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The North Carolina Legal Education Assistance Foundation Helps North Carolina Lawyers Pursue Careers In Public Service Through Law School Loan Repayment Assistance.

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When I first received support from North Carolina Legal Education Assistance Foundation (NC LEAF) I was grateful to be able to work in a job I was dedicated to while still maintaining my loan obligations. What I didn’t realize at the time was the assistance set me on a path that would become a career in public service. From 1999 through 2004 I was an Assistant Public Defender in Greensboro, primarily representing children and youth in Juvenile Delinquency Court. I considered it a privilege to represent youth coming into contact with the justice system. NC LEAF supported me through those lean years. Because I was one of the only full-time juvenile defenders in the state, I was in a strong position to become the first State Juvenile Defender in 2005. The work of our office was to, among other initiatives, elevate the statute of delinquency practice. One of my first aspirations as Juvenile Defender was to create a specialization for delinquency representation at the North Carolina State Bar. I say “aspiration” because at the time I believed that this practice was unheralded among attorneys. But to my amazement the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization accepted our practice without hesitation, and created the Sub – Specialization of Juvenile Delinquency within the Criminal Specialization in 2012. So it is with great satisfaction for me that the Board of Legal Specialization and NC LEAF have joined together to provide scholarship opportunities for public service attorneys who wish to continue to follow their passion and, who knows, perhaps follow this path for their career.


Eric J. Zogry | Juvenile Defender

Office of the Juvenile Defender | Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law-Juvenile Delinquency

P.O. Box 2448 | Raleigh, NC 27602

Phone: (919) 890-1650 | Fax: (919) 890-1922 | www.ncids.org

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