Our founding fathers promised justice for all, and I have done what I can to maintain that promise. I have chosen to participate in groups and organizations that work to protect those with the least access to resources, the least access to education, and the least access to justice.
I volunteer with Dress for Success, both assisting with “suiting” and with career development (which includes interviewing skills, resume development, and job application). The confidence that the women gain during their visits to the Dress for Success facility is inspiring. They leave with constructive tips for obtaining employment and succeeding in their new jobs, and with visibly growing self-confidence.
Prior to taking the Bench, I earned a grant to represent asylees fleeing oppression and seeking refuge on our shores. I tutored in an elementary school, meeting with youngsters whose lack of English proficiency disadvantaged them in their classrooms. I volunteered and taught with the Red Cross for over a decade, passing on what I had learned about how to protect the injured and ailing. I represented victims of domestic violence free of charge through the Wake County Volunteer Lawyers Program and Project Together. As a member of the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers from 2002 until 2008, I took inspiration from our banner that read “[p]rotecting people’s rights.” I was a member of The Guilford Inn of Court, which meets to develop the ethical, professional, and legal skills of both bench and bar. Finally, I was very proud to be associated with the JayCees, especially for chairing the “Suits for Summit House” project, which collected business clothes for women living in a home that serves as a sentencing alternative for pregnant women and mothers convicted of nonviolent offenses
I believe that our courts are not only responsible to the people, but responsible for providing a fair and balanced playing field to the people who are at highest risk.