About Rocky Cabagnot, Fractional General Counsel for Nonprofits (Especially Head Start/Early Head Start Programs and Community Action Agencies)
Attorney Rocky Cabagnot grew up in Salisbury, North Carolina. He is a proud graduate of the Class of 1992 of Salisbury High School (Go Hornets!). He furthered his education in the 'Southern Part of Heaven' at the University of of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received his Bachelors Degree (Go Heels!). Following a call to become an attorney, Rocky ventured down to sunny Gainesville, Florida and obtained a Juris Doctor degree (with Honors) from the University of Florida Levin College of Law where he served as Senior Research Editor of the Florida Law Review (Go Gators!).
Spurning a career in corporate law after graduation, Rocky started his legal career at Three Rivers Legal Services in Gainesville, Florida - first, as an AmeriCorps Housing Attorney and later, as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, where he designed an innovative access to justice project to serve the legal needs of the low income community in rural north central Florida. After his public interest law fellowship, he made his way to Florida's capitol, Tallahassee, where he started a Community Economic Development legal unit at Legal Services of North Florida where he provided direct legal services to affordable housing and community development related nonprofits throughout the Florida panhandle.
In 2012, he returned home to North Carolina, where he was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Law at an ABA accredited law school in Charlotte, North Carolina. During his tenure at the law school (2012-2017), Rocky developed and supervised a legal clinic (staffed by certified legal interns) that provided free legal services to Charlotte area nonprofit organizations. Additionally, he has taught as an adjunct professor in the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Master of Public Administration program teaching courses in public administration law and nonprofit capacity building. From 2017 through 2019, Rocky spent two years running the Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency (a multi-million dollar federally funded nonprofit) as its Executive Director where he oversaw a Head Start program that served over 1000 children and families throughout five counties and a federally funded CSBG workforce development program in Rowan and Cabarrus Counties.
In October 2019, Rocky decided to return to the full time practice of law and joined the law firm of Hull & Chandler P.A. He is a Member in Good Standing with the North Carolina and Florida Bars.
Testimonials on Rocky's work:
When it came time to create our non-profit foundation, we had a lot of questions. From start to finish, Rocky explained every step and option in detail. He has a deep knowledge what it takes to successfully launch and operate a non-profit. Once all of the paperwork was finished, he e spent considerable time training us on all the ins and outs of running our organization efficiently, which we found invaluable. His knowledge and patience have been so critical to our success in getting this venture off the ground.
Board of Directors
Steve Wilks 3T Foundation
Rocky worked with us through the legal and governance process to establish our 501(c)3 public charity. He was extremely diligent in everything that he did, helped us through every step and answer every question we didn’t even know that we had! His governance training was extremely informative and thorough, and we continue to refer to it often even without him there to guide us personally. Rocky helped us through the process of establishing our Board of Directors and draft our Bylaws in a manner that was thoughtful and can stand the test of time. He provided legal opinion and guidance throughout the process and followed up continuously to ensure that all was taken care of in a timely manner. I would recommend Rocky to any non-profit!
Katie Church, President and Chair of the Board
David Moore Foundation
Southend ARTS is thrilled to recommend Rocky Cabagnot for all of your nonprofit charity needs.
Rocky consistently made himself available from our first interview through the filing of NC nonprofit incorporation. He expedited our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in record time. Rocky was brilliant in customizing SEA ByLaws to satisfy our unique needs. He helped our organization get off the ground by officiating at our 1st BOD election of officers, suggesting the Secretary’s Report format and completing governance training... all of which officially established our organization in record time.
He was extremely thorough in everything that he did. He provided legal opinion and guidance throughout the process and followed up continuously to ensure that all was taken care of in a timely manner. We have developed an ongoing friendship.
K. Liles, Founder, Southend ARTS