Pro Bono Honors Society Dinner
- Class of 2015: Jacob Boomsaad, Stephen Frost, Rebecca Hendrix, Heidi Muller, Hannah Nicholes, Rosa Ryan, Sarah Summit, Ashley Waring, Jeff Willison, Ben Winikoff, Denton Worrell
- Class of 2016: Carol Johnson, Kelsey Kolb, Maria Nkonge, Jessica Strokus, Madelyn Weeks
- Class of 2017: Jenna Coogle, Stephanie Jackson
Each of these students has logged 50 hours of pro bono in a single school year or 75 hours over multiple school years. These students have chosen to use their legal skills to improve the lives of individuals in the community who desperately need help. They truly embody the Pro Humanitate spirit of Wake Forest. A dinner with Dean Reynolds was held Wednesday, April 15, in Magnolia Hall to honor each of these students.
How Does Pro Bono Affect Your Career? Hear from a Pro Bono Honors Society Member: Hannah Nicholes
How many hours of Pro Bono did you do at Wake?
I believe I did 100+ hours in three years.
Which projects were you involved with?
I helped with the expungement clinic once or twice my 1L year but then branched off and began working with legal aid, volunteering once a week for 2-3 hours, which led to a summer internship, which led to me going in every Friday for 8 hours when I was able to, and then multiple times a week as I was able during my final semester 3L year. Post 1L when in went in I generally went in for a full work day, doing whatever people in the office needed done.
Do you feel as though pro bono helped you be a better law student?
Pro bono work definitely helped in that it allowed me to see what I would eventually do with my law degree, which in turn motivated me to work hard so I could some day help people.
Do you feel that pro bono has helped you in your profession?
I work for Legal Aid of NC in Morganton. I believe it is because of my pro bono work that I got my job – it provided me with examples of how I would be as a lawyer and with mentors outside of school who were willing to vouch for me as a candidate. Plus, I was already an ‘insider’ with legal aid by the time I applied. So much so that the managing attorney at legal aid in Winston once asked if they had hired me on/were paying me. My experiences also help me in my job because through my pro bono work I learned how to interview clients, how to read a judge, how to anticipate potential problems, and in general made me more comfortable doling out advice because I had been witnessing attorneys do it for 3 years through my volunteering.