the client will be promptly notified.
Q. What happens if a client keeps calling me after I have completed the interview and provided the written summary to LANC?
A. During the client's first contact with LANC, a LANC staff member tells the client that the referral is for a specific issue/case. If the client calls the volunteer attorney for a new, different issue, the attorney should tell the client to contact LANC at the following number 866-219-5262 (1-866-219-LANC). If a client calls the volunteer attorney with other issues, the client should be told to call Legal Aid of NC.
Q. What should I do if I want to help this client beyond "Call 4ALL" ?
A. LANC will be happy to hear that you want to provide additional pro bono service. E-mail or call the LANC pro bono coordinator. LANC will contact the client and periodically contact you to learn about the status of the case.
Q. What happens if I am not able to take a case during the week for which I have volunteered?
A. No worries. E-mail or call LANC about any schedule change that may arise and select another week to volunteer.
Q. Will I be covered by malpractice insurance?
A. Yes. LANC provides malpractice coverage to all volunteers who accept client cases.
- "Remarks, Martin H. Brinkley," June 25, 2011 NC Bar Association Annual Meeting
(see page 7 regarding "Call4All".)