Meet Robin

Buncombe District Court Judge Candidate Robin Merrell

Buncombe District Court Judge candidate Robin Merrell‘s deep experience includes litigation, policy, legislation, social work programs, and community organizing. Robin is Managing Attorney at Pisgah Legal Services, which provides an array of services, including free civil legal aid services, anti-poverty advocacy, and access to health care in 18 WNC counties and the Qualla Boundary.

In addition to practicing law—representing disadvantaged children, elders, at risk families, people with disabilities, and domestic violence victims—Robin directs Pisgah Legal’s Housing, Consumer, Veterans Law, Social Work, and Community Economic Development programs. Robin is known in both her professional and personal life  for demonstrating respect for each person’s individual dignity and worth.

Robin Merrell was born in Asheville and raised in Madison and Buncombe counties. She lives in northern Buncombe County. Robin graduated from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem and the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill. Buncombe District Court Judge candidate Robin Merrell has dedicated her career to Public Interest Law. Public Interest Lawyers seek the public good through working tirelessly to protect our rights, well-being, health, and finances. When Robin began her career, less than 2% of all attorneys chose to improve systems and change lives by choosing careers as Public Interest Lawyers.

Robin’s Leadership for Veterans, Survivors of Domestic Violence, and Immigrants

Over the past 22 years of service as an attorney at Pisgah Legal, Robin has managed community-based programs including Benefits, Domestic Violence Prevention, Veterans Law, and Immigration. Robin has also led advocacy efforts at the regional and state levels to increase housing resources for low-income families and people experiencing homelessness.

Simultaneously, Robin Merrell has worked with approximately 3,200 families or individuals to secure housing, income, and legal rights in our region by arguing cases in both bench and jury trials in the North Carolina District Court, North Carolina Superior Court, and North Carolina Court of Appeals. In all things, Robin ensures that all people are treated with dignity and worth.

“The things that make us different should have no impact on our ability to access justice.

Robin Merrell, Public Interest Attorney, Candidate for Judge in District 28

Robin is Proven Leader on Public Safety & Quality of Life

Buncombe District Court Judge candidate Robin Merrell was a founding member of the West Riverside Operation Weed and Seed Steering Committee. From 2005 to 2010, this community-led, U.S. Justice Department initiative served West Asheville neighborhoods that were experiencing a higher vulnerability to crime. Weed and Seed deeply engaged residents of Pisgah View Apartments in particular. Members helped restore neighborhoods, offered useful neighborhood-driven programs, fostered trust and communication with law enforcement, and built momentum for positive change.

Robin has decades of experience representing people of all ages in Buncombe County who are survivors of violence and discrimination. Her clients trust Robin to fight for them and to deliver outcomes that make their lives better and that make our entire community safer and more fair.

Robin Volunteers in Every Part of the County We Call Home

Buncombe District Court Judge candidate Robin Merrell is a volunteer who has collaborated with people in every part of our county. She was a Member of Racial Justice Coalition. Robin is an appointee to the Asheville Regional HOME Consortium Board. She served as the chair of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Housing Coalition and on the Buncombe County Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee. Recently, she was invited to join the WNC Leadership Forum and is one of 100+ Women Who Care Asheville. See more examples of Robin’s service on her resume.

“I will serve all the people of Buncombe County.”

Robin Merrell, Public Interest Attorney, Candidate for Judge in District 28

Robin is Nationally Recognized for Leadership on Public Safety

Robin Merrell is the author of the nationally recognized “Looking Homeward: the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness in Asheville and Buncombe County” that reduced chronic homelessness by 82 percent since its implementation.

Robin is a William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations

Buncombe District Court Judge candidate Robin Merrell is a William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations through the Wildacres Leadership Initiative. Wildacres is a network of diverse leaders across North Carolina. The fellowship is a two-year competitive intensive leadership training course where individuals learn core practices and values.

Robin Needs Your Support Now and Your Vote on March 5, 2024

We invite you to join this grassroots campaign to elect Robin Merrell as a judge for all the people of Buncombe County. Get involved. Donate. Thank you!

Robin Improves Lives and Increases Fairness & Safety

District Court Judge Candidate Robin Merrell has deep and diverse legal experience as a Public Interest Attorney in Buncombe. For more than 22 years, Robin’s clients have trusted her to fight for them and to deliver outcomes—outcomes that make their lives better and that make our entire community more safe and more fair.

Veterans Law Experience

Veterans Law. Robin has helped low-income veterans use the law to help them overcome service-related issues that have reduced their ability to live self-sufficiently. Robin has represented partially and fully disabled and homeless veterans.

Family Law Experience

Family Law. Robin has helped parents, grandparents, immediate family, and guardians fight to protect and ensure care for the children, elders, and vulnerable people they love. Robin has represented survivors of domestic abuse and child abuse.

Housing Law Experience

Housing Law. Robin is experienced in landlord/tenant law, which aims to ensure that housing is fit and safe for habitation. Robin has represented low-income and homeless families, people fleeing domestic violence, and people in substandard housing.

Immigration Law Experience

Immigration Law. Robin helps seek protection of minor children whose parents are detained or deported and helps people seek legal immigration status.

Litigation Experience

Litigation. Robin’s more than 20 years of litigation experience has honed her critical thinking, attention to detail, curiosity, organizational and communication skills, and empathy.

Mediation Experience

Mediation. Robin has successfully used mediation in cases in which all parties are willing to compromise. Mediation can resolve disputes when safety is not at risk.

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