Thursday, December 18, 2008

Invitation to be part of a great project!

As many of you know, I’ve been hired by and the NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence as their Legal Project Coordinator. As part of my job, I am coordinating a pro bono effort in NC to provide free legal services to DV victims throughout the state, this pro bono effort is called “DV Pro Bono Alliance”.

This is where you come in. I am putting together a list of attorneys interested in participating in this project. This would mean that in the upcoming year (2009) you will volunteer to assist with 2 victims of DV to help them obtain a restraining order (this will be throughout the year, not all at once). Cases usually take a few hours of your time and you will choose the county/ies that you are willing to go to. I will be providing the DV training on how to handle the cases. This will be a good opportunity to help protect an abused woman and her children.

If you are interested, all I need for now is your contact info (name, county, area of practice, phone #). Then, I plan to coordinate a training session in March, for which I will then contact you. If at this time you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the NC Coalition Against DV, 1-888-232-9124.

In this time of year, where we tend to share the best of ourselves and refocus on what we want for the new year, let's think about how this project could help us reach our goals of giving back.

Happy Holidays to all!

Brenda Rivera-Sanchez, J.D.
Legal Project Coordinator

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Here we go - Calling on all NC Attorneys!

I am very excited to be the Legal Project Coordinator for the Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Project in North Carolina. I've been meeting great people and making wonderful contacts around the state. An important part of the Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Project is the Domestic Violence Pro Bono Alliance. I am inviting NC attorneys to be a part of the Pro Bono Alliance. You will be helping DV victims and their children to be safe by assisting them in obtaining a restraining order. In a few weeks I have already enlisted 14 attorneys from all over the state. For detailed information on how you can be a part of the Pro Bono Alliance call me at 888-232-9124. More to come in the following weeks. --

Brenda Rivera-Sanchez, J.D.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Staff Attorney hired!

Ms. Rivera-Sanchez graduated from the North Carolina Central University School of Law. She is fluent in Spanish and has experience in developing and implementing outreach programs and trainings. She has worked on immigration and misdemeanor cases, and we feel she has a strong compassion and understanding for victims of domestic violence. We are very excited to welcome her on board and we look forward to her beginning with us in early September.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Information About the Project


The Legal Empowerment & Advocacy Project is a new project to be conducted in partnership by the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV) and, which will provide victims of domestic violence throughout North Carolina with better legal information, trained representation, and support. The Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Project will build on a successful six year collaborative relationship between the two organizations and will respond to the high demand for services from and NCCADV.

Project Activities & Goals

The primary activity of The Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Project is to establish a Staff Attorney, who will be employed by and will work in the NCCADV office. Specific goals are: 1) to create and maintain accessible legal materials for victims; 2) to provide comprehensive technical assistance to domestic violence advocates and lawyers in the state; and 3) to conduct trainings for lawyers and advocates around the state to increase their capacity to assist victims of domestic violence; and 4) to initiate and coordinate a pro bono attorney project with the goal of obtaining attorneys to volunteer to take 1 to 2 cases per year to represent victims of domestic violence. These goals will be carried out primarily by the new Staff Attorney who will:

  • Manage the NC content on, keeping the current information up to date and adding new information based on priorities determined in collaboration with the Public Policy Director and Executive Director at NCCADV.
  • Answer emails sent into the Email Legal Hotline from victims, friends and family members, and advocates in NC.
  • Conduct legal trainings for local domestic violence organizations throughout NC, giving first priority to organizations in rural areas, member programs of NCCADV, and Legal Aid of North Carolina.
  • Assist the NCCADV Public Policy Director to answer technical assistance calls regarding legal questions that come in from local advocates and allied professionals throughout NC.
  • Support the research needs of the Public Policy team at NCCADV by compiling legal statutes and case law from NC and surrounding states.

Funding for the Project


Altria Group $ 6,750

NC Governor’s Crime Commission $ 800

IOLTA Seed Funding $ 29,000

Matching Grant* $ 25,000

Smith Moore LLP $ 1,500

Cooley Family Foundation$ 5,000

Individual Donations $ 9,325

Sunshine Lady Foundation $ 11,500

Total Funding to be raised $ 15,977

Total Budget $ 104,852


The total one year budget for the Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Project is $104,852. The project has received seed funding from the NC State Bar IOLTA program in the amount of $29,000 with the opportunity of an addition $25,000 in matching funds. The law firm of Smith Moore has generously contributed $1,500 towards the project, and $7,000 has been raised in other donations, primarily as part of a fundraiser held in Charlotte on June 3rd. The Cooley Family Foundation has given $5,000 towards the project.

GOAL: An additional $15,977 needs to be raised to complete the budget for this year.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Support and Stay Tuned

The NCCADV and had an event on June 3 in Charlotte hosted by Anthony Foxx, Beth Froehling, Sally Higgins, Rona Karacaova, Deanna Lindquist, Elizabeth Martin, Erika Olsen, Jennifer Watson Roberts, Liza Sippe, Wendy Spanbauer, Dustin Taylor and Kristi Walters.

Thank you to everyone who attended or hosted the event to make it a success!

To continue to give your support to the NC Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Project you can donate online through
Network for Good. Or you can donate by mail by sending a check to at 55 Washington St., Suite 614 Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include "NC Project" in the memo line of your donation.

Background on Partnering Organizations

The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV) is a statewide non-profit membership organization providing support services to local domestic violence agencies and allied professionals. NCCADV was founded in 1981 and provides training and technical assistance to 90 domestic violence programs throughout the state of North Carolina. is a national non-profit which provides free and easy access to legal information for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault through: 1) a national comprehensive website of plain language, state-specific legal information; and 2) an Email Legal Hotline for personalized and ongoing help for victims and their advocates. Each month, more than 100,000 different individuals visit the website and the Email Legal Hotline responds to more than 500 emails.

Contact for More Information

You can contact Nina Gilbert at or by phone 718-534-7316 if you have questions or need more information.