The Greensboro Bar Association’s 8th Habitat House is well underway! Members, invited guests and the work crew viewed the groundbreaking ceremony before enjoying a delicious bbq chicken lunch on Saturday, April 1. Volunteers are needed to complete the project. You may register at Habitat Online Volunteer Registration.
For the first time in American history, we have four different generations working together. Generational differences affect every aspect of work from recruiting new employees to building effective teams. Our communication skills are being tested with so many different generations competing to speak and be heard.
Who are the players?
- Traditionalists were born from 1900 – 1945. They value patriotism, loyalty, hard work and respect. They have a “top down” approach to management. They lived through World War I, World War II and the Great Depression and were greatly influenced by these major events. Their names appear on the doors of many of the law firms across our state.
- Baby Boomers were born from 1946 – 1964 and make up the majority of partners in law firms today. Boomers are competitive, idealistic and optimistic. Boomers plan to keep working as long as they can be productive.
- Generation Xers were born from 1965 – 1980. They are skeptical, independent and resourceful. The divorce rate tripled during their generation and both their parents worked earning them the moniker “latchkey kids.” They often distrust the permanence of institutional or personal relationships. Many Gen Xers are your supervising attorneys.
- Millennials were born from 1981 – 1999 and are the majority of law students, young lawyers and legal professionals today. Millennials are realistic, confident and appreciate diversity. Millennials feel empowered to take positive action when things go wrong – this is an excellent trait for a young professional in a client service driven profession. Parents of Millennials included them in the day-to-day negotiations at home, so Millennials expect as much from the office. This can lead to challenges as Traditionalists and Boomers often lead their teams with a “need to know” mentality rather than inviting all team members to participate in the discussion.
Given the potential for conflict based on these generational gaps, here are five tips to help you maneuver through these challenges.
Where is your sense of tradition? Traditionalists and Boomers value tradition. They are proud of the law firms they built. They also experience conflict with the many changes that have happened in the legal profession. They are particularly troubled by the idea that the practice of law is viewed as a business rather than a profession.
As a result, they often feel Gen-Y and Millennials have no sense of tradition or respect for the ways things have always been done.
Solution: Millennials, honor the past by acknowledging that many things about the law do not change quickly. If you understand the resistance, it may help you develop better language to share your new ideas. Rather than focusing on the fact that “everyone” is using the new tools or the financial benefits, you may also want to focus on how efficiencies better serve clients. Traditionalists and Boomers, remember that financially sound business decisions today provide that the firm will be around for generations to come.
Get Out of Our Way. Millennials are confident and are ready to take action. Millennials often express this in an attitude that says “tell us our goals and get out of our way.” This is reflected in the popular style of mentoring often requested by Millennials – situational mentoring. Boomers were the recipient of traditional mentoring that included hands-on training, shadowing partners in client meetings and the courtroom, participating in long lunches to hear war stories and many introductions to the pillars of the local bar.
Solution: Millennials will benefit from listening and learning. There is a good chance you will not be mentored in the same way as the more established lawyers. Take every opportunity to receive an introduction, to get involved with the various bar associations and to ask for advice.
Honor Your Obligations. Understand the requirements of the job before you take it. If working long hours and weekends is expected, your Boomer Boss will frown upon you having an excuse that prevents you from working those hours.
Boomers, Millennials see work and life as overlapping. The idea of face time, sitting in a chair from 7:00 to 7:00 because that is how it has always been done, has no appeal. You can force Millennials to follow the rules for a while, but following old traditions without a business purpose will result in more turnover in employees and difficulty in recruiting top talent.
Solution: Communicate proactively and make sure everyone has the same expectations. Work must be done, deadlines must be met. Attend required and suggested work events and networking events.
Boomers, make clear your expectations with regard to client contact, billing time, face time in the office, and availability after hours. Also recognize that technology has forever changed the legal profession and be realistic in your expectations of face time.
Legal Writing. The most common complaint by Boomer Bosses about Millennial substantive work skills is the lack of excellent writing skills. This skill is honed by practice.
Solution: Millennials, constantly strive to improve your writing. Learn from the edits and rewrites that your Boomer Boss makes to your drafts.
Problem Solving. Ultimately, clients pay lawyers to resolve problems. Learning how to analyze problems and search for solutions is a key in your development as a valued member of the team.
Solution: Look for opportunities to listen in on negotiations and possible solutions to client problems. Listen to your client and understand what a “win” looks like for them. Attorneys across generations should collaborate to make sure you are working towards the same goal for your client.
Overcoming our stereotypes about generational differences will help us to communicate effectively.
