Final Report and Recommendations of the Strategic Planning & Emerging Trends Committee

Final Report and Recommendations of the Strategic Planning & Emerging Trends Committee Adopted by the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Bar Ass...
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Final Report and Recommendations of the Strategic Planning & Emerging Trends Committee Adopted by the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Bar Association and the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Bar Association Foundation JUNE 18, 2015


Allan Head NCBA Executive Director Vision 2020 is dedicated to Allan Head, whose service to the North Carolina Bar Association for more than 40 years has been a benchmark by which professional association leadership should be measured. Allan joined the staff of the NCBA as executive secretary in December 1973 following four years of military service as a lawyer assigned to the U.S. Army Security Agency in Kassel and Augsburg, Germany. He has served as executive director since 1981 and is one of the longestserving bar association executives in the nation. Under his leadership, the NCBA has grown to more than 19,500 members and has implemented many programs which have become models for bar associations across the nation. In addition, he has provided exemplary leadership to the National Association of Bar Executives, where he served as president in 2006-07, and the Wake County Bar Association, where he served for three decades as an officer and treasurer. Allan has also served as a member of the board of directors of the YMCA of the USA; as president and member of the board of directors of YMCA of the Triangle; as a member of the Wells Fargo (formerly Wachovia) Board of Directors (Cary); as an elder at White Memorial Presbyterian Church; as chair of the Camp Kanata (YMCA) Advisory Board; as stadium announcer for Wake Forest University and Broughton High School football games; and for more than two decades as an advisor for the Presbyterian Church’s Appalachian Service Project, leading senior high mission trips to the impoverished coal-mining regions of Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. Awards and honors presented to Allan include the Bolton Award (2010), the highest honor presented by the National Association of Bar Executives; the Father of the Year Award (2014), selected by the Raleigh office of the American Diabetes Association; and the N.C. State Bar’s John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award (2015). Allan Head is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, and a graduate of Wake Forest University and the Wake Forest University School of Law. He is married to Patricia Reed Head and they have three children: David Head (Charlotte, N.C.), married to Marti; Darryl Head (Winston-Salem, N.C.), married to Karin; and Jayme Sanchez (Houston, Texas), married to Arturo; and eight grandchildren: Carlyn, Reed, Charlotte, Hayden, Clara, Arturo, Chandler and Danielle.

Vision 2020: Final Report And Recommendations Of The Strategic Planning & Emerging Trends Committee Table of Contents

DEDICATION TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION TO VISION 2020 .......................................................................1 “We Stand on the Shoulders of Giants” ......................................................1 Input to the Plan .........................................................................................2 SPET Committee Mission ...........................................................................3 Metrics ........................................................................................................4 Implementation of Vision 2020 ...................................................................4 CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS ..........................................................................5 THE NORTH CAROLINA ECONOMY...................................................................5 Growth ........................................................................................................5 The Economy .............................................................................................5 The “Marriage Gap” and Its Impact on Poverty...........................................5 Government Funding of the Court System .................................................6 Regional Economies and Urbanization .......................................................6 Aging Population ........................................................................................7 Increasing Diversity ....................................................................................7 THE NORTH CAROLINA LEGAL PROFESSION & THE COURT ........................7 Legal Outsource Providers .........................................................................7 Limited License Legal Technicians .............................................................8 A Growing Profession .................................................................................8 The Economics of Our Aging Membership .................................................9 More Solo Practitioners and the Need for Mentoring ................................10 “Lawyer in a Box”......................................................................................10 The Court System.....................................................................................10 Access to Justice ......................................................................................10 Law School Debt ......................................................................................11 A Diverse and Multi-Generational Profession ...........................................11 Views of the NCBA ...................................................................................11


THE LAWYER’S PRACTICE ....................................................................13 GOAL 1 – The NCBA will continue to provide valuable support services and tools for business and professional aspect of law practice ................14 GOAL 2 – The NCBA must adapt its service to address the evolving personal, career and professional development needs ............................15 GOAL 3 – The NCBA will provide, directly and by endorsement, programs tailored for members.................................................................16


THE PROFESSION ..................................................................................17 GOAL 1 – The NCBA will preserve and enhance a culture of professionalism.........................................................................................22 GOAL 2 – The NCBA/NCBAF will promote access to the civil justice system by increasing the number of NC lawyers providing pro bono legal services ............................................................................................22 GOAL 3 – The NCBA will promote diversity and inclusiveness in the Legal profession .......................................................................................23 GOAL 4 – The NCBA will assist its member in addressing the dynamic tension between emerging changes in the delivery of legal services and the highest standards of professionalism ............................25


THE COURTHOUSE ................................................................................27 GOAL 1 – The NCBA will advocate at the General Assembly for separate block grant funding for the Judicial Branch ................................27 GOAL 2 – The NCBA will advocate the General Assembly for an evaluation of the court system by existing or new study commission .......28 GOAL 3 – The NCBA will devote appropriate resources to ensure that the citizens of N.C. have a Judiciary of well-qualified, well-trained, well-compensated, and well-equipped judges ..........................................28 GOAL 4 – The NCBA will work to support the Administrative Office of the Courts in expanding technology in the court system ..........................28 GOAL 5 – The NCBA will actively preserve and protect the independence of the federal and state judiciaries.....................................29


THE COMMUNITY ...................................................................................30 GOAL 1 – The NCBA will work to improve the public’s perception of, Understanding of, and support for lawyers and the legal system .............30 GOAL 2 – The NCBA will advance the value of the Citizen Lawyer by promoting public citizenship .....................................................................31 GOAL 3 – The NCBA will advocate for improvements in the law to benefit the community ..............................................................................32


