Kate Payerle '07 Honored for Pro Bono Legal Work with Families in Need

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – University of San Diego alumna Kate Payerle (’07) was honored Tuesday, September 11th, at a joint nonprofit awards night held at the Charlotte City Club to recognize pro bono attorneys and advocates for their generous work in the past year for families, children and individuals in need. At the first annual Pro Bono Awards, hosted by Council for Children’s Rights, Legal Aid of North Carolina and Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Payerle received the Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award as a recognition to her dedication to serving local families in need with donated legal services.

“Though not a particularly noble reason, I began doing pro bono work to develop courtroom advocacy and case management skills as a young associate,” Payerle said. “But the habit ‘stuck’ when I discovered firsthand what Legal Aid of N.C. has known all along: our remarkable system of justice is a disappointment – sometimes even an enemy - to those with no meaningful access to it. I can only hope my work with Legal Aid gives at least a few people access to - and renewed faith in - that system.”

Payerle accepted her first pro bono case with LANC in 2009. After two and a half years and 279 hours on the case, she not only achieved a favorable result for her client, but she also won her first pro bono jury trial in Mecklenburg County Superior Court. And more than that, the client credits her with helping restore his life.

Payerle is an associate at Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson and focuses on litigation practice on behalf of individual and corporate clients, aggressively litigating financial services industry disputes, personal injury lawsuits, employment litigation, agency proceedings, and trade secret claims.

The event was sponsored by Lawyer’s Weekly and Bank of America and drew a crowd of more than 200 attorneys, judges, advocates and community members.