Past Recipients

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2018 Recipients

From left, Nicole E. Burleson 2L (NALSA), Jonathan V. Lewis 3L (NALSA), Meghan K. Moran 2L, Chelsea K. Barnes 3L (NALSA), Professor Donald T. Hornstein, Charles J. Johnson, Chief Justice Mark D. Martin '88, Miranda E. Goot 1L, Jake W. Edwards 3L, Emily Mistr '06. Not pictured: Ann Wall '78.

Sylvia K. Novinsky Award: Charlie Johnson

Charlie Johnson has quietly and diligently engaged in a wide variety of pro bono work over the course of his time at Carolina Law. Though he has logged over 300 pro bono hours during his law school career, it is the breadth of his commitment that is perhaps most impressive. He has taken on attorney projects, worked in the offices of community partners, volunteered with student group clinics, and gone on Pro Bono Program trips. Taking particular interest in criminal justice and immigration issues, he has also helped coordinate projects for the Immigration Law Association and other student groups.

3L Student of the Year: Jake Edwards

Jake Edwards has maintained a strong commitment to pro bono across his time at Carolina Law. He has been a leader with both the National Lawyer’s Guild’s Legal Observing program and Orange County’s Teen Court Program. Through these projects, he has taken an active role in facilitating pro bono opportunities for his fellow students. During his time at Carolina Law he has logged more than 300 pro bono hours.

2L Student of the Year: Meghan Moran

Meghan Moran has made significant contributions this year – both doing a great deal of pro bono work and facilitating pro bono opportunities for others. Despite the numerous demands of 2L year, she has logged over 200 pro bono hours. Perhaps more significantly, she has also served as the pro bono coordinator of both Women in Law and Law Students Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. With LSASDV, she coordinated the organization’s Ex Parte Projects wherein students work with attorneys to help sexual and domestic violence victims take out protective orders against their abusers.

1L Student of the Year: Miranda Goot

Miranda Goot has not only made a significant personal commitment to pro bono work but has also been leader in facilitating pro bono opportunities for her fellow students. She has logged over 200 pro bono hours this year by going on trips, volunteering with the Program’s Cancer Pro Bono Legal Project, and taking on numerous attorney projects. Miranda has also served as the 1L Class Coordinator for the Pro Bono Board. In this role, she has lead her class to 85% participation with the Program.

Alumnae of the Year: Ann Wall '78 and Emily Mistr '06

Ann Wall serves as general counsel at the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State. Over the course of the 2017-2018 school year, Ann submitted 12 projects for students, giving 35 opportunities to engage with the important work of the Secretary of State’s office. These projects covered a broad range of finance, intellectual property and business law. Going above and beyond creating these pro bono opportunities, Ann also organized an opportunity for the students who worked on these projects to meet with Secretary of State Marshall at the law school.

Emily Mistr is a public pefender in Wake County. In her spare time, Emily has become leader in North Carolina on the issue of Driver’s License Restoration. Her research on the issue has played an integral role in expanding efforts by the North Carolina Justice Center, in conjunction with District Attorneys and judges across the state, to help indigent clients restore their licenses when they are unable to pay costly fines. This spring, Emily joined the Pro Bono Program’s trip to Wilmington, N.C., working with students to counsel clients and help restore those client’s driver’s licenses.

Faculty Member of the Year: Donald Hornstein, Aubrey L. Brooks Professor of Law

Professor Hornstein has a commitment to pro bono both inside and outside of the law school. In conjunction with his work for the North Carolina Insurance Commission, he developed and led a multiyear project giving students the opportunity to work insurance underwriting for storm mitigation construction. Outside of the law school, he has volunteered his time with the North Carolina Justice Center’s Immigrants and Refugees Rights Project at Power of Attorney Clinics. Through this work, Professor Hornstein has taken time on his weekends to attend clinics across the state.

Student Organization of the Year: Native American Law Students Association Wills Clinic

Over the past several years, NALSA has been able to build a strong relationship with Legal Aid of North Carolina-Pembroke, the tribal seat for the Lumbee Tribe. For the past two years, they have taken a group of students to meet with clients and help draft wills, powers of attorney, and health care powers of attorney. With a small board of only four members, planning for this trip and adequately training students is a significant under-taking. This organization has executed this project diligently and to great success.

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