THE BAR ASSOCIATION ........................................................................34 GOAL 1 – The NCBA will maintain and grow membership .......................35 GOAL 2 – The NCBA and NCBAF should maintain the sound financial infrastructure necessary to support innovation and the respective

missions ...................................................................................................35 GOAL 3 – The NCBA will ensure that its governance is appropriate to achieve its mission ...............................................................................36 GOAL 4 – The NCBA should seek to cultivate a membership and leadership structure that is reflective of the North Carolina bar and North Carolina’s diverse citizenry .............................................................36 GOAL 5 – The Board of Governors, or its designee, should establish metrics for the implementation of the strategic plan .................................36 EXHIBIT 1– Implementation of the Plan ..............................................................38 APPENDIX A – NCBA Strategic Planning and Emerging Trends Committee ... A-1 APPENDIX B – Membership Survey ................................................................. A-2 APPENDIX C – Statistical results of membership survey.................................. A-3 APPENDIX D – List of stakeholders interviewed and others consulted............. A-4

Introduction to Vision 20201 A Strategic Plan for the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar Association Foundation The Strategic Planning & Emerging Trends Committee (“SPET Committee” or “the Committee”) of the North Carolina Bar Association (“NCBA” or the “Association”) respectfully submits this Strategic Plan for consideration and approval by the Board of Governors of the NCBA and the Board of Directors of the NCBA Foundation. “Less me … and more we.” On February 10, 1899, at 7:30 p.m., more than 65 lawyers met in the Supreme Court building in Raleigh for the purpose of organizing a statewide bar association. The mission of the North Carolina Bar Association was set forth in a proposed constitution discussed at that first meeting: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

“To cultivate the science of jurisprudence; To promote reform in the law; To facilitate the administration of justice; To elevate the standard of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession; To encourage a thorough and liberal legal education; and To cherish the spirit of brotherhood among the members thereof.” 2

The notion that our Association should serve the “public interest” was not mentioned in the proposed constitution, but it was soon added to the NCBA bylaws and has served as a cornerstone of our Association’s mission during the past 115 years. The SPET Committee has spent the past two years collecting and studying input from a wide range of sources including NCBA members, leadership and staff. Our Association’s continuing commitment to “public service” was emphasized often and passionately in these conversations. Indeed, some of the strongest words we heard were used to criticize any notion that our Association’s primary purpose should be anything else. “We stand on the shoulders of giants.” This is the ninth strategic plan produced by the NCBA in the past 35 years. Prior committees were convened to draft written plans in 1979-81 (chaired by E. Osborne Ayscue Jr. of Charlotte); 1981-83 (chaired by Laurence S. Graham of Greenville); 1983-85 (chaired by Larry B. Sitton of Greensboro); 1988-90 (chaired by John S. Stevens of Asheville); 1995-97 (chaired successively by Elizabeth L. Quick of Winston-Salem and Larry B. Sitton of Greensboro); 1999-2001 (chaired by G. Gray Wilson of Winston-Salem); 2005-06 (chaired by Martin H. Brinkley of Raleigh); and 2009-10 (chaired by Rosemary Gill Kenyon of Raleigh). It is impossible to improve upon the excellent work of these prior committees. The structure and content of these prior plans (in particular the current 2015 Plan) was so nearly perfect that it 1

20/20 Vision is the reference used by eye doctors to describe people who see things clearly on a standard eye exam. The title for this Strategic Plan was suggested by Allan Head (Executive Director of the NCBA) and approved by the SPET Committee in the hope that it will provide a “clear vision” for our Association during the next five years. 2 “Seeking Liberty and Justice: A History of the North Carolina Bar Association,” by J. Edwin Hendricks, 1999, at p. 34.


was tempting to change as little as possible. That proved difficult given the changes to our economy3 and our legal profession.4 As a result, certain changes were made to the structure and content used in prior plans and these are discussed below. Input to the Plan. The Committee sought input from a variety of sources in an effort to include the latest and best thinking into this Plan:5 •

The Committee reviewed and discussed comparable strategic plans used by the bar associations for the states of Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Michigan, California, Ohio, New Hampshire and Washington. These reviews helped identify a number of emerging trends and confirmed that our interest in other trends is shared by bar associations in other states. The Committee also examined and discussed strategic plans used by the North Carolina Dental Society, the North Carolina Medical Society, the American Medical Association and the American Bar Association. Candidly, none of these were particularly helpful to our mission. Understandably, the different industries have different priorities. Perhaps more importantly, the strategic plans we reviewed did not seem as well organized or developed as the NCBA’s prior plans so they offered little value to the Plan. The Committee met with Kim Crouch, NCBA Director of Government Affairs, to review recommendations for the Strategic Plan from NCBA members who participated in the 2013 Legislative Summit. The Committee also met with Joe Dearing, Executive Vice President for United Lex. His company is one of a growing number of legal process outsourcers that hire recent law school graduates to review documents as part of litigation discovery and M&A due diligence, work traditionally performed by North Carolina law firms. In 2013 and 2014, United Lex hired (as independent contractors) more recent graduates from North Carolina law schools than any law firm or company. Certain members of the Committee traveled to Charlotte to meet with Paula Littlewood6, Executive Director of the Washington State Bar Association, to discuss the limited license legal technician that was recently implemented in her state. A survey was sent to NCBA members. Catherine Peglow, the NCBA Director of Membership and Marketing, reviewed the results of this survey with the Committee at one of our meetings and we discussed ways we might revise our Goals and Targets to better serve the Membership’s stated preferences. Ms. Peglow was also very helpful in leading the Committee’s discussion of the changing demographics of our membership7 and whether we should revise certain requirements to increase our membership.8


The downturn had just begun when the 2015 Plan was developed and its full impact is now better understood. E.g., the decline in law school applications, the increasing age of NCBA membership, the continuing assault on funding to our court systems, and the emergence of new forms of competition for services traditionally performed by law firms. 5 The most important of these emerging trends are discussed below in the section titled, “The Current State of Affairs.” 6 Ms. Littlewood was presenting at the Charlotte School of Law. 7 The average age of our membership is increasing and we are not as effective in retaining newer members after the period of subsidized membership expires (the largest percentage decline occurs between the second and third year of membership). Despite these trends, Ms. Peglow led a very successful membership drive in 2013 that netted 650 new members. 8 E.g., law students are eligible for membership and many become active in our Association, but they must pass the bar exam after graduation to maintain their membership. Sadly, some of these students do not pass the bar exam or enter professions where bar passage is not required. 4


The past two SPET Committees retained the American Bar Association’s Division for Bar Services to help develop the next strategic plan at an SPET Committee retreat. The Committee decided not to make the same investments because many of our Committee members have experience from participating in the development of prior NCBA strategic plans. Also, David Bohm, the NCBA Assistant Executive Director, is a veteran of multiple strategic plans and he did an excellent job guiding new members through unfamiliar steps. In light of this experience on the current Committee, we felt the investment in a consultant and a retreat was unnecessary. Importantly, the SPET Committee met often with NCBA leaders9 and staff so that they could help craft our Goals and Targets in ways they feel are achievable (since it falls to them to implement many of these initiatives). Their input was an invaluable contribution to this process.

