MEDIA RELEASE: NC Justice Center’s Carlene McNulty awarded Countryman Consumer Law Award

McNulty to be honored by the National Consumer Law Center in Chicago with top honor for American consumer attorneys

RALEIGH (Nov. 4, 2011) – Carlene McNulty, a staff attorney and Director of Litigation at the North Carolina Justice Center, will be awarded the National Consumer Law Center’s Countryman Consumer Law Award this weekend, the top honor for consumer attorneys in the U.S.

Since 1990, the Countryman award has been given annually to a public interest attorney whose special contributions to the practice of consumer law have strengthened and affirmed the rights of low-income Americans. The award will be presented at the NCLC’s annual Consumer Rights Litigation Conference in Chicago on Saturday.

A specialist in consumer law, McNulty has helped co-counsel numerous class actions against predatory lenders. Last fall, McNulty and a team of litigators settled three class action lawsuits against payday lending companies – including Advance America, the country’s largest payday lender – for a total of $43.75 million for more than 364,000 class members.

The landmark case was the largest settlement against payday lenders in the United States, and McNulty and her co-counsel were honored with the Public Justice Achievement Award for their work in the North Carolina Payday Lending Litigation this past August.

McNulty joined the NC Justice Center’s predecessor organization, the N.C. Legal Services Resource Center, in February 1996, and has helped lead the Center’s litigation efforts ever since. McNulty earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the NC Justice Center, she worked at North State Legal Services, where she won the Julian Pierce Award as North Carolina’s outstanding legal services advocate.

Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, NC Justice Center,, 503.551.3615 (cell); Carlene McNulty,, 919.856.2161.