Skip to main content

Supporting Domestic Violence Survivors Seeking Child Custody (2024 Pro Bono Committee Program)

9:50        Welcome, Introductions, and Overview of Legal Aid of North Carolina and Challenges Facing Its Clients

10:00      Child Custody Initiation, Required Pleadings, and Logistics of Assisting With Child Custody Pleadings

Allison S. Constance, Legal Aid of North Carolina, Raleigh
Larissa Mañón Mervin, Legal Aid of North Carolina, Charlotte

During this session, the speakers present and explain statutes and procedural rules pertinent to child custody cases, and volunteers examine the forms necessary to initiate a child custody action and learn how to draft related pleadings. The speakers share practical tips for trial preparation for the purpose of preparing clients for self-representation and explain the client-selection process while providing specific guidance helpful for serving clients in poverty.

11:15      Break

11:25      An Introduction to Trauma-Informed Practice

Larissa Mañón Mervin, Legal Aid of North Carolina, Charlotte

A discussion of the concept of trauma is followed by an overview of the trauma-informed framework for client interaction and legal representation.

12:10      Adjourn

1:00        NCBA Pro Bono Committee Pro Bono Clinic | 1:00–3:00 PM

Join the NCBA Pro Bono Committee and Legal Aid of North Carolina for a pro bono clinic supporting survivors of domestic violence with initiating custody filings following the annual Pro Bono Committee CLE "Supporting Domestic Violence Survivors Seeking Child Custody."

The CLE trains attorneys, paralegals, and law students how to effectively gather information and initiate a court action for child custody and the clinic allows volunteers to put what they learn into practice.

Volunteers learn everything they need to know during the CLE, family law experience is not required.

Click here to sign up.

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for Supporting Domestic Violence Survivors Seeking Child Custody (2024 Pro Bono Committee Program).


This program teaches attorneys, paralegals and law students how to effectively gather information and initiate a court action for child custody, in a manner that avoids re-traumatizing the client. It includes introductions to the relevant laws and procedures as well as practical tips on preparing pleadings and forms.


  • Allison S. Constance

    Allison S. Constance is the Director of Pro Bono Programs at Legal Aid of North Carolina in Raleigh. She joined Legal Aid in 2023.

    Allison worked as Director of Pro Bono Initiatives at UNC School of Law from 2016-2023, where she also served as an adjunct professor. She began her career as an attorney at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services Inc.

    Allison earned her B.A., with honors, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D., with honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Allison.

  • Larissa Mañón Mervin

    Larissa Mañón Mervin is the Regional Managing Attorney of Legal Aid of North Carolina's Charlotte Metro region, where she oversees the Charlotte, Concord, and Gastonia offices, and manages the Charlotte office's operations, personnel, and case work in a variety of practice areas, including landlord-tenant, domestic violence, family, and consumer law.

    Prior to serving as Regional Managing Attorney, Larissa worked in various roles at Legal Aid NC, including as supervising attorney with Legal Aid NC's statewide Pro Bono Program, supervising attorney with the Domestic Violence Unit at Legal Aid – Charlotte, and as a domestic violence staff attorney in the Concord, Raleigh, and Durham offices. In those roles, she primarily represented survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse in their civil protection order cases.

    Larissa serves on various boards and bar associations, including the American Bar Association, North Carolina Bar Association, and Mecklenburg County Bar Association.

    Larissa earned her B.A., summa cum laude, in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Larissa.

  • Katherine S. "Katie" Moye

    Katherine S. "Katie" Moye the Wake County Senior Family Law Attorney and Family Law Section Lead at JusticeMatters, Inc. (JM). JM is a non-profit law firm, founded in Durham in 2009, which provides free trauma-informed immigration and family law services to clients who have survived human trafficking or are particularly vulnerable to it.

    Katie began her career as a DSS attorney in Catawba County and worked briefly as an associate in the family law section of a Charlotte firm before relocating to Raleigh in 1997. She was an associate and partner at a small family law firm for more than 20 years before joining JM in 2018 to open their Wake County office.

    Katie earned her B.A. in Political Science from Louisiana State University and her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Katie.

  • Katelyn M. "Katie" Riddle

    Katelyn M. "Katie" Riddle is a Paralegal working in-house at Lincoln Financial Group in Greensboro. In her current role as Senior Paralegal, she supports and is involved in a wide array of life insurance matters. Her previous work includes workers' compensation, contracts, and employment matters. In addition to her employment. She is a North Carolina Certified Paralegal.

    Katie is a second-year evening law student at North Carolina Central University School of Law, where she also serves in the Student Bar Association as Evening Representative, the Secretary of The Innocence Project, and the Secretary for the Trial Advocacy Board. Katie earned her Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Government at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She earned Paralegal Certificate from Greensboro College

    In 2022, Katie was awarded the Outstanding Paralegal Pro Bono Award for her community service and pro-bono work. In 2023, she was awarded the Distinguished Paralegal Award. She was inducted in the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center's Pro Bono Honor Society for Paralegals for 2021, 2022, and 2023.

    Lastly, Katie holds the following designations: Certified Information Privacy Professional - United States, Fellow, Life Management Institute, Associates, Insurance Regulatory Compliance, Associates, Reinsurance Administration, Associates, Customer Service and Certified Associates in Project Management.

    Click here for more information about Katie.

Click here to view Forms and CLE Policies, Terms and Conditions.

If paying by check, click here for a printable registration form. Please reference the live webcast program code 291PBP.

Certificate of Completion and Archived Video: Your certificate of completion and archived video will be available approximately two weeks of the program date and can be found in your CLE account. MCLE credit is available to registrants only on the day(s) of the live event. This archived content is offered solely for review purposes and is not a substitute for live attendance.

April 10, 2024
Wed 9:50 AM EDT

Duration 2H 20M

This live web event has ended.

For Technical Support
*for callers residing outside of the United States