Elon Law’s Natalie Morales receives North Carolina State Bar Pro Bono Service Award

Elon Law graduate Natalie Morales '09 has been selected to receive a North Carolina State Bar Student Pro Bono Service Award.

Natalie Morales

Given annually by the State Bar, the Pro Bono Service Award recognizes law students for extraordinary public service to the community.

During her three years at Elon Law, Morales contributed 675 hours of pro bono service, working with Lutheran Family Services, the Racial Justice Project of the North Carolina, American Civil Liberties Union, the Immigrant and Refugee Legal Resources Center, the Federal Public Defender’s Office of the Middle District of North Carolina, and the Elon Law Innocence Project, where she reviewed innocence claims by Spanish speaking inmates.

“Through her pro bono work, Natalie Morales has provided legal assistance to dozens of individuals, particularly immigrants and refugees, who might not otherwise have received the help they need,” said Elon Law professor Margaret Kantlehner, director of the law school’s externships, preceptors program, and capstone leadership experience. “We congratulate Natalie for her outstanding record of service and leadership in pro bono initiatives.”

When asked what motivates her to serve, Morales remarked, “Law can be an incredible way to effect change on multiple levels. I did not want to wait until I graduated from law school to gain legal experience or to start helping others, so I looked for ways to be engaged. Law school and legal practice are time intensive and demanding endeavors. It is easy to fill up one’s schedule and forget the importance of public service. It is a privilege to be a lawyer and to practice law, and we should ‘pay it forward’ whenever possible.”

Morales will continue “paying it forward” and serving her community in the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina, where she will begin working this August.

Awards will be presented at the 50-Year Lawyers’ Luncheon, October 22, in Raleigh.





– Tiffany N. Dyson, L’11