Elon Law students win pro bono award
Forty-three students from Elon University School of Law were recognized Nov. 19 with the Greensboro Bar Association's annual pro bono award for providing free tax return preparation assistance to elderly and low-income residents of Greensboro.
Law students partnered with Legal Aid of North Carolina in the spring of 2009, working through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, to assist numerous Greensboro residents with tax returns.
Elon Law student achievements through the program include saving clients $6,620 in tax preparation fees, assisting clients in obtaining $31,033 in federal refunds and $3,910 in state refunds, and helping clients to find $10,830 in earned income tax credits.
Erwin Fuller, partner at Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, presented the pro bono award on behalf of the Greensboro Bar Association.
"This group of law students is special because they chose, on a volunteer basis, to respond to a challenge and to champion a cause by reaching out and helping those in need of assistance," Fuller said.
Many of the students who participated in the pro bono clinic are now graduates of Elon Law. Alumnus Andrew Ackley coordinated the tax assistance clinic in the spring of 2009 and accepted the award on behalf of Elon Law students and graduates who participated in the initiative.
Elon Law professor Andrew Haile, who serves as faculty adviser for the VITA clinic at Elon, said law students intend to participate in the program again in the spring of 2010.