McGuireWoods lawyers Larry J. Dagenhart and Stephen Allred received prestigious awards from three North Carolina legal aid organizations for providing pro bono services to underserved children, families and individuals.
Dagenhart and Allred, who work in the firm’s Charlotte office, were recognized by the Council for Children’s Rights, Legal Aid for North Carolina, and Legal Services of Southern Piedmont during the nonprofits organizations’ third annual Pro Bono Awards Sept. 16 at the Foundation for the Carolinas. The host organizations are the three largest recipients of pro bono services in the Charlotte area. More than 200 lawyers, judges, advocates and community members attended this year’s ceremony, for which McGuireWoods was a sponsor.
Dagenhart received the Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award, a lifetime achievement honor recognizing an individual for longstanding and exceptional dedication to providing legal services to the poor.
“It's essential that our legal system be accessible and fair to everyone,” Dagenhart said. “People involved in the system need a lawyer, but often cannot afford one. Every lawyer and every law firm has a responsibility to provide some professional pro bono service and see that justice is done.”
Allred was among three recipients of the Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award, which honors attorneys who have contributed a considerable amount of pro bono hours and given local nonprofits the ability to serve more clients and initiate new projects.
“All lawyers in our community owe a continuing debt of gratitude to the organizations that gave these awards for the ceaseless work they do to ensure equal access to justice for the most vulnerable in our community,” Allred said. “I am grateful and honored to be recognized by those who have dedicated themselves to serving others.”
The Council for Children’s Rights provides legal services for more than 2,500 children per year and responds to more than 1,000 advice and guidance inquiries. Legal Aid for North Carolina provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income individuals. Legal Services of Southern Piedmont provides a wide range of legal assistance to eligible low-income individuals in the Charlotte metropolitan area and west-central North Carolina.