By Tom Kane (Reprinted from Tom’s LegalMarketingBlog.com dated February 14, 2017)
For firms that are only interested in associates cranking hours until they get burned out, this post is not for you. More likely it is for medium to smaller firms who really want to build their firm; and want it to survive with new rainmakers as partners age.
Two notable exceptions are Quinn Emanuel and Jones Day, according to Kevin McMurdo, with Wicker Park Group. He mentions in “’Switch’ on Business Development Skills With Associates,” that those firms tie associate compensation/bonuses to their involvement in business development. There may be other firms I’m not aware of.
According to McMurdo, some of those business development actions by associates might include:
- Attend brown bag training sessions;
- Meet with partners to learn how they attract/retain clients;
- Work with practice group leader to develop a niche in the coming year;
- Attend networking events/conferences;
- Complete a marketing plan; and
- Read Ross Fishman’s “The Ultimate Law Firm Associate’s Marketing Checklist” (which I recently discussed here and here).
McMurdo sums up my point by quoting a partner, “Involving associates in business development is a great way to protect and retain good associates.”
Tom Kane is a member of the Greensboro Bar Association and former NC Assistant Attorney General. He has spent the past 30-plus years as an in-house legal marketer and consultant to law firms throughout the U.S. He is the author of LegalMarketingBlog.com. He can be reached at (386) 225-9612.
The Elon Law Pro Bono Board will be hosting its annual Ask-a-Lawyer Day event on April 29, 2017 from 10am to 2pm at Elon University School of Law. Many people are in need of legal assistance but do not have the means to access legal representation. GBA members are invited to participate with Elon Law students to help meet the legal needs of our community. To sign up to participate, please send an email with your name, contact information and practice area(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1.
Rule 6.1 of the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct encourages North Carolina attorneys to provide at least fifty hours of pro bono legal services each year. Recognizing the logistical hurdles that often hinder pro bono work, the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission proudly launched the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center in 2016.
One of the first issues identified by the Center was North Carolina’s inability to track the pro bono services rendered by attorneys every year. Tracking pro bono efforts helps identify unmet legal needs and illuminate larger trends relevant to access to justice issues statewide. It also provides a public record recognizing the amazing and valuable contributions made by attorneys across North Carolina who selflessly volunteer their time every year.
The North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center has created a new survey designed to fill this need. Between now and March 15, 2017, North Carolina attorneys are encouraged to visit www.ncprobono.org and complete a brief survey about their pro bono service during calendar year 2016. Completing the survey should take approximately ten minutes, and individuals have the option to do so anonymously. Any attorney who reports at least fifty hours of pro bono service will be inducted into the North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society and will receive a certificate from the Supreme Court of North Carolina honoring his or her achievement.
Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP is pleased to announce Senior Associate Carrie Hanger was recently honored as one of Triad Business Journal’s 40 Leaders Under Forty. This award recognizes 40 individuals under the age of 40 who are making major advances in their careers and are creating a positive impact on their communities.
Hanger’s practice focuses on the needs of healthcare providers and entities engaged in clinical and preclinical research throughout the United States. She provides solutions for issues relating to healthcare enrollment and reimbursement, regulatory and corporate compliance, medical staff matters and business disputes. She has worked with hospitals, long term care facilities, hospice and home health providers, drug and device companies, and DME suppliers. Hanger represents her clients in state and federal court as well as in administrative proceedings and arbitration.
Hanger received her bachelor’s degree from Davidson College in 2001 and her juris doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Law in 2006. She is a graduate of Leadership Greensboro Class of 2016 and serves on the steering committee of the Future Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro as well as the Bell House board of directors.
She will be recognized at the 40 Leaders Under Forty awards ceremony on February 16 at the Elliott University Center, University of North Carolina Greensboro and will be featured in an upcoming edition of the Triad Business Journal.
