NCBA Foundation Endowment Giving Surpasses $5 Million

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- The North Carolina Bar Association Foundation announces its most recent endowment grants approved on June 18, 2015, at the Board of Directors meeting in Asheville. A total of 20 grants for July-December 2015 were approved in the amount of $165,683, including 15 statewide and five local/regional grants. With these new grants the NCBA Foundation Endowment has awarded more than $5 million for 640 grants across North Carolina since 1988.



This grant cycle includes support for one judicial project, two legal services projects, one historical exhibit, two law school clinics and one paralegal pro bono clinic, one student mock trial competition, one innocence representation project, three young lawyer service projects, three domestic violence programs, one veterans’ project, two local projects in Raleigh and Charlotte and one each in Winston-Salem, Fayetteville and Turkey, N.C.

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

Each grant helps fulfill one of the purposes of the NCBA Foundation Endowment which 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 heart of the NCBA Foundation and the NCBA.

Statewide Grants
Law-Related Education: Support for the Justice Teaching Institute, statewide Middle School Mock Trial Competition and Lawyers for Literacy programs which educate students about our system of government, the roles of judges and lawyers in society and builds respect and understanding of the rule of law. ($17,165)

YLD Law Week/Liberty Bell Award: Hosts two regional Moot Court competitions, a final competition in Raleigh at the Supreme Court, multiple contests for grade school students, chooses a Liberty Bell Award recipient and organizes and hosts the annual Law Day Luncheon. ($15,000)

Legal Aid of NC (LANC) Legal Helpline: This project helps LANC expand the number of clients who are able to access direct legal services through the statewide, toll-free number. The LANC staff screen and refer eligible clients to the NCBA Lawyer on the Line pro bono volunteer project who provide free short service for their legal needs.  ($20,000)

NC Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program & Inventor Assistance Program (NC LEAP/IAP): General operating support for 2015-16 to provide legal assistance to start-up entrepreneurs and inventors who are building their small businesses across North Carolina. ($14,961)

YLD Wills for Heroes: Provides essential estate planning documents, free of charge, to first responders and their spouses, partners, and significant others across the state. Volunteer attorneys prepare wills, living wills, durable powers of attorney and health care powers of attorneys. ($2,000)

North Carolina Coalition against Domestic Violence – Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Project: The purpose of the project is to increase access to vital legal support and representation for domestic violence survivors in North Carolina by pro bono attorneys. ($10,000)

YLD Legal Feeding Frenzy & Food Banks of N.C.: A three-week food and fund drive competition among all North Carolina law-related organizations to see which team can raise the most pounds of food per employee to benefit local Feeding America Food Banks. ($650)

NCBAF Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee Project: Statewide initiative to (1) enhance performance and increase accountability of the trial bench judges (Superior, Special Superior and District Court), and (2) provide a public service to inform the electorate in 2016 before the primary and general elections of the performance evaluation of trial bench candidates. ($34,800)

State Archives of North Carolina / Friends of the Archives (FOA): Treasures of Carolina Exhibit. The exhibit will educate the public on the State Archives’ role in protecting the rights and civil liberties of its citizens, ensuring the transparency of government, and preserving the history of the state. ($1,000)

Military & Veteran Affairs Committee: CLE program targeted to active military attorneys with pro bono content in the following areas: Service members Civil Relief Act, child custody/visitation, military pension division, landlord/tenant special victims’ counsel, the Survivor Benefit Plan and consumer law. ($11,400)

NC Center on Actual Innocence: Innocence Claim Review: Identify and correct wrongful convictions in order to obtain justice for those imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. ($2,000)

Local/Regional Grants
Campbell Law School Senior Law Clinic: The Senior Law Clinic provides free legal services on a variety of civil matters to persons with low incomes who are age 60 or over. ($1,000)

Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina: Provides advocacy and representation in the triad area to vulnerable children embroiled in high conflict custody or domestic violence cases. The CLC attorneys are court appointed by judges who need accurate, thorough investigated reports as they make decisions about the future of these children. ($9,207)

Council for Children’s Rights – Custody Advocacy Program: Pro bono lawyers appointed by Family Court judges in Mecklenburg County to represent the best interests of children in difficult custody cases. ($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)

Child Advocacy Center – Know the Law: Educate the general public in Cumberland County regarding how to recognize and report child abuse. ($1,000)

Safe Alliance – Legal Representation Project (LRP) – Assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault obtain protective orders in Mecklenburg County. ($7,500)

Pisgah Legal Services – Volunteer Lawyer Clinic / Consultation Expansion: Support for the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer (MAVL) program to expand the number of cases handled by private attorneys through consultations and clinics. ($10,000)

NCCU School of Law – Legal Education Clinic Project: Producing excellent attorneys who are sensitive to addressing the needs of communities that are traditionally underserved. ($2,000)

Meredith College Paralegal Program – Paralegal Pro Bono Clinic. Beginning a new pro bono clinic for alumni of Meredith’s Paralegal Program in conjunction with Lawyer on the Line. ($2,000)

Please direct any questions about applying for grants to Tom Hull, Director of Development for the NCBA Foundation, via email (thull@ncbar.org) or phone (919-677-0561 or 800-662-7407).

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