Local Casey Steen Celebrating 40 Years Of Pisgah Legal Services - Brevard NC


December 10, 2018

Casey Steen

This year, nonprofit Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) celebrates 40 years of increasing access to justice by providing free civil legal aid to local people who cannot afford to hire an attorney, according to a press release.

Casey Steen, a Transylvania County native, is a PLS attorney who is committed to making life better for people living in poverty.

"I'm a product of public education in North Carolina," he said. "Every classroom I've ever been in - kindergarten to law school - was subsidized by the people of North Carolina. It wouldn't feel right not to stick around and do as much good as I can."

As an attorney for PLS, Steen works with people who are often in terrible times of crisis.

Staff attorneys and a network of approximately 300 volunteer attorneys help low-income people who are on the verge of homelessness, domestic violence survivors who need protection and help rebuilding their lives, the elderly at risk of consumer fraud, veterans who need benefits, abused children, and people in need of health care.

The need for legal assistance for people living in poverty is what inspired a small group of lawyers to start PLS 40 years ago.

They knew that people involved in civil legal battles without re-presentation were at higher risk of losing their homes, their livelihoods, and possibly even their lives.

Pisgah Legal Services was formed by volunteer lawyers out of a small room in the Buncombe County Courthouse in 1978.

Not long after, in 1980, the nonprofit expanded to serve Transylvania Hender-son, Madison, Polk and Rutherford counties.

In 2015, Pisgah Legal Services opened an office in Transylvania County. Today that office is located at 137 N. Broad St. in Brevard.

For four decades, Pisgah Legal has provided much-needed legal assistance to thousands of people seeking to meet their basic needs.

Last year alone, PLS helped more than 500 people living in Transylvania County.

It was this commitment to public service that drew Steen to the nonprofit, according to the news release.

After graduating from Rosman High School, he left for UNC Chapel Hill where he completed his undergraduate and law degree.

While in law school, he interned with Pisgah Legal Services.

"It was an incredibly eye-opening experience," says Steen. "Even though I had lived in the area my whole life, I was totally unaware of the huge unmet legal needs of this community, and how much difference an attorney could make in the lives of people."

He knew he wanted to return to Transylvania County to represent his community if he ever had the opportunity.

Right after he graduated with his law degree, Pisgah Legal Services opened an office in Brevard. The timing was perfect.

Each year, Pisgah Legal strives to serve more people in need, but there are thousands more who are eligible and desperately need these life-changing services.

To help meet that need, Transylvania County residents Jacquelyn and Bruce Rogow established the Rogow Community Justice Gift Challenge.

Anyone who gives to Pisgah Legal Services by Dec. 31 will have their gift matched dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 to serve residents of Transylvania County.

To make a tax-deductible donation, go to http://www.pisgahlegal.org or contact Development Director Ally Wilson at (828) 210-3444 or via email at ally@pisgahlegal.org.

For more information, call Pisgah Legal Services at (828) 253-0406 or toll free at (800) 489-6144 or visit http://www.pisgahlegal.org.


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