Last month, Team Emancipate NC participated in a panel discussion with Elizabeth Simpson’s UNC Law Students on the topic of communication between attorneys and clients. During the panel, they highlighted common mistakes made by attorneys, particularly when working with indigent clients who may be incarcerated. Toia Potts and Kerwin Pittman shared their personal experiences of being represented by appointed counsel and expressed feeling ignored and unheard. Their narratives emphasized the urgent need for a paradigm shift in legal representation.

Toia, Kerwin, and Dawn Blagrove then contrasted these experiences by advocating for an approach of representation that values the expertise of clients in their own experiences and needs. They discussed how true advocacy requires not only legal expertise but also a deep understanding and respect for the client’s unique perspective. They highlighted the pivotal role of lawyers as counselors and active listeners, working collaboratively with their clients to ensure their voices are heard and their rights are protected.