Pro Bono Projects: NC LEAP, Wills for Heroes, Lawyer on the Line
By Allison Constance Even though Alexa Whiteside has not lived in North Carolina long, she has already made her mark as a pro bono volunteer. Alexa moved to Davidson from Los Angeles in April 2019 and works for Ramo Law PC as a motion picture and television attorney. In just a year and a half as a North Carolinian, she has served clients through NC LEAP, Wills for Heroes, and Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Lawyer on the Line program, and she encourages others to take on pro bono work alongside her.
Alexa is currently working to get more sports and entertainment law attorneys involved in NC LEAP because the work is rewarding and very applicable to what they are already doing. Alexa often finds links between pro bono projects and her practice in unexpected ways. As a motion picture and television attorney, Alexa represents producers in all areas of the law, including general business affairs and contract negotiations.
As an NC LEAP volunteer, she has had the opportunity to answer many pro bono questions directly related to her daily work, as many entrepreneurs served by NC LEAP are artists and musicians with questions regarding intellectual property, corporate law, and social media issues. NC LEAP is currently operating in a remote format, allowing Alexa and other volunteers an accessible way to serve people across the state.
As a part of Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Lawyer on the Line program, Alexa has also worked with clients facing challenges due to COVID-19. While these calls are tough because people in our communities are struggling and losing so much, Alexa has found that it rewarding to advocate for others and to go beyond her typical practice area. In one case, she was able to work with a client to prepare a demand letter to in attempt to prevent her from losing her car and sole source of income. Alexa shared, “To do pro bono is a reminder of what everyone is dealing with and a grounding element that keeps me wanting to continue on being an attorney. Pro bono work reminds me of why I love what I do.”
As a young attorney, Alexa understands that the idea of doing pro bono may seem impossible, but she spreads the message that there is a special energy that you can get from doing pro bono work. She encourages other attorneys to explore all options provided by the NC Bar Foundation, VITA programs during tax season, and projects with local legal services organizations. “There’s something for everyone,” Alexa stresses, “regardless of their practice area.”
In addition to her pro bono service, Alexa is also on the NCBA Pro Bono Committee, Music and Film Committee Co-Chair of the NCBA Sports and Entertainment Law Section, a Professional Entertainment Female Attorneys (PEFA) committee member, and a member of the Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries as part of the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Division.