Hello GBA Members!
Our 2023-24 bar year is off to a strong start! September saw the return of our CLE Lunch and Learns with an informative CLE centered on bankruptcy for non-bankruptcy attorneys hosted by the law firm of Ellis & Winters LLP. During our September Member Meeting, North Carolina Supreme Court Associate Justice Anita Earls served as our guest speaker. During her remarks, Justice Earls recognized Greensboro’s own Judge Elreta Melton Alexander (the first Black woman to practice law in North Carolina and elected as a judge in this State), provided a judiciary update, and discussed the legal needs of underserved populations in North Carolina.
Regarding the latter, Justice Earls shared data from a comprehensive civil legal needs assessment resulting from a partnership with UNC Greensboro’s Center for Housing and Community Studies, the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission and the Equal Justice Alliance. Personally, much of the data was disheartening. Specifically, I was surprised to learn that nearly 86% of civil legal needs of North Carolinians go unmet due to a variety of reasons such as geographic and racial disparities, attorney costs, lack of resources available to legal aid providers, etc. As I listened to the data being shared, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Martin L. King, Jr. which states, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” As lawyers and members of the GBA, we certainly have the talents and training to address some of these civil legal needs in our communities. As a result, I’ve reached out to our Pro Bono and Community Involvement Committees to explore ideas on how we can address some of the unmet legal needs in Guilford County. I invite our members to join these committees and/or share ideas to further assist the GBA in this endeavor.
As we journey into October, please be on the lookout for a GBA communication in which you can identify whether you currently align with any of our existing sections (Young Lawyers, Real Estate Law, Family Law and Business/Corporate Law), as well as your interest in joining any of our 15 committees (including the two previously named above). Also, we will welcome Attorney Patti Ramseur, President of the North Carolina Bar Association, as the guest speaker during our October Member Meeting to provide current updates related to that association. I hope to see you at the meeting.
Thank you for membership in and support of the GBA!
All the best,
Gerald L. Walden, Jr.
President, Greensboro Bar Association 2023-2024