Hello GBA Members!
With this month being November and Thanksgiving fast approaching, I want to share something I am thankful for – the GBA.
The following events of the last two weeks have led me to reflect on when I first began my career as an attorney 22 years ago:
- Witnessing the GBA’s recognition of Judge Ralph Walker as one of two Distinguished Service Award winners – a man who was serving on the NC Court Appeals and was so welcoming to me when I began my judicial clerkship there immediately following graduation;
- Hearing seasoned GBA attorney, Margaret Dudley, share a personal story from her time at law school during our October member meeting which culminated in her advising the members to not let the practice of law prevent them from making time for family and friends; and
- Participating in the swearing-in ceremony of newly licensed attorneys to the NC Bar hosted by the GBA’s Young Lawyers Section.
When reflecting on my early years, I realized that I was practicing law for nearly a decade in Greensboro before connecting with the GBA. As someone who went in-house directly after my clerkship, there really was no business need for me to engage with local attorneys since literally none of the matters I worked on were tied to the Triad area. Nevertheless, I am thankful to former GBA president, Afi Johnson-Parris, for personally reaching out and asking me to join the GBA. Since that time, I have enjoyed my membership in the GBA immensely – developing personally and professionally along the way.
I’ll close with a portion of the remarks I shared during the swearing-in ceremony I mentioned above; remarks I wish I had heard earlier in my legal career:
New lawyers, you are joining a legal community that, while adversarial at times when defending and advocating for clients, is quite collegial and wants to see you succeed as your success is a win for the profession. Never is that more evident than through the members of the Greensboro Bar Association. . . . It has been a place where I have found mentors and mentees, been given and offered advice, received opportunities to give back to my community and take on leadership roles, and simply connected with like-minded individuals who have become great colleagues and friends.
Gerald L. Walden, Jr.
President, Greensboro Bar Association 2023-2024