Camille Stell is the Vice President of Client Services for Lawyers Mutual. Continue this conversation by contacting Camille at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.662.8843.
The Herb Falk Society honors those members of the Greensboro Bar Association who contribute at least 75 hours of pro bono service annually. The fifteen individuals inducted for 2016 were recognized at the March 16 member meeting at the Empire Room. Please join us in congratulating:
Barbara R. Christy – 87.5 Hours
Locke T. Clifford – 77.8 Hours
M. Elizabeth Collins – 116 Hours
Benjamin Crissman – 98 Hours
Blinn L. Cushman – 111 Hours
W. Erwin Fuller, Jr. – 100 Hours
Richard W. Gabriel – 76.2 Hours
A. Holt Gwyn – 168 Hours
Eloise Robinson Hassel – 91.1 Hours
Adam G. Kerr – 120.9 Hours
Jennifer L.J. Koenig – 110.75 Hours
Manisha P. Patel – 118 Hours
Steven A. Scoggan – 118.5 Hours
D. Clark Smith, Jr. – 270.8 Hours
Gerald L. Walden, Jr. – 282 Hours
Tuggle Duggins P.A. is pleased to announce that firm partner Michael Fox has been appointed to the North Carolina Board of Transportation by Governor Roy Cooper. This appointment is Fox’s second, having previously served on the Board from 2010 to 2013 under Governor Beverly Perdue. The NC Board of Transportation, consisting of nineteen members statewide, sets transportation policy for the State and oversees the funding and construction of all State transportation infrastructure, including highways, bridges, airports, rail, transit, ferries, and bicycle and pedestrian projects.
“These talented new members bring years of experience and commitment to public service to North Carolina’s Transportation Board. I look forward to working with them to make important improvements to our state’s transportation system,” stated Governor Cooper.
Fox’s practice primarily focuses in the areas of business litigation, real estate litigation, government affairs and zoning and land use. In addition to his previous service on the NC Board of Transportation, his public service experience includes having been a Special Prosecutor for the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, an assistant district attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, and an aide to a U.S. Congressman. Fox also served on the Greensboro Planning Board for six years, including three as Chairman.
The Greensboro Bar Association’s Legal Aid Fundraiser, held on Saturday, February 25 at the Greensboro Science Center’s SciQuarium, was a great success! We hosted 135 guests, which included GBA members, many of our sponsors, friends and family.
Guests enjoyed an amazing array of Mediterranean-style food provided by Catering by Bakatsias, locally brewed craft beer from Gibbs Hundred Brewing Company, and a selection of red and white wine from Rioja! A Wine Bar.
We raffled off over 15 great prizes donated by local businesses and organizations, including Sheree’s Natural Cosmetics, Easy Peasy Decadent Desserts, Quaintance-Weaver Hotels and Restaurants, Logan Financial, Parizade Restaurant, 1618 Concepts, The Fresh Market, Whole Foods, La Palette Artisan Chocolates, the Greensboro Women’s Club, beerthirty, and World of Beer.
The Fundraiser Committee, consisting of Nick Bakatsias, the Honorable Bill Davis and Sarah Roane, is grateful for the incredible support of our sponsors and extends its thanks to the following companies and individuals:
Platinum ($2,000): DMJ Wealth Advisors, LLC, Roane Law, Brooks Pierce;
Gold ($1,000): Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina, Smith Moore Leatherwood, Lincoln Financial Group, Connors Morgan PLLC, Carruthers & Roth, PA, Womble Carlyle;
Silver ($500): Nexsen Pruet, Pinto Coates Kyre & Bowers PLLC, Johnson Pedrick & McDonald PLLC, Garrett and Walker PLLC, Matt Logan Inc., Deuterman Law Group, Tuggle Duggins, Anna Berdahl, Barbara Morgenstern;
Bronze ($250): Elon University School of Law, ITG Brands, Whole Foods, Jill Wilson & Marc Isaacson, Senn Dunn Insurance, Schell Bray PLLC, Scott Insurance, Turning Point Litigation, Bob & Sally Cone, Cone Health, The Nelson Law Firm, Vance Barron, Jr.
Thanks to the hard work of the committee, ticket sales, sponsorships, and donations (including an incredible anonymous donation of $5,000), the GBA raised an amazing total of $25,145.05 (with $1,500 donated directly to Legal Aid). At the March 16th member meeting, Sarah Roane presented Janet McAuley-Blue, Managing Attorney of our local Greensboro Legal Aid office, and all Legal Aid attorneys and staff in attendance, with a check for $23,645.05.
