Elon Law students present donations to nonprofit organizations in the Triad

Through Elon Law's Lawyering, Leadership, and Professionalism course, four student groups presented donations to nonprofit organizations in the region at an evening reception with the legal community on November 11. The funds derived from monetary prizes the students received from The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in recognition of outstanding presentations and papers on the topic of lawyer leadership.

Sally Hayes-Williams, center, accepts a donation on behalf of Communities in Schools, from Elon Law students, including, from left, Gabriel Zeller, Ryan Spencer, Leona Schweins, Christopher McLain, Marina Emory, Lien To, Simon O’Brien, and Benjamin Snyder.

Communities in Schools of Greater Greensboro

On behalf of the student group that won first-prize for presentations and papers on lawyer leadership, Simon O’Brien presented a donation to Communities in Schools of Greater Greensboro.

“We chose Communities in Schools because of the work that they do with underprivileged children and the fact that they do it in our communities,” O’Brien said. “We felt that the most important thing we could have done was to provide as much as we could to this organization, with hope to get one of the children they serve to Elon Law one day and to open up what we have to the greater community.”

Sally Hayes-Williams, Great Leaps Reading Project Director at Communities in Schools, accepted the gift on behalf of the organization, noting that the funds would help the nonprofit connect needed community resources with schools in order to help students learn successfully, stay in school, and prepare for young adulthood.

“We do all that we can to ensure that not only the students, but also their families can benefit from having a good education and living in an environment and a community that helps each other,” Hayes-Williams said. “It is so reassuring to learn that Elon Law is not only preparing the great legal minds of tomorrow, but you are also fostering and inspiring the next generation of philanthropic citizens.”

Hayes-Williams also thanked the Center for Creative Leadership and noted that Communities in Schools serves students in a number of schools in the region, including Archer, Brightwood, Cone, Dudley, Frazier, Vandalia, and Washington elementary schools.

One Step Further

Yvonne Johnson, Executive Director of One Step Further, third from left, accepted a donation for the nonprofit from Elon Law students, including from left, Ann Ansley Revels, Mathew Schantz, Jeffrey Koehler, Heather Deal, and Jessica Anderson.

Law student Jeffrey Koehler presented a donation to the Greensboro nonprofit One Step Further on behalf of the second-prize winning student group.

One Step Further is a very valuable organization that provides such services as conflict resolution and sentencing solutions, and has a wonderful net positive presence on our community,” Koehler said.

Yvonne Johnson, Executive Director of One Step Further, accepted the donation on behalf of the organization.

“It is so important to be able to give your gifts and talents to people who are in need in your community,” Johnson said. “It makes all the difference in the world.”

Johnson also detailed the wide-range of services provided by the organization, including sentencing services and mediation services centers, the Guilford County Teen Court program, and a program called Keep it Real that works with young people who are in gangs. Click here for details.

Prize and Donation Details

Both O’Brien and Koehler expressed appreciation to CCL for awarding the monetary prizes to the student groups and for inviting them to donate the awards to United Way approved charities of their choice in the region.

Roland Smith, Skeens-Watson Visiting Professor of Leadership at Elon Law and senior faculty member at CCL, said students became much more excited about their prize winnings once they learned they would have the opportunity to donate the funds to nonprofits in the region.

“We hope the relationships students build with nonprofits through this experience become an enduring part of their professional lives,” Smith said. “It’s nice to be part of a law school and among students interested in making a difference now and not waiting for it.”

Smith said the law school and CCL sought to reinforce through the initiative the idea that the law is a service profession and that one of the responsibilities of being a lawyer is serving one’s community.

Concluding the presentation ceremony, law school dean George R. Johnson, Jr. said the various services being advanced by the school and its students in the region were beginning to change perceptions about lawyers.

“I say to people from time to time that lawyers don’t really have natural constituencies, but I think we are changing that view hear at Elon because of the work that our faculty and our students are doing in the community, and they will make this a part of their professional lives,” Johnson said.

The following list details the student groups recognized by the Center for Creative Leadership for outstanding presentations and papers in Elon Law’s Lawyering, Leadership, and Professionalism course, and the nonprofit organizations to which the students presented the entirety of their prize winnings, which totaled $2,100.

First-Prize presented to the student firm of Emory, O’Brien and To, LLP

Student Members: Erin Brady Rega, Marina Emory, Chris McLain, Simon O’Brien, Kelly Parker, Leona Schweins, Benjamin Snyder, Ryan Spencer, Megan Spidell, Lien To, B.J. Williams, Gabriel Zeller

Charity awarded: Communities in Schools of Greater Greensboro

Second-Prize presented to the student firm of Schantz, Koehler and Revels

Student Members: Mathew Schantz, Jeff Koehler, Ann Revels, Jessica Anderson, Kristen Rice, Will McNamara, Kent Tatum, Heather Deal, Danielle Kennedy, Selena Lackey, Olga Williams

Charity Awarded: One Step Further

Third-Prize (tie) presented to the student firm of Legal Success LLP

Student Members: Kerry Andrews, Nicole Catton, Jena Coley, Andrea Davis, Joseph Fulton, Brian Gallimore, David Lewis, Hasina Lewis, Jonathan Metcalf, Marie Michael, Tiffany Sexton, Richard Munday

Charity Awarded: Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro

Third-Prize (tie) presented to the student firm of Burke and Associates

Student Members: Joseph Baker, Stuart Bromfield, Megan Connole, Daniel Cormier, Robert Harrawood, Monique Johnson, Carrie Johnston, Jeffery Maggs, Nathan Proctor, Katelyn Slaughter

Charity Awarded: Triad Health Project

Click here to learn more about the Lawyering, Leadership, and Professionalism course at Elon Law.