- Smithfield Office - Closed 9/30/2011
TO REQUEST LEGAL HELP, CALL: 1-866-219-5262 (toll free)
Johnston County residents are now served by
the Raleigh Office.
Residents of Harnett and Sampson counties are now served by the
In the News...
Aid of NC to close offices, reduce staff and services,
affecting thousands in NC
(August 5, 2011 Media Release)
County Bar Association to receive
2011 Chief Justice
Announces 2011 Pro Bono Award
(May 24, 2011 article, NC Bar Association)
Celeste Harris named Chair of the Board of
Legal Aid of NC
(June 21, 2011 Media Release)
"Residents respond to domestic violence"
(July 29, 2010 Clayton News-Star article)
honors Johnston County domestic violence,
abuse victims" [video article, WRAL-TV News, July
[Also see WRAL-TV
posted article, July 22, 2010.]
[Also see 07/23/10 News & Observer article,
Shakes Johnston County"]
Smithfield's Thomas S. "Tom" Berkau receives
2009 William L. Thorp Pro Bono Award
Lisa Morgan elected Chair of LANC Board of Directors
(June 30, 2009 Media Release)
The Smithfield Office of Legal Aid of North Carolina began operating in Johnston County in November 1978, when the East
Central Community Legal Services opened a branch office in Smithfield
to provide free legal services to eligible residents of Johnston, Harnett
and Sampson Counties. With the aim of equalizing the stakes in access
to justice, Legal Aid focused on civil legal matters, such as landlord/tenant
disputes, custody/visitation issues, individual rights (wills, powers
of attorney), public benefits and consumer law concerns.
The first manager and the manager for twenty years was Leonard (Len)
Green. The only remaining staff member from the first staff is Ms. Jewette
Williams, who celebrated thirty one years of service in October
The first building for Legal Aid in Smithfield was the old school system
offices on Church Street. Legal Aid moved from that house in 2002 after
that office building was condemned, setting up temporary residence at
312 South Third Street. Now just a stone's throw away, the new offices
are at 300-A South Third at Spring Branch Corners, which is a modern
facility that will provide enhanced privacy and comfort for attorneys
and clients. Legal Aid currently shares their new quarters with a physician's
When Legal Aid began to serve area residents, most members of the private
bar were cooperative and then, as now facilitated in the primary goal
of Legal Aid: Access to Justice. As the first manager, Len Green to
the Smithfield Herald's editor, Wingate Lassiter, in 1978:
"We're not really in conflict. We're in concert - to
promote equal justice, which means equal access
to the courts."
In July 2002, the name of the Smithfield Office operation was changed
to "Legal Aid of North Carolina-Smithfield Office", following the consolidation
of legal aid programs in North Carolina into Legal Aid of North Carolina.
Smithfield Office enjoyed support from many members of the
private bar, both in Smithfield and in the other service areas. City Pittard, Tom Berkau, the Mast Firm, Martin Tetreault, Kelly Daughtry,
Bob Spence, Jr...and many others have volunteered countless hours to
assist on a pro bono basis. Legal Aid of North Carolina also pays a reduced
fee to some attorneys to handle domestic law disputes. Because of these
collaborations, many Smithfield area residents, who otherwise would
have had to appear pro se (represent themselves), have been ably represented
by attorneys and to the benefit of all involved. The greater good has
been served by the selflessness of the many local attorneys and others
who understand the true spirit of justice and who are willing to facilitate
Legal Aid as it strives to further that end.
Although there have been recent moves and name changes/consolidations
for Legal Aid of North Carolina, the basic mission and areas of
service have remained consistent: to serve lower-income and elderly residents
in the area so that they may receive fair treatment and adequate representation
in the civil legal issues confronting them.
The materials contained on this website
are for information and educational purposes only and do not
constitute legal advice.
Also please note that Legal Aid of North Carolina does not
provide legal assistance by E-mail. Contact your Legal Aid of
North Carolina office or a private attorney if you need to speak
to an attorney regarding your particular situation.
Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that
provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in
order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers
to economic opportunity.