Anne Lafferty Crotty received the John B. McMillan Distinguished Service award on May 23, 2019, at the Mecklenburg County Bar annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. North Carolina State Bar President G. Gray Wilson presented the award.
Ms. Crotty received her law degree from UNC Law School in 1975, where she graduated in the top ten percent of her class. Immediately after being admitted to the bar, Ms. Crotty opened a private practice in Hickory, North Carolina. She helped start the Catawba County Council on Status of Women and the local hospice. In 1990 Ms. Crotty moved to Pennsylvania, where she worked as a staff attorney at Laurel Legal Services in Pennsylvania, practicing in the areas of domestic violence, family law, and bankruptcy.
In 1997 Ms. Crotty returned to North Carolina and spent eight years teaching high school.
In 2005 Ms. Crotty joined the International House Immigration Law Clinic where she worked until she retired. Ms. Crotty’s practice focused on helping clients avoid victimization and assisting them in obtaining legal residency, in naturalization, and with family reunification. During her tenure at the Immigration Law Clinic, Ms. Crotty was instrumental in expanding the clinic’s capacity to serve immigrants with severe economic and social barriers. Ms. Crotty collaborated with local nonprofits to recognize the needs of the underserved immigrant community. She also served as the chair of the Mecklenburg County Bar Outreach Committee and co-chair of the immigration section of the Mecklenburg County Bar. From 2007 to 2012 she co-led citizenship workshops assisting local immigrants with naturalization. During this time she also participated in the Immigration Working Group discussing legal needs of the immigrant community in Charlotte. In 2017 she developed a pro bono program to expand citizenship representation to low-income clients.
Ms. Crotty has used her passion for teaching to further serve the legal community. She has mentored members of the immigration bar as well as 11 McMillan Fellows. She has served as the keynote speaker for many programs for the Mecklenburg Bar, promoting diverse participation within the legal profession and encouraging members of the bar to offer pro bono services. She has presented CLEs cultivating the bar’s knowledge of immigration issues, and spoken at many community gatherings and faith organizations to educate the public on immigrant rights.
As stated by one of Ms. Crotty’s colleagues: “A book could be written on Ms. Crotty’s contribution to the Charlotte community and the hundreds of migrant lives she has touched. She is, in the highest and best sense, a lawyer of the people; one whose impact will extend far beyond those who have walked through her door.”
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