The Pro Bono Program is administered by a 13-student board and one faculty supervisor who work throughout the year with community partners, legal aid offices, law school student groups, professors, alumni, private attorneys, and fellow students to facilitate individual pro bono projects, special clinics, and group trips in which students can participate. Each February, the director for the following academic year is chosen by interview process by the current board from those currently serving board members who apply for the position. Applications for open board positions are then solicited from the student body each March, and open positions are filled by interview process by the current board.
Olivia Taylor, 3L
Olivia grew up in Washington, NC, and she graduated from North Carolina State University where she studied Political Science and Philosophy. UNC Law's public interest culture is what led Olivia to apply to only one law school. A special interest of hers was the Pro Bono Program at UNC Law. Olivia was hooked on the opportunity learn and gain experience outside of the classroom, but she found that the Program does so much more than that. One of Olivia's favorite parts about the Pro Bono Program is how it not only facilitates students meeting unmet legal needs, but it facilitates community within the law school. As Director, Olivia hopes to continue this theme of fostering community.
When she is not in the law school you can find Olivia eating burritos, spilling coffee, or jogging in the streets of Chapel Hill.
Attorney Projects Coordinator
Ashlee Suttle, 2L
Ashlee grew up in Lexington, NC, and she graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012 with a B.A. in Philosophy and History. Prior to attending law school, Ashlee lived in Germany for a few years, where she learned German, earned a M.A. in North American Studies, worked for an international law firm, and did plenty of hiking in the alps.
Coming from a smaller town in North Carolina, Ashlee is passionate about the importance of pro bono. As a 1L, Ashlee participated in several pro bono projects including Family Law Day during fall break, the Expunction Project, the Cancer Project, and many other individual attorney projects. Ashlee is excited to serve as the Attorney Projects Coordinator on the board, and she looks forward to connecting students with attorneys doing pro bono work across the state.
When she is not studying, Ashlee enjoys adventuring with her dog Zoee and traveling.
3L Class Coordinator
Dana Neely, 3L
Dana grew up in Chapel Hill and has lived in NC all her life. She majored in Psychology at Appalachian State University. Between college and law school, she worked in foster care research and raised money for nonprofit organizations and Democratic campaigns.
Dana finds pro bono immensely rewarding, and it has allowed her to engage in areas of law she otherwise might not have and speak confidently about her legal skills to employers. Most of all, she is heartened by helping those who otherwise would not have access to important legal services. Dana's professional interests include actual innocence, indigent defense, civil rights, and LGBTQ+ issues.
She enjoys cooking, having a cold drink on a porch with friends, and watching Netflix with her cat (but still considers herself more of a dog person).
2L Class Coordinator
Seth Morris, 2L
Seth is a 2L with an interest in environmental law, government relations, planning and land use, and real estate. At the law school, he is a Dean's Fellow, a member of the North Carolina Journal of International Law, and serves on the board of the Environmental Law Project. He also served as an intern with the NC Department of Justice.
Seth graduated from the University of the South in 2013 with a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Policy. Prior to law school, he worked in state politics, first as a campaign manager and then as a legislative assistant.
Outside of law school, Seth's primary interests are land conservation, politics, and North Carolina barbecue. He serves on committees for both the Conservation Trust of North Carolina and the Triangle Land Conservancy. On weekends you'll find him hiking, going to UNC sporting events, or smoking whole hogs over hardwood coals.
1L Class Coordinator
Sierra Lyda, 1L
Sierra grew up in Hendersonville, NC. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in December, 2015, with a B.A. in Psychology and Interpersonal and Organizational Communications. She also completed the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business Essentials Program, receiving certification in 2014. During her undergraduate career, Sierra participated in an honors study abroad program in Rome, Italy, and interned in San Francisco, California, for the web-based company Airbnb. After graduation, she returned home to Hendersonville for a few months and coached the girls’ soccer team at Apple Valley Middle School. A former player herself, she loved getting to shape the soccer program that once shaped her.
Sierra was attracted to the Pro Bono Program because it gives students a chance to gain invaluable legal experience while giving back to the communities around them. As the 1L Class Coordinator, Sierra is looking forward to helping her peers get connected, both with classmates outside of their respective colleges and with local attorneys, in a way that will leave a lasting positive impact. When she is not attending class or reading in preparation for class, she spends her time playing soccer and tennis, attending Zumba classes, painting, and drawing.
Alumni Outreach Coordinator
James Wudel, 2L
James is a 2L who is working on making a home in Durham with his wife Molly. He graduated from Davidson College with a BA in English, and he spent several years working abroad for an environmental non-profit. He was drawn to UNC by the institution's deep commitment to public service, and is looking forward to becoming more engaged in the law school and the legal community. Outside of law school, James can often be found playing various stringed instruments, riding a bike, or reading science fiction.
Special Projects Coordinators
Brittany Brattain, 3L
Brittany grew up in Florence, SC and graduated from Furman University with a B.A. in Psychology. After graduation, Brittany worked in public policy which opened her eyes to legal issues left unaddressed by routine advocacy and legislative action.
At UNC Law, Brittany participated in client-focused pro bono projects like the Cancer Project and Lawyer on the Line. As a 2L she served on the Board of the Cancer Project and as a 3L she will continue to lead the project in her role as Special Projects Coordinator. In this role, Brittany hopes to improve volunteer experiences by providing first-time volunteers with opportunities to build confidence through hands-on learning experiences and reflection and by providing veteran volunteers with opportunities to grow through mentorships.
