Jim Barrett Presented with Governor’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award at Pisgah Legal’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

On Wednesday, April 11 at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Pisgah Legal Services, Executive Director Jim Barrett was presented with North Carolina’s governor’s highest civilian honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award. This honor is given to individuals with a proven record of extraordinary service to the state.

Senator Terry Van Duyn presented the award to Barrett with approximately 400 Pisgah Legal supporters cheering in the ballroom of the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. Earlier in the evening, Pisgah Legal Services also paid tribute to outstanding supporters: Pat Smith, James Ellis, and Sarah Corley.

Gene R. Nichol, UNC School of Law’s Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor and poverty law expert, also addressed the crowd. He praised Pisgah Legal Services as his “favorite legal aid organization in the world,” saying,” We don’t just mouth phrases like ‘justice for all.’ We mean to demand them, to live ‘em out.”

Barrett first came to Pisgah Legal Services in 1983 as part of a two-year poverty law fellowship. After practicing housing and community development law for 10 years, he became the nonprofit law firm’s executive director. Under his leadership, Pisgah Legal Services has grown dramatically, from helping 2,080 low-income people annually in 1993 to more than 15,700 people in 2017. This year marks the nonprofit’s 40th Anniversary, and Barrett has been with Pisgah Legal for almost 35 of those years.

For more information, about the history and impact of Pisgah Legal Services, visit www.pisgahlegal.org.

Photo cutline: Senator Terry Van Duyn presents The Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award to Jim Barrett. (Jesse Kitt photo)