SPET Committee mission. During the past 18 months, the full SPET Committee met eight times (its five Working Groups met an additional 13 times) to develop this Plan that recommends a course of action for the NCBA. We did this by reviewing the prior NCBA Strategic Plans, examining the current state of affairs, identifying and studying emerging trends that may impact our members and the profession and embracing the NCBA’s role as an agent for positive change. The SPET Committee has not designed operational programs or evaluated the cost of our recommendations. Instead, the Plan provides an outline of priorities for the NCBA’s investment of money and resources going forward. In essence, the Plan suggests a baseline to evaluate whether the NCBA is dealing with the right issues and whether solutions are in fact delivering intended results. Structure and format. Those of you familiar with prior NCBA Strategic Plans will see a similar structure and format: •

Vision 2020 is presented as a series of Goals (which describe intended results and/or suggest steps to achieve those results) and Targets (these are suggested milestones for measuring progress to achieve a particular Goal by 2020). Each “chapter” is introduced by a commentary that serves as background for the Goals and Targets which follow. Goals and Targets are once again organized under five (familiar) Focus Areas: o The Lawyer’s Practice; o The Profession; o The Courthouse; o The Community; and o The Bar Association. Many Goals and Targets from prior plans remain relevant today and they are repeated in the Plan.

Jillian Brevorka researched other states and believes there are “about ten other bar associations” which offer an “associate membership” for people who graduate law school, but who do not pass the bar exam. 9 Including current NCBA President Catharine Arrowood and NCBA President-elect Shelby Benton. Ms. Arrowood shared a number of handouts produced by the North Carolina Symphony to describe their strategic plan and the SPET Committee intends to produce a comparable handout of the Plan for easy reference by our constituents.


Reducing the number of Goals and Targets. Many commentators noted that the 93 Goals and Targets in the 2015 Plan may be too much to enable meaningful progress in priority areas. For example, the NCBA Director of Membership and Marketing is responsible for 17 separate Targets and the NCBA Director of Governmental Affairs is responsible for 13 different Targets. The NCBA staff carries significant day-to-day responsibilities that are necessary for the NCBA to operate efficiently. The Targets included in our strategic plan are no less important than these day to day responsibilities, but it is self-defeating to create a plan that burdens the staff with more Targets than they can reasonably manage or complete. As a result, the Committee decided to significantly reduce the number of Goals and Targets. To accomplish this, the Committee split into five (5) Working Groups, one for each of the Focus Areas listed above.10 These Working Groups identified: • Completed or stale Goals and Targets that should not be carried over into the Plan; • Redundant Goals and Targets that can be consolidated; • Missing Goals and Targets that should be added to the next Plan; and, • Meaningful ways to measure demonstrable progress against these Goals and Targets. By following this process, the Committee was able to reduce the number of Targets from 72 (in the 2015 Plan) to 45. That’s a 35 percent reduction in the number of Targets. The Committee believes it was able to achieve this reduction without impacting the substance of our strategic plan by removing Targets that have been completed or grown stale, combining redundant Targets that are repeated in different sections of earlier plans, and removing Targets the Committee felt were vague or aspirational.11 In doing this, the Committee hopes it has retained what is essential to a successful strategic plan and simplified the work of those who are responsible for achieving progress in these areas. Metrics. A number of constituents informed the Committee that older strategic plans included metrics to measure progress against Targets. To the extent possible and reasonable, the Committee recommends that the owners of each Target develop metrics during the first six months of the adoption of the Plan to measure and demonstrate progress. Metrics can be time-consuming and not all Targets are worthy of this investment, so the Committee recommends that metrics be used to measure and demonstrate progress in the areas most important to our future success. Implementation of the Vision 2020: Near the end of this Plan, the Committee recommends the groups within the NCBA who should take responsibility for implementing these Goals and 10

Please refer to the section titled “Structure and Format.” Stated differently, a strategic plan is a roadmap for achieving our Association’s long-term priorities. It should be executable to have value. Its most important elements should be measurable and demonstrable. With all due respect to the excellent work of prior Committees, the Committee believes that certain Targets in prior plans were aspirational in nature (e.g., “the NCBA will continue to treasure its strong staff”). No one debates the truth of these statements, but it does not describe a Target that can be measured in ways that demonstrate progress against a Plan that ensures the NCBA remains competitive in an evolving marketplace for services to our members. The Committee decided that aspirational statements such as these do not belong in our Strategic Plan and they were removed. 11


