NC LEAP Update
Article Date: Thursday, November 03, 2011
Written By: Mary Horowitz
With 2010 U.S. Census numbers revealing that 15.1 percent of Americans are living in poverty1, and North Carolina's unemployment rate at 10.3 percent2 as of July 2011, the help NC LEAP volunteer attorneys provide to low-wealth entrepreneurs is more important than ever before.
NC LEAP volunteer attorneys provide assistance to clients in one of three ways-through direct client representation, through client education at Ask-a-Lawyer clinics and presentations on business law-related topics to groups of entrepreneurs, and by writing self-help materials, which are disseminated to entrepreneurs and agencies that work with entrepreneurs. To date, NC LEAP has assisted over 670 individual entrepreneurs, and educates more than 1,200 entrepreneurs and business owners each year. The only way the program can make this kind of a direct impact is through volunteers, who donate their time and energy to help these clients.
This year, I'm going to be introducing you to NC LEAP clients and volunteers. Without each, the program wouldn't be viable. This month's column introduces you to Jeremy Browner, an attorney volunteer practicing in Chapel Hill.
Jeremy has been practicing law since 2002. He owns and operates The Law Office of Jeremy Todd Browner, PLLC where he has a general practice focusing on aviation, bankruptcy, business, civil litigation, collections, and false claims act suits. He especially enjoys the technical aspects of bankruptcy and collections, and finds satisfaction in obtaining justice through money changing hands.
Jeremy has been volunteering with NC LEAP for about two years, and currently is a program volunteer attorney and also sits on the NC LEAP steering committee. He tells me "I have an interest in helping with economic development in my community and state. NC LEAP allowed me to have a hands-on approach in helping business owners. I enjoy the enthusiasm and hope that each entrepreneur-client brings to each of their ideas."
When I asked Jeremy how working with pro bono clients is different than working with paying clients, and whether his pro bono work is rewarding, he responded that "Working for pro bono clients is different because you know that you are doing it [the work] for no benefit to yourself except the greater strategic benefit to the community and what that entails. The best reward to me in performing pro bono work is seeing the relief and understanding on the faces of clients when you explain a legal concept or create a business framework for them, so they can conduct their business without worry." If you'd like to know more about Jeremy's experience as an NC LEAP volunteer, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd like to send a special thank you to NC LEAP volunteers who recently concluded their term as NC LEAP Steering Committee members. All were instrumental to the program's success under their leadership.
These volunteers include:
• Jeremy Deese, Charlotte
• Garland Graham, Greensboro
• Milan Pham, Durham
• Greg Stephens, Raleigh
I'd also like to welcome and preemptively thank members of the 2011-12 NC LEAP Steering Committee, who include:
• Dave Caplan, Chapel Hill (Chair)
• Ben Baldwin, Charlotte (Vice-Chair)
• Jeremy Browner, Chapel Hill
• Bill Bryner, Winston-Salem
• Susan Carr, Cary
• Donna Chmura, Raleigh
• Clara Cottrell, Greensboro
• Deborah Gerhardt, Chapel Hill
• Michael Lord, Raleigh
• Anna Mills, Asheville
• Bentley Olive, Cary
• Robert Rehm, Raleigh
• Debbie Segal, Atlanta
• Wendy Sexton, Cary
• Shandra Stout, Greensboro
If you're already an NC LEAP volunteer and would like to be featured in an upcoming column, please contact me. If you'd like to volunteer, please contact me or visit NC LEAP online at www.ncleap.com
. • NC LEAP is a pro bono program of the NCBA Foundation that provides free transactional, business-related legal advice to low-wealth entrepreneurs in North Carolina. The NCBA Business Law Section supports NC LEAP through financial and volunteer support, and has adopted NC LEAP as the section's signature pro bono project. Mary Horowitz is the NCBA director of Public Service & Pro Bono Activities. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Views and opinions expressed in articles published herein are the authors' only and are not to be attributed to this newsletter, the section, or the NCBA unless expressly stated. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all citations and quotations.