Posted: September 17th, 2014 | By: Rachel Wallen
Wake Forest Law students traveled to Ellerbe, N.C. on Sept. 12 to participate in a Wills Clinic organized by the Pro Bono Project.
Six students were chosen to participate in the program, which required an hour of training a few days before the event. They worked in Ellerbe’s town hall with the local legal aid program to assist disadvantaged residents of Ellerbe with different types of legal documentation, such as last will and testament, living wills, healthcare power of attorney, or durable or springing powers of attorney.
Statutory forms were used for the appointments, but the students gained practical knowledge in how to tailor each of these documents to real people and the complexities that brings, as well as experience working with real clients.
“We worked closely with the volunteer attorneys and we were able to laugh and talk comfortably with the clients, even though we were drafting documents that touched on some emotional subjects,” said Chrissy Dixon (’16). “It was in a really small town, and the folks there seemed genuinely grateful that we were offering these services for them. They thanked us profusely.”
There are five core goals of the Wake Forest University School of Law Pro Bono Project:
(1) offer student assistance attorneys who provide high quality, low-cost legal services to individuals in need,
(2) expand the number of pro bono projects in our community,
(3) enhance legal education by offering students with pre-clinical opportunities to develop practical legal skills,
(4) encourage greater participation in pro bono work among the local bar, and
(5) to create a life long commitment to pro bono work among law school students and alumni.