Targets, along with the Board of Governors and the SPET Committee. Like many undertakings, successful implementation will require concerted effort by the entire Association. Finally, we thank the Board of Governors for giving our Committee the opportunity to reflect on ways we can advance the state of the art of our profession in service to our clients and the public. The Current State of Affairs The North Carolina Economy12 Growth: North Carolina continues to enjoy tremendous population growth and attracts a large inward migration of people every year. North Carolina is currently the 10th most populous state, and the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that by 2030, North Carolina may be the nation’s 7th most populous state, with nearly 12.5 million people. This represents a 54.9 percent jump in population over the year 2000, when North Carolina ranked 11th in population, with just over eight million residents. North Carolina is predicted to pass Georgia, Michigan and Ohio in population over the next 25 years. This continued growth will continue a trend that began around 1980 and by 2002 had seen the state’s population increase by 41 percent. North Carolina will be part of a nationwide demographic shift in which more than half of the country’s population growth between 2000 and 2030 will take place in the 16-state region from Delaware to Texas. If patterns from the decade between 1990 and 2000 continue, roughly 65-70 percent of this growth will be the result of net migration into the state, with the rest being due to natural increase (births minus deaths). The Economy: North Carolina is the 9th wealthiest state in the nation in terms of gross domestic product. Metropolitan areas continue to experience economic growth from banking, technology, life sciences and pharmaceutical jobs. Certain rural areas continue to provide good opportunities for agriculture products like poultry, eggs, hogs, tobacco, milk, cattle, sweet potatoes and soy beans, but other rural areas that have been dependent on manufacturing of textiles, furniture, chemicals, paper and pulp products have lost jobs to China and Latin America. The state continues to be a desirable destination for new businesses, investors and new residents; however, most of these opportunities remain contained in the “economic crescent” comprised of Charlotte, Asheville, Hickory, Winston-Salem, Greensboro-High Point, Triangle, Wilmington and Fayetteville. Despite this growth and apparent wealth, the per capita income in North Carolina is only 36th in the nation. The “Marriage Gap” and its Impact on Poverty: A recent Brookings Institution report found four North Carolina metro areas (Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro-High Point and WinstonSalem) fell within the top 10 in the nation for both growth in poor population and growth of poor neighborhoods. From 2008 to 2012, the poverty rate within the state has grown from 14.6


Many of the statistics and much of the information set forth in this section were obtained from the UNC Carolina Population Center website (See,, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website (See, North Carolina’s Aging Profile 2013 at, and the North Carolina Progress Board’s website or links contained therein. (See,


percent to 18 percent according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.13 Though many interwoven factors contribute to the poverty issue, North Carolina has experienced the national trend of an increasing number of single-parent families struggling to make ends meet. (i)

A new “marriage gap” in the United States is increasingly aligned with a growing income gap. Despite experiencing an overall decline, marriage remains the norm for college-educated adults with a good income, but is now decidedly less common among those of lower socio-economic status.14


According to the 2011 U.S. Census, forty-one percent of North Carolina single-parent families fall below the poverty line.15 As of 2013, an estimated twenty-five percent of North Carolina’s children are living in poverty, ranking it 38th in the country.16


Nationally, poverty rates are highest for families headed by single women, who account for thirty-nine percent of the poor, compared to only seven percent of married couples. Children growing up in homes without fathers are almost four times more likely to be poor. In 2011, twelve percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to forty-four percent of children in mother-only families.17


In North Carolina, single-parent families represent approximately one-fourth of all families with children. The percentage of children in North Carolina living in these households nearly tripled between 1960 and 1995.18 North Carolina has seen a dramatic demographic trend shifting upward in the percentage of births to unmarried women, almost quadrupling since 1940.19

Government Funding of the Court System: The economic downturn has resulted in state budget shortages and reduced spending. At the same time, population growth will put additional demand on government budgets to spend more on infrastructure on government services, such as schools, highways, public safety and communications. All of this increases the pressure on the government to reduce funding to the state’s court system. The legislature cut $7.5 million in its last session and $80 million over the last six years. The court system’s $464 million budget is 2.2 percent of the state budget compared with past levels of about 3 percent. Among the 50 states, North Carolina is third from the bottom in court funding as a percentage of the state budget. In addition, N.C. courts have lost more than 600 full-time positions, or 10 percent of their workforce.20 13

See, The Decline of Marriage And Rise of New Families, PEW RESEARCH SOCIAL & DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS, (Nov. 18, 2010), 15 North Carolina, SPOTLIGHT ON POVERTY AND OPPORTUNITY, (last visited Jan. 26, 2015). 16 Children in Poverty, ANNIE E. CASEY FOUNDATION (Sept. 2014), 17 Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2011, Table C8, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, 18 Paul A. Buescher, Ph.D, Children in Single-Parent Families in North Carolina: A Growing Problem, Statistical Brief No. 13, N.C. STATE CTR. FOR HEALTH STATISTICS (Dec. 1997), 19 Paul A. Buescher, Ph.D, Trends in Births to Unmarried Women in North Carolina, 1940-1995, Statistical Brief No. 8, N.C. STATE CTR. FOR HEALTH STATISTICS (March 1997), 20 “Funding cuts hobble North Carolina court systems,” News & Observer, November, 2014. 14


Regional Economies and Urbanization: Although the state’s population as a whole is growing rapidly, there is a wide disparity in the distribution of this growth across regions in the state. Between 2010 and 2013, 93 percent of North Carolina’s growth occurred in the top 10 metro/micro areas of North Carolina.21 Sixty-seven percent of the state’s growth was concentrated in the 12 counties that make up Charlotte and the Triangle. Indeed, Mecklenburg and Wake counties accounted for more than 45 percent of the state’s total growth and each county is predicted to surpass one million people in 2014 and 2015, respectively.22 Despite the overall growth in our state and the concentration of that growth in certain areas, half of the counties in North Carolina lost population since 2010 and only three of the state’s 26 rural counties (Duplin, Sampson and Swain) grew during the three years ending in 2014. Aging Population: The population in North Carolina, like the rest of the country, is getting older. The three population demographics over the age of 6023 are predicted to grow four to six times faster in North Carolina than the three demographics below age 60 between 2013 and 2033. Indeed, the number of people in North Carolina between the ages of 75 and 84 is expected to more than double by 2033. Increasing Diversity: The population in North Carolina, like the rest of the country, is becoming more diverse. The percentage of the U.S. population comprised of immigrants is close to record levels, and the number of immigrants is at an all-time high. Most immigrants come from Latin America and Asia, and are dispersing to areas like North Carolina where these immigrants traditionally have not lived. The North Carolina Legal Profession and Court System The following section describes the Committee’s view of the current state of our profession in North Carolina and emerging trends that the Committee believes will impact our profession going forward: Legal Outsource Providers. Prior strategic plans discussed the impact to our profession of new technologies, standardization of processes, and the commoditization of certain legal services. The Committee’s research indicates that these trends should be expected to continue through 2020. The Committee met with the Executive Vice President of United Lex, a legal outsource service provider offering a low-cost alternative to electronic discovery and due diligence reviews. United Lex (and many of its competitors) are large, well-capitalized24 enterprises. United Lex employs over 1,800 lawyers, engineers and consultants and holds over $250M in assets including a $60M line of credit which funds its growth. In 2013, United Lex hired more graduates from North Carolina’s law schools than any other employer in our state. Deanna Johnston, Vice President of Litigation at Fireman’s Fund Insurance, estimates that Novus Law 21

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, Raleigh-Cary, Durham-Chapel Hill, Greensboro-HighPoint, Wilmington, Asheville, Fayetteville, Dunn, WinstonSalem, Jacksonville. 22 As of July 1, 2013, Mecklenburg’s population was 991,000 and Wake was 974,000. Each county has grown by over 20,000 people since 2010. 23 60+, 65+ and 85+ 24 Many are backed by private equity funding which they use to expand their capacity to compete.