Sunday, May 21
First National Bank Park’s
Novant Health Picnic Area (at 3rd Base)
Bring your family (kids too!) to cheer on the
as they take on the Delmarva Shorebirds
The Young Lawyers Section will be collecting donations for
the Book Buddies program at Hampton Elementary School.
YLS will use all donations to purchase books so that our Book Buddies
will have a new book to take home for the summer—our goal is $500!
The GBA’s Annual CLE is being held on Thursday, April 20th at Starmount Forest Country Club, from 1:15 to 5:15pm. The seminar will conclude with a cocktail reception that begins at 5:30 pm, with our annual meeting to follow.
The CLE will feature one hour of substance abuse/mental health credit with a presentation from the NC Lawyers Assistance Program called Stories of Renewal and Recovery, and two hours of ethics credit, with two presentations from GNGF, a dynamic group out of Cincinnati, Ohio.
They will be presenting on the timely topics How to Advise Clients and Manage Judicial Holds and Discovery with Social Media and the Ethics of Data Security.
Every attendee will receive a free copy of their Amazon best-selling legal marketing and technology book Online Law Practice Strategies: How to Turn Clicks into Clients. The cost for the CLE is just $75 for GBA members until April 14th, and $90 after April 14th. Please click here to register.
Stacey Kraftchick has joined Tuggle Duggins as Of Counsel. Stacey’s practice focuses on serving small and mid-sized business clients. She works primarily in the areas of commercial contract negotiation and drafting, corporate mergers and acquisitions, business entity formation and regulatory governance. Stacey has previous experience working in large and small regional law firms as well as in-house for businesses with national and international footprints.
“We are excited Stacey has joined Tuggle Duggins,” says Natalie Folmar, a director with the firm. “Her experience advising corporate clients will be a valuable addition to our team.”
Stacey earned her law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She currently resides in Greensboro and is active in various political organizations as well as adult literacy and education programs.
The N.C. Bar Association Business Law Section recently honored Carruthers & Roth attorney June Basden with its 2017 Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her extraordinary commitment to the organization.
The award is the Business Law Section’s highest honor – designed to recognize and to encourage extraordinary service to the section, the legal profession and the public.
Basden has chaired the Business Law Section and has served as both a Council Member and Secretary of State Liaison. She has led committees for Continuing Law Education, Nominating and the Distinguished Service Award and has been active in planning special events, including an annual meeting and the Business Law Section’s 25th anniversary celebration. She also was instrumental in launching the Distinguished Service Award program. Basden currently serves as one of the Business Law Section’s representatives on the N.C. Bar Association’s Internet and Regulations Task Force.
Basden, who is both an attorney and a certified public accountant, is part of the Carruthers & Roth banking and finance practice. She represents national and regional banks, financial institutions and commercial lenders in a variety of finance transactions, with a special focus on commercial lending and creditors’ rights. She is a fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers (ACCFL) and of the American Bar Foundation. She also is active in a number of law and accounting organizations at the local, state and national level.
The Distinguished Service Award was presented last month during the annual meeting of the N.C. Bar Association Business Law Section.
A Carruthers & Roth litigator and two of the firm’s clients were featured on a recent episode of the prime time, Emmy-nominated series HOARDERS on A&E Television, a show that seeks to help compulsive hoarders who are in a crisis situation due to their disorder.
The journey to national TV began when Carruthers & Roth attorney Elizabeth Zook helped her clients Michael and Eric Fuko-Rizzo buy the Julian Price House, a 31-room mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The property was being sold by the Bank of America’s troubled asset division after a long and contentious foreclosure proceeding with the prior owner, interior decorator Sandra Cowart.
After extensive negotiations by Zook on her clients’ behalf, the transaction was completed. Carruthers & Roth litigator Pat Haywood then stepped in to help the Fuko-Rizzos take possession of the property, which remained occupied by the former owner.
Though the couple loved their new home, they found all four floors were packed to the ceilings with furniture and other belongings Cowart had hoarded. They knew they faced a massive cleanup before restoration could begin.
With Cowart’s agreement, the Fuko-Rizzos contacted the producers of HOARDERS, who arranged for a team of about 100 experts to empty the home and auction off items of value. The couple compassionately decided any proceeds would benefit Cowart.
Midway through the cleanup process, though, Cowart threatened to sue the Fuko-Rizzos in a bid to regain ownership. Haywood was filmed as he reassured the couple of their legal right to the property and the protections the law provided against the threatened litigation.
“We were pleased to be part of a successful outcome for our clients and can’t wait to see their home returned to its former glory,” Zook says.
The two-hour episode can be viewed online at www.aetv.com/shows/hoarders/season-9/episode-6.