Social Services

Social Services Attorneys Association


The membership of the assocation includes (1) attorneys who represent county social services agencies in North Carolina, (2) attorneys employed by the state who are resources for county social services attorneys, and (3) retired social services attorneys who wish to remain connected to the association. 

Members practice in a variety of settings. A growing number of social services departments employ one or more full-time, in-house attorneys. In some  counties, one or more attorneys in a county attorney's office are assigned to do social services work. And some counties retain or contract with private attorneys or firms for legal services. Sometimes the social services attorney also serves as attorney for the county's child support enforcement program.

How to Join

Attorneys who represent county social services departments are deemed to be members of the association. Attorneys who serve in this role should contact the Secretary to be added to the roster. Changes should also be submitted to the Secretary.


The association elects officers each year at its winter conference.

Officers for 2018-19 are:

President:  Rachael Hawes, Haywood County

Vice-President: Bernard Bush, Craven County

Secretary: Mona Leipold, Burke County

Treasurer: Jordan Israel, Haywood County


The association assesses annual dues of $10.  Dues are collected at the winter and summer conferences. 


  • The association's primary activities are its two annual conferences.
  • Many members participate in the DSS Attorneys' listserv.
  • The association has a representative on the AOC's Court Improvement Program Advisory Committee and the Social Services Working Group.
  • When the legislature is in session association members monitor and share information about proposed legislation.



Public Officials - Local and State Government Roles
Topics - Local and State Government