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July 3, 2024

Pro Bono Spotlight: Carrie Hanger

This series is aimed at bringing attention to Nelson Mullins attorneys and legal staff who are committed to pro bono work as a part of their legal practice. See how they made a difference through pro bono!

Meet Winston-Salem partner Carrie Hanger, a seasoned healthcare law, biosciences, and antitrust attorney. Carrie has assisted healthcare systems, surgical centers, physician groups, long-term care facilities, hospices, home health providers, and entities engaged in the clinical research across the state of North Carolina and beyond, earning her recognition on the 2023 North Carolina Healthcare Power List.

Carrie's work in North Carolina includes her pro bono efforts with the firm. She believes being a lawyer is a gift and that it is her duty to offer her expertise to pro bono cases within her practice areas and beyond. She has extensively worked with the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts' Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program, representing children's interests, and striving to secure them loving and stable childhoods.

Why is pro bono important to you?

Getting to practice law is a gift.  With every gift comes certain responsibilities. To me, being a lawyer means that I should use the platform my profession provides to help people who may not otherwise have a voice. Also, as an added benefit, every pro bono project I have done has also helped me in some way.  The pro bono engagements have either taught me a new perspective or skill or otherwise enriched my practice by providing experience that I can use to help other pro bono and non-pro bono clients.  This is true whether the pro bono engagement specifically relates to my practice or not.  

Describe a compelling pro bono matter in which you were or are currently involved.

Especially since I became a parent, my involvement with the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts Guardian ad Litem program as an appellate attorney advocate has been particularly meaningful for me.  I represent the interests of children who have been determined to be abused, neglected, and/or dependent and often whose parent’s parental rights have been terminated.  The appeals often clear the way for children who have been dealt horrible circumstances to have stability and a chance to have an actual childhood by cleaning the way for an adoption, guardianship, or other placement.  I have been involved in the program since 2007 and have handled more than 20 appeals, many of which involved children living in heartbreaking circumstances and situations, including shaken babies, sexual abuse, children abandoned in a meth lab, and the like).

What pro bono accomplishment are you most proud of?

I have felt the proudest when working with clients who previously felt ignored or mistreated especially when it was the first time they felt their voices were truly heard. Also, I take great pride working with my colleagues and community partners to clear the way for a child to have a stable, loving childhood. I have felt this sense of accomplishment in a variety of pro bono cases, from representing a client in an action involving the violation of their First Amendment rights to the GAL appellate cases.