(a United Lex competitor) has saved her company between 15-30 percent on each litigation matter where it has assisted.25 The success of firms like United Lex and Novus Law means that some of the repeatable, high-revenue work performed by traditional law firms is moving to alternative service providers. These firms are also partnering with traditional law firms to offer other services (for example, United Lex has partnered with DLA Piper to offer low-cost patent application preparation). Law firms either adapt to compete for this business, replace this revenue stream or adjust their infrastructure. It seems likely this trend will continue. Another related example: Capital Associated Industries filed a lawsuit26 on January 23, 2014, against N.C. Attorney General, Roy Cooper, et. al., in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina to challenge North Carolina laws that prohibit CAI from providing legal advice to its members. CAI is a non-profit association of employers that provides human resources related advice, data and training to its members. CAI would like to provide HR-related legal advice to its members through the two N.C. licensed lawyers on its staff, but CAI claims it is prohibited from doing so by N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 84-4 and 84-5, which proscribe the practice of law by any person other than a member of the North Carolina State Bar and by corporations, respectively. CAI is challenging these statutes on constitutional and other grounds. The Committee believes there may be opportunities for our Association to help its members better understand this emerging trend and ways they can address it in their practice. This is discussed in more detail in the section of the Plan titled, “The Profession.” Limited License Legal Technicians: The Washington State Supreme Court adopted a Limited License Legal Technician Rule effective September 1, 2012. The rule authorizes people who are not licensed as lawyers to advise and assist clients in approved practice areas of law if they meet certain education requirements and pass a practice area specific licensing exam. The rule establishes a board to administer the program and in January 2013 the board recommended (and the state’s Supreme Court approved) family law as the first practice area in which to license LLLTs. The board began accepting applications for the LLLT licensing exam in March 2015. A number of other state’s bar associations have studied Washington’s LLLT, including our Committee, but none have decided to pursue it. It may be important to note that neither the legislature nor the state bar of Washington supported the LLLT. The rule was enacted by the Washington State Supreme Court, acting alone. The Committee recommends that the NCBA continue to follow Washington’s experience with LLLTs as well as any other states that may decide to pursue it, but does not recommend that North Carolina pursue adding an LLLT equivalent at this time. A Growing Profession: The number of licensed lawyers in North Carolina has continued to increase each year, with an annual rate of growth rate of approximately 3 percent to 5 percent (excluding 2012 to 2013 when the number of lawyers grew only slightly). There are 25 26

“Who’s eating law firm’s lunch?” October 1, 2013, ABA Journal. CAI v. Roy Cooper, et al., Civil Action No. 1:15-CV-83, USDC, Middle District of NC, January 23, 2015.


approximately 27,176 lawyers with a North Carolina active license, more than 15,000 of whom are members of the NCBA.27 Despite this growth, North Carolina ranks 46th among states in the number of lawyers per capita.28 With a total of seven law schools, North Carolina produces close to 1,500 law school graduates each year and most of these graduates seek employment in our state after graduation.29 In the future and across the nation, however, the trend may be different. Law school applications across the nation continue to decline and are down 37 percent since 2010.30 39,675 students enrolled in law school in the fall of 2014, the smallest first-year class since 1975, continuing a three-year decline after enrollment reached an all-time high of 52,488 in 2010.31 Of greater concern is the fact that the biggest application declines have occurred among students who scored in the middle-to-high range on the LSAT, suggesting the possibility that the incoming class of law students may be less qualified to practice law than in prior years. This is a familiar trend: After peaking in 1979, dental school enrollments declined during the next six years by almost one-third due to improved dental health, reductions in federal funding, high tuition costs and debt loads. Then, over the next several years, six more universities closed their dental schools, including Emory University and Georgetown University, which had been the largest program in the country. Given there were only about 60 dental schools to begin with, this amounted to a significant bust.32 The Economics of our Aging Membership: Of all the emerging trends facing our Association, this one has the greatest potential impact on our ability to continue to offer a broad variety of high quality services to our membership and community. 1,679 of our current members are between the ages of 54 and 58. When these members reach the age of 65, they will be automatically opted-in to the NCBA Senior Lawyers Division. If the number of law school applications continues to decline and if that trend begins to impact the number of newly licensed lawyers in North Carolina, it is likely that the number of members in our SLD will exceed the number in our YLD. The economic impact of this trend on our Association should be studied and addressed. 4,061 of our current members (approximately 25 percent) are over the age of 59. By 2019, one-third of our membership (over 5,300 members) will be over the age of 60. Approximately 15 percent (2,480 members) of our members are already over the age of 65. Under our current dues structure, these members pay the highest fees and help sustain our programs, but they are eligible for free emeritus membership when they reach the age of 70 (and have 25 years of continuous membership) in the next 5 years.33


Data provided by Catherine Peglow, Membership Director of NCBA. ABA National Lawyer Population by state 29 U.S. News & World Report, Law School Rankings. 30 “Law School Applications Down,” ABA Journal, July 22, 2014. 31 Id. 32 “Get ready for some law schools to close,” Slate, December 1, 2014. 33 Data provided by Catherine Peglow (Membership Director) and Dan McLawhorn (Chair of the Membership Committee). 28


