LANC - 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 Fayetteville Office.

In the News...

History

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 2009.

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 practice.

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.


Disclaimer

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.
See our complete disclaimer.

Mission Statement

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.

 

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