Outside of school, you can find Brittany training for her next running race, cheering on the Tarheels, or singing at a concert.
Elizabeth Paillere, 2L
Elizabeth grew up in Anchorage, AK. She graduated with her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting in 2012. For the five years prior to law school, Elizabeth spent her time volunteering for her husband’s unit on Fort Bragg, NC. Elizabeth’s desire to serve led her to apply to UNC Law for the sole purpose of applying to the JAG Corps with the Army in an effort to continue a life of service. Elizabeth is drawn to projects that enable her to be a part of something bigger than herself, which is precisely the reason she wanted to be involved with the Pro Bono Program.
When Elizabeth is not in class or studying, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her husband and her two children.
Student Group Projects Coordinator
Quisha Mallette, 3L
Quisha grew up in Greenville, NC and graduated from Hampton University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Spanish. She later earned a Master of Arts degree in Communication and Culture from Howard University. Prior to attending law school, Quisha managed a non-profit literacy program serving court-involved youth. Her passion for education and justice brought her to UNC Law. While at UNC, Quisha has participated in several pro bono projects and served as Pro Bono Co-coordinator for the Education Law and Policy Society and the Black Law Students Association. Quisha is excited to be Student Group Projects Coordinator this year, and looks forward to helping student groups find their perfect match... an amazing pro bono project!
Public Relations Coordinator
Kerry Dutra, 2L
Kerry grew up in Oxford, NC and completed her undergraduate degree at UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in both Public Health and Global Studies. As an undergraduate student, Kerry discovered her passion for global health and public service. She quickly developed a niche for grant-writing and program development – interning at both Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina and The Carter Center.
Kerry continued her passion for public service during her first year of law school, getting involved with the Pro Bono Program through its winter break trip to Cherokee, NC. As the PR Coordinator, Kerry hopes to help create a unified message for the Program and spread this message throughout both the UNC Law and local legal community. She is excited to build upon the Program’s existing marketing and outreach infrastructure and to share her love of Pro Bono with others in the UNC Law community.
Special Trips Coordinators
Kyle Grusholt, 3L
Kyle was born and raised in southern Maryland. He attended High Point University and graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy and a minor in Communications. As an undergrad, Kyle was an active member in the student government association, the honors program, the philosophy and politics clubs, inter-residence council, and was a resident assistant. He also became a member of the Pi Kappa Phi National Fraternity as well as the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity where he dedicated much of his time to community service work.
One of the main reasons that Kyle chose to attend UNC School of Law was because of the strong dedication to helping the community that is fostered through the Pro Bono Program. Kyle volunteers with the Cancer Project and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, and he has participated in numerous special trips across North Carolina assisting clients with a variety of legal needs. Kyle’s passion for using his skills to give back to the community has only grown since beginning his time at Carolina Law, and he looks forward to encouraging others to do the same.
Outside of law school, Kyle enjoys spending time with his dog Melo, listening to music, hanging with friends, and cheering on the Tar Heels.
Becca Mitchell, 2L
Becca was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from the University of North Carolina with a B.A. in Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies. In addition to being Special Trips Co-Coordinator, she is Vice President of Carolina Law ACLU and a staff member on the International Law Journal. During her 1L year, she volunteered at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Crisis Unit, working with domestic violence survivors. In the summer of 2016, Becca was a judicial intern for the Honorable Frank D. Whitney in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. Becca has also worked as a research assistant for Professor M. Eichner, researching medical child abuse.
Winter & Spring Break Projects Coordinator
Megan Bishop, 2L
Megan grew up in Stuart, Florida, and she graduated from Florida Atlantic University Wilkes Honors College in 2012 with a B.A. in Liberal Arts and History. After graduation, Megan moved to Miami to serve as an AmeriCorps member in City Year Miami, an education reform non-profit. She continued for two years at City Year as the site Evaluation Manager.
Megan's life-long commitment to public service and social justice stems from her relationship with her brother Ian, who was born with special needs. She has participated in the Cancer Project, a transgender name change clinic, as well as taking on projects with community organizations. In fact, the very first pro bono project Megan took on her 1L year resulted in a summer internship. This year, Megan looks forward to connecting students to meaningful projects that create powerful change in the lives of clients and the broader community.
When she's not studying or organizing for myriad student organizations, Megan likes to garden with her husband, cook delicious vegan foods, and peruse local bookshops.
DIRECTOR OF PRO BONO INITIATIVES
Allison Standard, J.D. '09
Allison is a double Tar Heel, graduating with a BA in Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2006 and graduating from UNC School of Law with honors in 2009. Following graduation, Allison practiced law at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, most recently serving as the Assistant Director of Post-Conviction Litigation.
Allison joined the law school staff in 2016, and she serves as advisor to the Pro Bono Program. As a student, she was a member of the Pro Bono Board, was President of the Carolina Public Interest Law Organization, and worked as a Research Assistant with the Office of Public Service Programs. Allison has also been a member of UNC School of Law's Pro Bono Alumni Board, joining the board at its inception in 2012 and serving as chairperson from 2014-2015.
In her free time, Allison enjoys competing in triathlons, baking, and throwing pottery.