Legal Aid opens office in Elizabeth City, a community hungry for justice
ELIZABETH CITY - In January, while Elizabeth City residents continued to cope with last year’s tragic death of Andrew Brown Jr., we opened an office here, a signal of our commitment to help provide justice to a community badly in need of it.
"This community has experienced turmoil," said Reynauld Williams, senior managing attorney of our Ahoskie office, which serves Pasquotank and 10 other counties in northeastern North Carolina.
"Half of Elizabeth City residents and a third of Pasquotank County residents are African American," he said. "Issues of police misconduct and racial injustice strike a deep and sensitive nerve here. Andrew Brown’s killing was a serious wound that is still healing.”
“City leaders invited us to open this office in hopes that the justice we provide to those impacted by poverty, racism – or both – can help with the healing process. Our presence here wouldn’t be possible without the support of Mayor Parker and the City Council, and two generous donations from anonymous donors.”
While Legal Aid has always served residents of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County—from our Ahoskie office, via our statewide Helpline and statewide projects, and from a prior Elizabeth City office for a few years in the mid-80s—this new office will allow us to get closer to those who need our help, partner better with other service organizations, and work more closely with community leaders.
“We want to be a strand in the fabric that holds this community together,” said Max Baker, one of two attorneys in the office. “Everyone in Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County should know that we are here for them. If you’re struggling with eviction or other housing issues, domestic violence, public benefits, consumer issues and more, come to us for help.”
The office’s second employee, Elliotte Kiel, is expected to start as an attorney in the coming weeks.
“Stopping evictions has always been one of our top priorities at Legal Aid,” Kiel said, “and this work has never been more important than it is now. The end of the national and state COVID-related eviction moratoriums has led to a nationwide eviction epidemic. African Americans have long been disproportionately impacted by eviction and that hasn’t changed since the pandemic. I’m eager to start turning that tide here in Pasquotank County.”
The office’s third employee, paralegal Tammy McGough, has a better reason than most to be invested in the work of this new office: She is an Elizabeth City resident herself.
“The services that Legal Aid provides help strengthen families, stabilize neighborhoods and boost economies. We are helping to make Elizabeth City a more just and equitable place for all residents, and I am honored, overjoyed and humbled to be doing this work in the place I call home.”
The office is located at 524 South Road Street, in the Hugh Cale building, which is named after a former slave who became a business and political leader in Elizabeth City in the late 1800’s. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County residents who need legal help can call our Helpline at 1-866-219-5262 or apply online at legalaidnc.org/apply. Our website also hosts a robust collection of free legal education and self-help resources at legalaidnc.org/get-help. Due to COVID restrictions, residents should avoid visiting the office in person unless they have an appointment.
Elizabeth City Office: Fast Facts
Office opened in January 2022
Serves residents of Pasquotank County
Staffed by two attorneys and one paralegal
Satellite of our Ahoskie office
Operations are supported in part by generous donations from two anonymous donors
Address: 524 South Road Street, in the Hugh Cale Building
To get legal help:
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. Learn more at legalaidnc.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. Need legal help? Call 1-866-219-5262 (toll-free) or apply online at legalaidnc.org/apply.
Helen Hobson, Public Relations Associate, email@example.com