Eric was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1992. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 1996, and was admitted to the North Carolina State Bar in 1997. After working for the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission and the Research Division of the Administrative Office of the Courts, Eric joined the staff of the Public Defender’s Office in Greensboro in February 1999. As an assistant public defender, Eric practiced exclusively in juvenile delinquency court and involuntary commitment court. Eric was appointed state Juvenile Defender by the Indigent Defense Services Commission in November 2004 and has served since then. The mission of the Office of the Juvenile Defender is to provide services and support to defense attorneys, to evaluate and improve the system of representation, to elevate the stature of juvenile delinquency representation, and to work with other juvenile justice actors to promote positive change in the juvenile justice system. Eric served as Director of the Southern Juvenile Defender Center from September 2010 through September 2014, providing resources and support for juvenile defenders in seven southeastern states. In 2013 Eric was among the first class board certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a specialist in criminal law- juvenile delinquency. Eric received the Robert E. Shepard Award for Excellence in Juvenile Defense from the National Juvenile Defender Center in October 2013. He was recognized as a Defender of Justice by the North Carolina Justice Center in 2018 and the North Carolina Bar Association Juvenile Justice Section Children’s Champion in 2019. Eric lives in Raleigh with his wife Becky and two daughters Rachel and Camille.
Prior to joining The Office of the Juvenile Defender, Kim Howes had been in private practice since 2011. Her practice focused on the representation of children involved in juvenile delinquency matters and adult criminal defense. She also worked part time with The Child’s Advocate, a nonprofit organization that represents children involved in high conflict custody cases, as well as children who have been victims or witnesses in criminal matters. Kim most recently co-wrote and co-edited the North Carolina Bar Association’s North Carolina General Practice Deskbook, Vol. 3, Criminal Law, Juvenile Proceedings – Delinquency section. It is scheduled to be published in early 2015. Kim has recently presented at The Child’s Advocate CLE training, “How to Represent a Child in a High Conflict Custody Case.”
Currently, she is a volunteer attorney with Teen Court in Wake County and participates in the WCBA Lawyers in Schools program. Before starting her practice, Kim practiced in the area of family law. Kim graduated from UNC School of Law in 2010. While in law school, Kim was an intern with The Child’s Advocate and The Office of the Juvenile Defender where she worked extensively on the Youth Development Center Commitment Project. She also participated in the UNC Juvenile Justice Clinic under the third year practice rule. Prior to attending law school, her career focused on child advocacy from a holistic and public policy perspective working at Prevent Child Abuse NC and The NC Child Advocacy Institute (currently NC Child) with emphasis on education, juvenile justice, and child abuse and neglect.
Kim is available to provide technical assistance to Juvenile Defenders through individualized case consultations, legal research and providing draft motions for your office. Periodically you may see her in juvenile court in your district as she continues to get to know defenders across the state. You will also be receiving emails from her about statewide defender calls as well as networking opportunities with other juvenile defenders across the state such as the informal lunches that have been hosted for juvenile defenders at the Spring Conference.
Kim can be reached by email here.