The law firm of Black, Slaughter & Black, which has four offices statewide, will now be doing business as “Law Firm Carolinas.” In addition, three attorneys have been named partners in the firm: Jennifer Ruby, who does general civil litigation, business litigation and appeals; Michael Taliercio, who manages the firm’s HOA/condo assessment collections practice and practices bankruptcy and parliamentary law; and Harmony Taylor, who practices community association (HOA and condo) law and civil litigation. More information at www.lawfirmcarolinas.com.
The International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) has announced that Andrew S. Chamberlin, a partner at Ellis & Winters LLP in Greensboro, North Carolina, has been elected president of the IADC for the 2020-21 term. The IADC, which is the preeminent invitation-only global legal organization for attorneys who represent corporate and insurance interests, has provided and continues to provide influential leadership on legal reform issues.
Mr. Chamberlin, who served as IADC president-elect for 2019-20, was formally installed as president as the IADC celebrated its 100th anniversary at the IADC’s 2020 Annual Meeting. The IADC also elected new board members for 2020-21, including new board leaders.
“I am honored to serve the IADC as its president at this critical juncture in our history and to help set the course for the future.” Mr. Chamberlin said. “I look forward to furthering the IADC’s mission of serving our members, the legal profession and civil justice systems throughout the U.S. and the world, by enhancing the development of skills, professionalism, diversity, and camaraderie in the practice of law.”
In his practice, Mr. Chamberlin is a trial lawyer with a broad national and international practice. He has handled product liability and catastrophic injury defense cases as well as the prosecution and defense of commercial, construction and intellectual property disputes. He has appeared in state and federal courts across the United States.
In addition to his leadership role with the IADC, Mr. Chamberlin is an active member of the Defense Research Institute and the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys. Mr. Chamberlin has been recognized among the “Best Lawyers in America” and has been selected as a “North Carolina Super Lawyer.”
Mr. Chamberlin received his J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia.
Carruthers & Roth, P.A. hosted an internal food drive to support the COVID-19 response efforts of BackPack Beginnings, a Greensboro non-profit organization founded to deliver child-centric services to feed, comfort and clothe children in need. The firm’s attorneys and staff collected donations during the first two weeks in May and were able to donate more than 1,000 items of food to BackPack Beginnings.
“There are many incredible organizations in our community working hard to serve the vulnerable during these uncertain times,” said Chris Vaughn, Managing Director of Carruthers & Roth. “Carruthers & Roth is pleased to be able to assist one such organization, BackPack Beginnings, in their efforts to combat increased food insecurity as a result of COVID-19.”
BackPack Beginnings is working closely with Guilford County Schools and other partner agencies to make sure food and other essential supports are provided to some of the most vulnerable school-age children and their families in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to food donations to stock their warehouse, BackPack Beginnings is looking for volunteers and other supplies. There is a “COVID-19 Response” information page on their website which explains how people can help during the pandemic.
About BackPack Beginnings
BackPack Beginnings, founded in 2010 by Parker White, a native of Greensboro and mother of 2 children, is a 95 percent volunteer-run and donor-driven organization. What started out as a feeding program in one school feeding 50 children has grown to a multi-program organization serving approximately 9,000 children a year. To find out more or support BackPack Beginnings through in-kind donations, funding or volunteering, please contact Parker White at [email protected] or visit the organization online at www.backpackbeginnings.org.
The Young Lawyers Section is excited to kick off the 2020-2021 year!
YLS is planning to hold a Fall Swearing-In Ceremony in early October 2020, although it may look different as we adapt the program due to COVID-19. The date of the Swearing-In Ceremony will be announced when it is confirmed. As always, we encourage all members of the GBA to join us and support our newly licensed attorneys! If you are a newly licensed attorney, or if you know a newly licensed attorney, please e-mail Nicole Scallon at [email protected] to receive the application materials that will become available in September.
In connection with the Swearing-In Ceremony, YLS is hoping to offer a short virtual discussion for new lawyers and other attorneys to learn about important locations within the federal and state courthouses. If you would be interested in attending this virtual event, please e-mail Hillary Kies at [email protected]. Hillary Kies is President of the Greensboro Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section and is an attorney with Turning Point Litigation.
Connect with Us
Do you have ideas for future YLS events, service projects, and/or socially distant activities? Please let us know by e-mailing Hillary Kies at [email protected] to share your ideas.
Do you want more information about upcoming YLS events or to find out how you can get involved? Check out our website at www.greensboroyls.org. Also follow us on Facebook (Greensboro Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section). E-mail Hillary Kies at [email protected] to get on our email list. We look forward to connecting with you!
