A program pioneered by McGuireWoods that brought law firms and corporate
legal departments together with legal aid nonprofits to expand pro bono
services in Virginia and North Carolina was the subject of a Law360 “Pro Bono Spotlight” feature story.
Launched in September, Charlotte Triage expands the pool of pro bono
volunteers for the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and Legal Aid of
North Carolina using an innovative approach — enlisting pro bono
participation among in-house attorneys. Two hundred lawyers volunteered for
Charlotte Triage at the Sept. 5 kickoff event, the Nov. 19 article noted.
Among the top corporate legal officers who helped spearhead the initiative
alongside the firm was Bank of America General Counsel David Leitch, who
took on one of the program’s first cases: defending a client facing
eviction. “As lawyers, this is a problem we can do something about,” Leitch
said in the story about McGuireWoods’ role in Charlotte Triage.
Charlotte Triage is patterned on Richmond Triage, which McGuireWoods helped
to launch in Virginia in 2017. Led by
Scott Oostdyk, the program marshalled talents of the region’s broader legal community to
address massive legal aid caseloads of wrongful evictions, criminal record
expunctions and obstacles to healthcare.
“So we decided to get together and basically become self-training and
self-deploying,” said Oostdyk, the partner in charge of pro bono at
Angie Zimmern, who coordinates Charlotte Triage, said it’s a model that took root easily
in North Carolina. “What Triage has done here in Charlotte is tapped into a
huge network of attorneys who maybe have never done pro bono work at all.”
The programs fit McGuireWoods’ pro bono focus on helping individuals,
J. Tracy Walker IV told Law360. “We live in an increasingly complex world and there
is an increasing need for legal services across every sector of society,
including those who can least afford it,” he said.