Michael Glenn Wilson, II
The Firm at Fisher Park
Endorsed by Alan E. Ferguson
Piedmont Triad Women Attorneys
The Nuts and Bolts of a Court of Appeals Case
by the Honorable Richard Dietz
March 21, 2017
The Piedmont Triad Women Attorneys is proud to host the Honorable Richard Dietz to present “The Nuts and Bolts of a Court of Appeals Case.” We invite you to join us and learn best practices for appellate practice from Judge Dietz, an appellate judge who has heard hundreds of cases and personally argued in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Pending 1 CLE Credit
Location: Elon School of Law, Classroom 105
Date: March 21,2017, 6-8 pm
Light hors d’oeuvres will be served
Cost is $10 for PTWA members and law students,
$20 for non-members.
Space is limited and registration is required.
Deadline for registering is March 17
Registration forms can be found at: PTWA CLE Registration Form 2017
The purpose of the Piedmont Triad Women Attorneys is consistent with those of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys:
a) To increase the participation of women attorneys in the legal profession;
b) To protect the rights of women under the law
c) To promote and improve the administration of justice;
d) To engage in any other lawful activity to achieve the purposes of NCAWA, as set forth in the Articles of Incorporation of NCAWA.
North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, Piedmont Triad Women Attorneys Chapter
The Habitat Steering Committee is thrilled to announce that construction of our 8th house will begin on Saturday, April 1. All GBA members (whether or not on the 4/1 work crew) are invited to the groundbreaking ceremony and lunch on site at noon on April 1. You will be receiving a registration email for this lunch in the coming weeks.
We will be contacting members who have already signed Volunteer Forms to schedule their workdays. Members who have not already submitted a form will have an opportunity to sign up using Habitat’s online registration. Look for an email from GBA with the Habitat volunteer link enclosed, to be sent shortly. Construction Volunteer FAQ (PDF download)
Thank you to all the volunteers and donors who are making this house possible for the Tona Nay and D’Joan R’mah family!
Meet New Homeowners
The Tona Nay and D’Joan R’mah Family
722 Prince Road
Tona and D’Joan are parents of four sons: Sru – 25 years old, Santigo – 14 years old, Tula – 12 years old, Jensu – 7 years old, and three daughters: Sara – 21 years old,
Sama – 18 years old and H’Po – 16 years old. Tona and D’Joan came to the United States from Vietnam. Tona is employed at Affordable Stone Products and D’Joan manages the family. They work very hard to provide for their family and are looking forward to having their own home in a wonderful neighborhood.
It wasn’t the restaurant that made it memorable, though I really love Centro located in downtown Raleigh. And it wasn’t the food, though their steak tacos are my favorite. Instead, it was the company of my lunch companion that made the meal so memorable.
Sylvia Novinsky, the Director of the newly established North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center, has an enthusiasm for pro bono work that is infectious.
On April 1, 2016, the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission launched the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center.
The North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center (the Resource Center) partners with legal aid organizations, local bars, law schools, community groups, and others, to develop new projects to help address unmet legal needs. The Resource Center also operates ncprobono.org, which serves as a matching service of lawyers and paralegals who want to volunteer with pro bono opportunities.
In 2010, the North Carolina State Bar adopted Rule 6.1, Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service, which states in part, “Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least (50) hours of pro bono public legal services per year.”
In order to encourage pro bono volunteers, it’s important to recognize the need. According to Sylvia, 80% of the civil legal needs of North Carolinians living in poverty are unmet. Many attorneys and paralegals, though willing to help, are not sure where to turn to meet these needs.
The Resource Center plays a vital role in recruiting pro bono attorneys to fill the gap as legal aid providers and legal clinics in North Carolina are facing tremendous financial challenges.
The Resource Center will also develop pro bono projects statewide, working in partnership with legal aid providers and community organizations. The Resource Center will provide support for existing pro bono projects, including recruiting volunteers and training them for various projects. Finally, the Resource Center will include a place for lawyers to report their hours and will recognize lawyers for their volunteer efforts. Before the Resource Center was launched, while there was an annual aspirational goal of 50 hours per lawyer, there was no method of reporting.