The loss of this revenue combined with the declining percentage of N.C. licensed lawyers who join our Association,34 and the declining retention rate of new members,35 is likely to result in a net loss of income to the Association, while the number of licensed attorneys grows. This trend highlights two important challenges to the Association during the next five years: (i) what services can we offer to our older members and should we evaluate our dues structure to consider ways we may extend the time these valued members will continue to support the programs our Association offers; and (ii) what can we do to inspire a higher percentage of newly licensed lawyers to join and continue as members in our Association? More Solo Practitioners and the Need for Mentoring: The NCBA’s Center for Practice Management continues to experience significant demand for assistance from lawyers who are setting up solo practices at all stages of their careers. Newly licensed lawyers, presented with fewer opportunities for employment, along with more experienced lawyers who have been displaced from their firms or companies, find this alternative the most accessible in a difficult economy. These “suddenly solo” practitioners may not receive adequate mentoring and this increases the risk to our citizens and the reputation of our profession.36 Therefore, the Committee recommends a continuing commitment by the NCBA to its mentorship program as a way for these lawyers to access coaching outside of the traditional law firm and corporate setting. In addition, a successful NCBA mentorship program can help reinforce the value of continuing membership in our Association for the increasing number of lawyers in our state who otherwise lack traditional mentors. “Lawyer in a Box”: The Committee worked with Erik Mazzone, Director of the NCBA Center for Practice Management, to develop a “Lawyer in a Box” Initiative that the NCBA can market to its “suddenly solo” members. The offering includes a portfolio of offerings and products (e.g., case management, billing software, etc.) that can facilitate a lawyer’s transition to solo practice. The offering is designed to offer value that is not simply immediate in the hope that it will inspire members to prioritize and renew their membership in our association each year. The Court System: One of the pillars of our legal system is a functioning and independent judicial system. As explained above, the legislature continues to reduce funding to our judicial system following years of chronic underfunding and this has resulted in continued degradation of this crucial system. The Administrative Office of the Courts is unable to fill positions needed to provide basic services, judicial salaries lag reasonable standards, and needed upgrades to technology to make the court system more accessible and effective have been deferred repeatedly. The Committee recommends that the NCBA continue to provide needed leadership and advocacy to improve the administration of justice. Tackling these seemingly intractable problems to make a long-term difference in the future of our judicial branch will require renewed energy and leadership. 34

In 1973, approximately 65 percent of the lawyers licensed in North Carolina were members of our Association (3,500 of 5,429). That percentage remained relatively constant until 2000 when it began to steadily decline. In 2013, it was down to 58 percent (15,075 of 25,873). 35 Many newly licensed lawyers discontinue their membership with our Association after the discounts we offer in early years expire. 36 2,888 of our members practice solo (roughly 20 percent) and even they may benefit from mentoring if and when they consider expansion into new practice areas


Access to Justice: According to a report from Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC), the number of North Carolinians who qualified for assistance from legal aid agencies in 2014 was approximately 3.7 million (39 percent of the state’s population),37 up from the 2.2 million (28 percent of the population) estimate cited in Momentum 2010 and an increase from 3.1 million (35 percent of the population) cited in Service 2015. LANC and comparable organizations are losing funding and resources at the same time as the need for their services is increasing resulting in unmet or underserved needs. This gap can and should be filled, in part, by our Association’s continued commitment to pro bono and community service. Thirty-nine percent of North Carolina citizens (approx. 3.7 million people) are now eligible for LANC services, an increase of 4 percent since 2005. A family of four is eligible for LANC services if its income is less than 125 percent of the poverty level and conditionally eligible (based on the nature of their legal issue) if they are 200 percent below. In 2014, 125 percent of the poverty level was $29,812 for a family of four and 200 percent was $47,700. In actuality, this is much higher than the average income of the clients served by LANC in 2014 (which was $15,260 for a family of four).38 Access to Justice is discussed in more detail in the section of the Plan titled, “The Profession.” Law School Debt. New lawyers increasingly join the profession with suffocating amounts of debt used to finance their education. The combination of high debt and poor job prospects is creating a crisis for many recent graduates. It also acts as a disincentive for people to pursue a career in public service if they cannot service their debt on the low salaries found in public sector jobs. In the future, however, this trend may change. Seventy-four percent of first-year law students received financial assistance in the fall of 2014 compared to only 30 percent in 2009.39 A Diverse and Multi-Generational Profession: Although our state’s population is increasingly more diverse, there is a continuing sense that the profession as a whole does not reflect the growing diversity of the population in North Carolina that we serve. Views of the NCBA. Our Committee conducted an online survey of 16,590 members (all who provided the NCBA with email addresses). 2,308 responded (a 14 percent response rate); 400 more than responded to the 2009 survey. Catherine Peglow, Director of Membership and Marketing for the NCBA, prepared a summary of the survey results, which is reproduced in Appendix B. Excerpts from our members’ comments are illustrative: •

37 38 39

“I think the NCBA does a good job of providing services, but the ones I am most drawn to are the least ‘cutting edge.’ To me, the NCBA’s real value comes from opportunities to interact with other members.”

To qualify, an individual’s income must fall below 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Data provided by Megan Daisy Milner, Director of Development, LANC. “Get ready for some law schools to close,” Slate, December 1, 2014.


“The Business Law Section email listserv has always been a valuable collegial resource.”

“I feel the NCBA is one of the best nationwide and always has been.”

“I have been in practice since 1977 and it continues to amaze me how well the NCBA stays in front of trends and helps our profession adapt. Outstanding!”

“The meetings are often in the Raleigh/Cary area and it makes it difficult to travel from other parts of the state.”

“Provide more CLEs at reduced costs. I would attend more out of interest. But when the cost is unmanageable for a solo, I have to get the requirements in (FYI: I am always a year ahead on credits). I have many interests, but my budget won’t allow me to participate.”

“Consider offering public sector discounts/reduced fees for membership and/or attendance at the annual conference. It is very costly and for members who cannot write the experience off with their employer, it is a cost prohibitive to consider attending, with the cost of travel, hotel, gas, food in addition to the high registration fees.”

Not all comments voiced in these surveys and interviews were positive, as you can see, and several comments warrant further study and analysis as reflected in some of the discussion to follow.




