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North Carolina Opens Legal Borders to Help Disaster Victims

By William Vogeler, Esq. on October 15, 2018 4:05 PM

You can practice law in North Carolina no matter where you are, if you are ready to help disaster victims.

Because of Hurricane Florence, the North Carolina Supreme Court has ordered that out-of-state lawyers may provide free legal services there. It's not an open invitation to start a practice in North Carolina, but it is an opportunity to do some good.

It's also good news for lawyers who can't leave their homes to go across country. Through the American Bar Association, they can do pro bono online.

Pro Bono Online

ABA Free Legal Answers is an online portal that connects low-income people with volunteer attorneys. The ABA Journal reported that it is up-and-running for the North Carolina campaign.

Volunteers can sign up and provide legal advice at their convenience. The service is available throughout the country, including those affected by Hurricane Michael, which has killed at least 18 people from Florida to Virginia.

Increasingly, the ABA has carried the torch for pro bono services in disaster areas. It helped create Disaster Legal Services Program to work with the federal government, state, and local services.

Since 2007, the ABA's Young Lawyers Division has responded to 178 major disasters in 44 states and 4 U.S. territories.

178 Disasters

The ADA adopted a model rule for states to use in temporarily opening their borders to out-of-state lawyers to help.

"We are proud to acknowledge North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark D. Martin, a former chair of the ABA Judicial Division, for his invaluable leadership in making it possible for lawyers across the country to help those affected by Hurricane Florence," the Journal said.

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