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Elon Law students provide free legal services for first responders

More than thirty law students participated in the North Carolina Bar Association's Wills for Heroes program on Dec. 17.

Elon Law students Melodie Menzer, left, and Brittany Capps participate in the North Carolina Bar Association's Dec. 17 Wills for Heroes program

The program was held in the Elon Law library in downtown Greensboro.

Wills for Heroes provides legal documents to first responders and their spouses at no cost. Wills, living wills and powers of attorney documents are discussed, drafted and executed by attorneys with the assistance of notaries and law students, all of whom are volunteers.

A total of 225 free estate planning documents were prepared for 85 first responders and spouses through the event. Approximately 24 attorneys and numerous notaries volunteered alongside law students to assist local police officers, firefighters and emergency medical service providers.

Students, like third-year law student Carrie Johnston, spent their time assisting attorneys as they met with clients and drafted wills and serving as witnesses while documents were notarized.

Marquis Barnett, a member of the Class of 2014 at Elon Law, assists the NCBA's Wills for Heroes program, held in the library of Elon Law Dec. 17, 2011.

“I enjoyed being able to work with an attorney to draft wills for two first responders and their spouses,” Johnston said. “It was great to work one-on-one with the clients and to help them ensure their families will be taken care of when they pass away, especially if these first responders are putting their lives on the line for others on a daily basis.”

The North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) Young Lawyers Division (YLD) is responsible for organizing multiple Wills for Heroes events across the state each year.

“This year we made the decision, whenever possible, to host the Wills for Heroes events at law schools,” said YLD Wills for Heroes committee co-chair Jillian Brevorka. “Law students are an integral part of the events and we thought hosting the events at various law schools in North Carolina would foster law student involvement and give the school an opportunity to show the legal community a bit about their facility, students and programs.”

Brevorka, an attorney at Peter J. Brevorka, P.C., and fellow co-chair Heidi Royal, an attorney at Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A., worked with Elon Law student Wills for Heroes committee members Austin Morris and Brittany Capps to plan the event at Elon Law.

“I think the most important thing about the Elon students being there was the fact that they didn't have to be,” said Capps. “As we all know, school is the last place we want to be after exams. But they all took time out of their Christmas shopping and sleeping to serve those who serve us.”
Numerous students from other law schools also participated in the event.

Click here for the North Carolina Bar Association’s report on the Wills for Heroes event.

By Courtney Roller L’13

Philip Craft,
1/19/2012 9:39 AM