The NCBA's Vision: The NCBA will be the state's preeminent provider of indispensable support, services and benefits to enable our members to provide superior legal services while maintaining the highest ethical, professional and personal standards. Comments Over the past five years, our legal system, like every other industry, was impacted significantly by the Great Recession and its lingering aftermath. During the Great Recession, law school applications and graduating law classes spiked to new heights as college graduates fled to law school, in hopes of avoiding, or at least delaying, the inevitable: unemployment. Although the economy has shown much improvement since 2009, newly licensed attorneys, as well as more experienced lawyers, still are up against an unforgiving legal job market. The rising debt new lawyers face after law school, coupled with the tight job market, has left many inexperienced attorneys with few employment options. If a traditional law firm or other legal position is not available, lawyers feel pressured to open up a solo practice, taking a non-traditional legal position, or, as has been a recent trend, performing monotonous legal tasks for a legal outsourcing company. Commonality exists between these employment options (even for those lawyers who believe they have landed their dream job): new, inexperienced lawyers are not receiving the benefits of regular interaction with strong, experienced attorneys who can provide either formal or informal mentoring relationships. In the 2015 Plan, the NCBA tasked itself with developing a statewide mentorship program. Even with some progress having been made in this area, much more remains to be done in providing mentoring experiences and opportunities among North Carolina’s lawyers. The Committee believes existing mentoring efforts can and should be expanded and improved – including through cooperation with local bar organizations to facilitate stronger mentor-mentee relationships that are rooted within the community. New lawyers are not the only beneficiaries of a strong community-based mentorship program or the other professional development services offered by the NCBA. Many baby boomers are nearing retirement age without any succession or transition plan in place for their practices. The NCBA is uniquely positioned to provide assistance to these lawyers in multiple ways. Among these ways is the opportunity to create mutually beneficial mentoring relationships with North Carolina’s local bars that may pair young, aspiring lawyers trained in the Triangle, the Triad, Charlotte (or beyond) with accomplished, seasoned attorneys from all parts of North Carolina – rural and suburban, from the mountains to the coast – who may be ready to transition practices and opportunities on to young lawyers eager for such opportunities. Along with a strong mentorship program, the NCBA must continue to enhance the quality of services it provides its members at all stages of their careers. Given the new and still largely unchartered economic landscape confronting all lawyers, chief among these services needs to be an expanded legal career center that can assist lawyers (and aspiring lawyers) with 13

everything from finding their first legal job to making mid-career moves and transitioning out of the practice of law. Our members need to be able to look to the NCBA for professional development services, as well as personal and ethical support, every step of the way. The climate of the legal practice is changing at an incredible, and sometimes terrifying, rate. Technology’s rapid evolution offers opportunities to make legal services more accessible and affordable. It also makes client demands all the more urgent and threatens to overwhelm sober reflection, reasoned analysis and considered judgment and advice. The pace of technological change no doubt will continue to test much of what we think we know about the practice of law. As technology inevitably transforms the legal profession, the NCBA should develop, provide and maintain valuable resources and programs that help its members keep abreast of that technology and thus help ensure each lawyer in North Carolina has the capabilities, experience and ethical standing to vigorously and honestly represent the public. With these overarching thoughts in mind, we recommend that the NCBA implement and embrace three goals in The Lawyer’s Practice section: GOAL 1:

The NCBA will continue to provide valuable support services and tools for the business and professional aspect of law practice, including progressive and integrated strategies, models and tools for law practice and law practice management across all practice segments that improve members’ ability to render affordable and high-quality legal services to clients.

Targets: (1)

The NCBA should develop and maintain a statewide mentorship program to assist lawyers in their early years of practice.


The NCBA should develop, maintain and provide to local bars and other organizations facilitation and resources that will enable them to establish, enhance and maintain their own mentorship programs to assist lawyers in their practice.


The NCBA should sustain, enhance and promote the services provided by the NCBA’s Center for Practice Management.


The NCBA should continue to be the leading source of information and training about technology and help members identify worthwhile technology products, vendors and service providers, and as part of this identification process, the NCBA should consider providing ratings or other purchasing advice to members concerning particular technology products, vendors and service providers. Based on the NCBA’s 2014 Membership Survey, keeping up with changing technology was one of the greatest areas of concern.

These targets potentially can be tracked over the next five years in a multitude of ways. For example, the NCBA can better monitor the number of lawyer/mentees and lawyer/mentors participating in any NCBA-affiliated mentorship program. If the numbers are too low, the NCBA 14

can strive to increase them. The NCBA can gauge and track the actual production and delivery of materials and resources to local bars’ mentoring programs. If no material and resources are being circulated, not enough is being done. The NCBA can set as it initial goal that it will list and provide support to every local bar, law school or other bar-related organization with a mentoring program. At the Center for Practice Management, we should monitor customer feedback, including a specific survey annually to attorneys served by the Center. We also should track the number of attorneys the Center assists each year, with the goal of having that number increase substantially over five years. In terms of providing valuable information about technological change, the NCBA needs to monitor member feedback, including a specific survey annually to gauge how NCBA members feel about this service being provided. GOAL 2:

The NCBA must adapt its services to address the evolving personal, career and professional development needs of lawyers at all stages in their careers, including transition from one practice setting to another, or from one form of practice to another.

Targets: (1)

As a high priority, the NCBA should consider ways in which it can help members find appropriate positions in the profession, both within and outside the traditional practice of law, and move promptly to establish either a program or a specific Center for Career Services that is feasible in light of NCBA’s available resources. Law school career centers are not equipped to adequately assist their alumni in the legal job hunt due to the combined effect of the economic downturn and the volume of law school graduates that more in-state law schools are graduating. Law school career centers are focused on assisting their most recent graduates locate jobs because those job-placement numbers must be reported. As a result, alumni who find themselves midway in their career and jobless are without a familiar resource. There is no greater service that a community of lawyers can provide to a fellow lawyer, especially one just beginning his or her career or one facing devastating job loss, than helping him or her find a position within the profession. The NCBA can foster and enhance its relationships with members by providing valuable job-placement and career services.