Unprecedented times. Navigating the crisis. Stay-at-home orders issued.
These are the headlines of the day. And every lawyer – regardless of age, experience, or circumstances – has been affected.
Many of you had high hopes for launching your legal career and the pandemic was not a part of your plan. Or perhaps your career is well underway, yet the pandemic is causing issues that are not yet fully defined.
Let us talk with a few people who started practicing law during or immediately after another crisis, the Great Recession. Their stories of evolving and thriving will provide us with hope and a blueprint for moving forward.
Persistence and Creativity: Heather Hazelwood
Heather Hazelwood practices estate planning and estate administration as the solo owner of Ampersand Law established in Durham in 2016. Heather is a second career lawyer having worked in the non-profit sector for eight years prior to law school. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in May 2011.
After two years of practice, Heather says she began to think about ways to do law differently. “I was especially interested in finding new ways of doing business to update the [slow-to-change] long-established traditional models for law firms. That’s when the idea of going out on my own began to form.”
Two years later, UNC-Chapel Hill recruited Heather’s wife, they moved to North Carolina, she sat for the NC bar exam and opened her own firm, Ampersand Law.
Advice for lawyers and recent graduates? Heather says that at some point in her career, she realized that success is not linear, and that the only real failure is never trying. “Running your own business is much more trial-and-error than you’d expect. And most of us do not spend much time advertising the errors. Nothing is as good or easy as it looks on Instagram.”
Be Willing to Wear Different Hats: Neil Magnuson
Neil Magnuson graduated from UNC Law School in 2009. “I clerked for Williams Mullen during the summer prior to my 3L year and received an offer at the end of that summer. Many firms at the time had to push back start dates for incoming associates, and Williams Mullen did so in our case but, fortunately, they were able to bring us in after a few months’ delay [during which they also provided us a stipend].”
What strengths did you develop by starting work during a recession?
“In hindsight, I suppose it would have been the efforts during my first two years out of law school to learn as much as I could, as quickly as I could, while trying to do good work when I had work to do. I also endeavored to never turn down work, so long as I felt confident, I had the time to get it done, and done well. The breadth of experience has also been helpful in-house, where one may need to wear different hats from time to time.”
Today, Neil works as Media Counsel for NASCAR Media Ventures. “I work on the media side of the NASCAR business, primarily doing transactional work for the digital and broadcasting teams. I draft and review contracts, advise on media and IP matters, and help maintain our IP portfolio, among other things.”
NASCAR sounds like a dream job that perfectly suits Neil’s skill set.
“Prior to law school, I was a software engineer in the sports television industry – more on the productions / graphics and statistics side of sports television. Certainly, I had great interest in someday returning to the sports world on the legal side but expected that those opportunities would not present often. Fortunately, a position opened at NASCAR five years ago that seemed to be a good fit and, luckily, I was hired. And it has been a good fit, and a wonderful place to work. I grew up on stick-and-ball sports, but I now love a NASCAR race.”
She Wrote a Book: Venus Liles
Venus Liles has a great pandemic story to share. An in-house attorney at SAS Institute in Cary, she also moonlights on the side, helping startups and small to mid-sized businesses with their corporate legal needs.
Venus has two small kids, Violet [age five] and Ivy [age three]. As Venus says, “I searched for a children’s book to help explain the coronavirus and social distancing to my kids. When I could not find one, I decided to write it myself. I knew from the beginning that although I wanted the book to explain the coronavirus and good hygiene practices to kids, what I really wanted the book to focus on was the emotional side of social distancing. I also wanted the book to have a hopeful ending. I wrote the whole thing in one sitting, but a significant number of late-night edits followed. It was such a time-sensitive subject matter that I had to act quickly.”
Venus devotes a portion of the book proceeds – as well as revenue from her law firm – to charity.
“I just really love the idea of giving back in different ways. With the book, I am able to help families have honest conversations with their children about what’s going on the world and donate funds to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Response Fund. With my company, I am able to help startups and small businesses with affordable legal services and give back to local nonprofits. All of that makes the hard work completely worth it.”
Recent Graduates Consider Effects of Pandemic on Their Career
Tips for working through a pandemic include patience and preparation.
“Being patient often helps me gain better perception. Preparation helps me to control what I can and acknowledge what I cannot.”
Richard Glenn, December 2019 Elon Law graduate
“When the odds are against me, usually my first thought is, ‘we will see about that.’ I am always up for a new challenge and love finding creative solutions to meet my clients’ needs.”
Lauren Zickert, December 2019 Elon Law graduate
“Although it took some adaptation, the transition to working from home was fairly smooth. Programs such as Google voice have been a great help in transitioning to remote work.
