NCBA honors Elon Law for People Not Property Project

The North Carolina Bar Association will bestow its 2021 Law School Pro Bono Award on Elon University School of Law for a student-led effort to help transcribe and digitize 18th and 19th century bills of sale of those enslaved in Guilford County.

Elon Law students browse sales records of those enslaved in Guilford County as part of the People Not Property Project.

The student-led People Not Property Project has earned Elon Law recognition from the North Carolina Bar Association.

Elon Law will be honored on June 17 with the NCBA’s 2021 Law School Pro Bono Award at an awards celebration during the association’s annual meeting.

Over the past two years, student volunteers have spent many dozens of hours transcribing pre-Civil War bills of sale from the Guilford County Register of Deeds Office as part of a larger effort to build a searchable database of digitized records tied to North Carolina’s history of slavery.

The People Not Property Project is a collaborative endeavor between the University of North Carolina at Greensboro University Libraries, the North Carolina Division of Archives and Records and several local registers of deeds, among others.

Since completing the transcription of Guilford County records, students have turned their focus on helping nearby communities with similar work.

Julianna Kober L’20, former president of the law school’s student program, received Elon Law’s David Gergen Award for Leadership & Professionalism in part for role.