Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy Celebrates Justice Through the Decades

50th Anniversary Culminates in Celebration of History, Impact

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy (formerly Legal Services of Southern Piedmont) celebrated 50 years of pursuing justice at its “Justice Through the Decades” celebration at the Mint Museum Randolph April 19.

The event presented by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP and Moore & Van Allen LLP marked the culmination of the organization’s 50th anniversary celebration, which featured a variety of community service initiatives and events to celebrate the organization’s history as a champion for those in need ensuring security, safety and stability for all in the Charlotte region.

The evening celebration which featured live music “through the decades” by Smitty Flynn and the Rivieras as well as exhibits of history, photographs and multimedia presentations displaying Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy’s impact, began with a short program highlighting how far the organization has come and where it is going in the next 50 years of advocacy for low-income people.

“Since 1967, this type of advocacy has positively impacted hundreds of thousands of low- income needy families in the Charlotte area and across the state,” said attorney Doug Sea during the program.

Sea has been with Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy since 1984, using litigation to ensure the needs of low-income clients are being met and their civil rights are upheld.

“What makes our systemic work so effective is that it is based almost entirely on the stories of our individual clients,” Sea said. “We see the on-the-ground impact of these practices and we work to stop that harm from happening again to someone else.”

The program’s highlight came when Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy board of directors president Todd Stillerman recognized executive director Ken Schorr for his 30 years of service with the organization with the announcement of the Kenneth L Schorr Sustainable Projects Fund in his honor.

Schorr made funding diversification a priority to stabilize the organization’s work to pursue justice early in his tenure, laying the foundation to make the tough, but necessary, decision for Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy to stop accepting federal Legal Services Corporation funding in 2002 to continue addressing the root causes of poverty through systemic change.

The “Ken Fund” will ensure this legacy continues as a flexible, stable source of funding to support Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy’s integral community services.

“Justice Through the Decades” and the previous year of service and celebration would not have been possible without Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy’s 50th anniversary sponsors.

Their unwavering support of Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy this year and in many years prior has enabled this organization to serve the community in ways that have shaped local and state law, policy and procedures to improve access to housing, healthcare, safety, economic security, family stability and ultimately, opportunity.

In addition to the evening’s event sponsors, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and Moore & Van Allen, 50th anniversary celebration sponsors included:

  • Alston & Bird LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • Parker Poe
  • Robinson Bradshaw
  • Bank of America
  • Dechert LLP
  • Hunton Andrews Kurth
  • Katten Munchin & Rosenman LLP
  • Kilpatrick Townsend
  • Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft
  • Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP
  • K&L Gates
  • Mayer Brown
  • Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Bradley
  • Duke Energy
  • Mecklenburg Bar Foundation
  • Nelson Mullins
  • Poyner Spruill
  • Troutman Sanders
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy (formerly Legal Services of Southern Piedmont) provides expert legal advice and representation to those who cannot afford but desperately need them, something the organization has been doing since its inception in 1967. Each year, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy serves 3,500 families each year who are facing a crisis of safety, shelter, health or income. Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy provides committed advocacy work on behalf of clients, resulting in policy changes at the local and national level to impact a greater number of people. Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy is a champion for those in need, ensuring their safety, security and stability.

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