Je’vonne Knox, Elon Law Class of 2019
Perspective of a Law Student
Lawyers Mutual participates in the NC Bar Association, Minorities in the Profession, 1L Summer Associate Program. This summer we were fortunate to have Quay Wembley intern with us.
“As a law student during the time of a world-wide pandemic, it has been difficult to stay positive”, he says. “After finally becoming accustomed to the rigor and fast pace learning in law school, I found myself having to start back at square one during the most crucial part of my 1L year. Within a matter of months, all law students across the country were forced to quickly adapt to remote learning. With tenacity and perseverance, I was able to finish my 1L year strong and in great standing, but that was only half the battle.”
“At the conclusion of my 1L year, the pandemic cases gradually increased. As a result, many of my classmates and colleagues had their summer opportunities canceled. Fortunately, I was able to continue my summer internship remotely with Lawyers Mutual. Although my internship became completely remote, I am grateful to have the opportunity to move forward as well as gain experience in the practice of law.”
“After reflecting on these past few weeks, I realized that there is a silver lining to my experience. I can truly say that I am watching the practice of law change and evolve. Within the legal profession, people of all ages are beginning to utilize technology more than it has ever been used before.”
“With travel costs and efforts to maintain social distancing, it is foreseeable that mediations, depositions, arbitrations, and other out-of-court proceedings will be conducted online more often. The use of technology and online software are likely to become the new normal in the practice of law. Stepping into summer employment during a pandemic has been challenging, but this experience will prepare me to adapt as well as develop resiliency for whatever lies ahead.”
We are in uncharted territory. You have probably never experienced a pandemic or had to develop a plan for surviving one. Both are scary. But with a plan, and the advice and counsel of our colleagues, we can survive this challenge.
Camille Stell is the President of Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services and a specialist in working with lawyers and firms on strategic planning and succession planning. Continue this conversation by contacting Camille at [email protected] or 800.662.8843.
Quay Wembley is an ECU Pirate and a rising 2L at the North Carolina Central School of Law. Quay is a summer intern with Lawyers Mutual and gaining valuable experience watching the New Normal of law practice develop in front of him. You can reach Quay at [email protected].
Employment & Labor Attorney – Greensboro, NC
Nexsen Pruet is seeking a highly motivated Attorney to join their growing Employment & Labor Practice Group in their Greensboro, North Carolina office.
Experience and Background:
- 3 – 6 years of Employment and Labor experience
- Ability to regularly counsel and advise employers on compliance with federal, state and local employment laws
- Team Player
- Excellent legal skills and reputation
- Organized and attentive to detail
- Comfortable interacting with clients
- Commitment to exceptional work product and client service
- Strong academic background
- Business development potential
For consideration, please submit:
- Cover letter
- Salary history
- Law School Transcript
to Summer Winslow, Recruitment & Professional Development Manager
BarCARES is a confidential, short-term intervention program provided cost-free to members of the 24th Judicial District Bar and other participating judicial district bars, voluntary bar associations and law schools. If you would like additional information about the program and/or its availability in your area, please contact the BarCARES coordinator at 919.929.1227 or 1.800.640.0735 or click on the icon below.
Welcome to our inaugural COVID-19 bar association year. While I certainly did not expect to be writing the President’s message from my virtual home office, I promise to do my best to adapt to the new world that we are living in and serve the GBA to the best of my ability. To that end, we have already accomplished a lot this summer despite our newfound virtual reality. The GBA virtually hosted a meeting with Chief Justice Beasley of the Supreme Court of North Carolina and conducted our first ever virtual district court election.
Looking ahead, our theme for this year is “building our future.”
Our Habitat for Humanity project has been put on hold until January 2021 to allow for a safer build. I hope that we will have the opportunity to take on that project given the present conditions. We will reevaluate how we participate in the project as we get closer to next year. In response to the pandemic, I have created a Coronavirus Response Committee. The goal of the committee is to assist our members through this difficult time. To better plan for our future, I created a long-range planning committee. The committee will define objectives and goals for the GBA’s next 5-10 years.
My goal is to regularly host GBA events while maintaining member safety. We will plan to have our first meeting in September virtually. I will make the decision monthly going forward. Plan on GBA events, board meetings and other committee meetings being virtual in the short-term. The GBA will be posting announcements about the status of Guilford County Courthouse operations. Please be on the lookout for emails and posts on our website regarding that information.
I would love to hear your feedback as we move through the year. Please feel free to email me with any comments, questions, or suggestions at [email protected]. I hope you will join us virtually on September 17, 2020 to kick off our first GBA meeting of the 2020-2021 year!
GBA President, 2020-2021