While malpractice claims for pro bono activities are rare, insurance coverage can give you a peace of mind knowing there is a safety net should a mistake be made or a claim asserted against you. Many organizations where lawyers would be volunteering already have coverage in place. For lawyers insured with Lawyers Mutual, claims arising from pro bono activities are covered just as a claim for a paying client would be. For policies issued by Lawyers Mutual after August 1, 2015, there is a limited waiver of deductible up to $10,000 for claims expenses on pro bono matters handled through many legal service providers.
If you are not insured, there are policies available solely for pro bono work. While pricing may vary and would be subject to the application process, the initial pricing (for limits of liability up to $1 million) would likely be below $500 for the year.
For newly-admitted attorneys, pro bono work can be a great way to build skills, learn about different practice areas and meet other legal professionals. The Resource Center can assist you with looking for training opportunities to help bridge the gap between your classroom and the courtroom experience. There are often CLE opportunities available for those who are willing to provide pro bono services but need to enhance their skills. Check with the CLE provider to see about getting a reduced pro bono rate.
For law firms looking to enhance their pro bono involvement, working with the Resource Center would be a great way to develop a pro bono plan for your firm and to find projects that meet your geographic needs, as well as match your area of practice expertise.
Lawyers who are beginning to transition out of law practice can find pro bono service to be a way to stay connected with the profession and continue to give back. Some pro bono opportunities do not require attorneys to have an active law license. The Resource Center can assist with a match for transitioning lawyers to a pro bono activity that fits their needs while benefiting the community.
If you want a memorable lunch, call or email Sylvia and introduce yourself. She would be delighted to help you get involved. And she enjoys a great taco when she has the chance.
Camille Stell is the Vice President of Client Services for Lawyers Mutual. Continue this conversation by contacting Camille at email@example.com or 800.662.8843.
On Sunday, February 26th, the GBA and the Young Lawyers Section took on local doctors from Greensboro in the Scrubs vs. Suits basketball game challenge. The goal of the event was to raise $5,000 for a new play therapy room for the Mustard Seed, a new clinic serving uninsured and underinsured patients in East Greensboro. Together, both teams exceeded their goal and raised over $15,000.
The doctors were coached by former NBA player, Gene Banks. Mike Hogewood announced the game and Chief Justice Frye provided the honorary tip-off. Both teams played their hearts out but ultimately the doctors were victorious. Luckily for the Suits, there’s always next year.
The YLS would like to thank the GBA for their support and co-sponsorship in this event. We would also like to thank each and every member of the Suits team (listed below), which consisted of local practitioners, GBA board members, a judge, Elon law students, and YLS members. It was a great opportunity to interact with members from across the profession and we are truly grateful to all of the players who gave of their time to support this great event. Finally, we would like to thank Adam Kerr, our head coach, for all of his hard work in organizing our practices and coaching us through the game, as well as our assistant coaches, Gwen Lewis and Mark Gaylord.
- Todd Davis
- Ben Crissman
- Josh Bui
- Mark Cummings
- Adam Kerr
- Tola Familoni
- Christian McMullen
- Bobby Trimble
- Mark Gaylord
- Robert Cratch
- Eloise Hassell
- Gabriel Kussin
- Patrick Apple
- Jason Aycoth
- Lisa Arthur
- Tony Huynh
- Daniel Harris
- Gwen Lewis
Upcoming Events Hosted By The Young Lawyers Section
Scrubs v. Suits MD/JD Basketball Game, February 26: Help us raise money for a new play therapy room to expand the mental health services offered to children at the Mustard Seed by helping us defeat local doctors from the Greater Greensboro Society of Medicine in a basketball game. To sign up to be a basketball team member or to be a member of the spirit squad, please contact Lisa Arthur (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Greensboro 4ALL, March 3: The YLS and the Piedmont Triad Women Attorneys are taking over the 4:00pm-7:00pm volunteer block at 4ALL this year. To register, please sign up here: https://4all2017greensboro.eventbrite.com.