Assist members in maintaining a healthy quality of life while practicing law, and provide the information and tools to assist members in striking an appropriate balance.


Educate members on trends, issues and developments that affect the practice of law.


Assist and educate members about issues concerning transitions out of the practice of law, including issues concerning retirement, the transfer or phasing out of practices and the ongoing engagement of retired attorneys within NCBA activities.


Myriad ways also exist to track progress toward these targets. In terms of a possible Center for Career Services, the NCBA could monitor customer feedback, including a specific survey annually to attorneys served by such a center or comparable program administered by the NCBA. The NCBA can specifically track how many lawyers seek employment assistance from the NCBA in any given year, including tracking how many of those individuals find employment within six-month, 12-month or 18-month windows. Even more simply, the NCBA could track the number of legal and nonlegal job vacancies that the NCBA assists in promoting in any way in any given year, also including tracking how many of those positions are filled within six-month, 12-month or 18-month windows. In terms of measuring how well the NCBA assists members in maintaining a healthy lifestyle balance or identifying legal trends, we can both monitor member feedback through surveys and keep track of how many programs, classes, articles or events the NCBA sponsors or offers each year that either promote work/life balance among lawyers or that help identify trends, issues and developments that impact legal practice. These same metrics can be applied to issues about transitioning out of the practice of law, and the NCBA also could set an immediate goal of targeting at least two seminars each year in all different regions of the state for lawyers specifically contemplating retirement. GOAL 3:

The NCBA will provide, directly and by endorsement, programs tailored for members that promote professional improvement outside the scope of traditional continuing legal education, regardless of whether CLE credit is awarded.

Targets: (1)

Establish a multi-disciplinary task force or planning committee to study and evaluate outside-the-box, non-legal programming for lawyers. Membership would be comprised of several professionals from various disciplines other than law as well as a cross-section of lawyers. We recommend that a lawyerdriven task force or an appointed committee study possible areas of training that could be offered, what resources already exist and could be utilized and what additional needs could be met effectively by the NCBA. We believe there are opportunities to be developed over the next five years, but the process of discerning and delivering them should be member-driven from within the NCBA, with input from non-lawyers not currently affiliated with the NCBA.


Task the multi-disciplinary task force or planning committee with reviewing and approving endorsement for non-NCBA programs that would promote professional improvement outside the scope of traditional CLE.

Progress toward these targets initially can be measured easily, but then progress will have to be gauged on what a task force or committee suggests. It hopefully will be easy enough to track the formation of a task force or committee as well as the initial recommendations from such a group. Tracking progress after that may need to include monitoring how many programs, classes, articles or events the NCBA sponsors or offers each year that deal with such non-legal


issues or areas of training. It may include collecting member feedback in an annual survey. It also may include setting a goal of providing at least two to four such programs throughout North Carolina by the end of 2016 and having the number of offerings increase between 2017 and 2020 depending on member demand and feedback. * * *




The NCBA's Vision: The NCBA’s continuing commitment to sustaining the culture of professionalismcollegiality, civility, integrity, scholarship, community and service to the public that has long been the hallmark of the North Carolina bar assumes even more importance as our profession undergoes substantial change. Comments Collegiality and Community. The legal profession in North Carolina is not homogeneous, but all members of our profession are impacted by similar forces, many of which challenge the collegiality that has long been the hallmark of the North Carolina bar. Nationally, attorneys are grappling with sluggish economic growth in the legal sector, client resistance to rate increases, the continuing struggle to contain expenses, non-attorney legal service providers, a surplus of attorneys and emerging trends that include the burgeoning international or technological outsourcing of legal services.40 Additionally, in a market in which attorney supply exceeds demand, a firm’s sustainability may well depend on its skill in luring clients from competitors. In the process, the competitive force that once was channeled by lawyers only into client advocacy is increasingly being pressed into service in the arena of economic survival. Cloud-based legal practices, telecommuting and technological advancements that tether the practitioner to a computer further isolate attorneys. North Carolina firms, large and small, and their members are or will surely be influenced, albeit in varying ways, by these factors. Emerging from this unsettling stew of change are several imperatives for the Association, all of which serve to enhance the collegiality and well-being of its members. The NCBA must, particularly during this transformational time, attend to the preservation of the sense of community and the shared commitment to service to clients and the public long prominent in the history of the legal profession in North Carolina. As the predominant membership bar in North Carolina, the NCBA must support its broad demographic from the newest attorneys, many of whom struggle with unemployment, underemployment and often staggering debt,41 to the increasing number of senior lawyers seeking to transition with dignity from active practice into retirement. The NCBA must continue to provide opportunities throughout the state for its members to interact and to form professional and personal relationships that transcend grouping by specialization. The Association must replace through mentorship programs the support once provided to young attorneys by other members of a firm, recognizing as well the increasing number of solo practitioners in our midst.42


2014 Report on the State of the Legal Market, Georgetown Law Center for the Study of the Legal Profession (Thompson Reuters Peer Monitor) (2014). 41 Brian Z. Tamanaha, The Mismatched Economics of Legal Education, 85 N.Y.S.B.A. J. 55 (Sept. 2013). See also Josh Block and Janet Lorin, Law School Debt Exceeds $100,000 AMID Jobs Shortage, (Apr. 18, 2012), (estimating that the average law school debt is over $100,000 per borrower). 42 Deborah Epstein Henry, Planning for the Future, ABA Bar Leadership Institute (March 15, 2013) (lauding the NCBA’s Retiring With Dignity Program as a “Bar Innovation”).


A number of our colleagues continue to struggle to surmount substance abuse, depression and other forms of mental, psychological and physical debilitation. We have tragically lost several of our members to suicide over the past few years. Nationally (and our experience in North Carolina may well reflect these unsettling statistics) attorneys suffer from clinical depression at a rate that is more than three times higher than that of the general public, and lawyers are now twice as likely to commit suicide.43 While BarCARES, inaugurated in 2000, provides confidential care in the areas of problem clarification, crisis management and counseling to attorneys throughout the state, its effectiveness is limited by the willingness of our members to utilize its services. The NCBA BarCARES Statewide Initiative has been in place since 2011 and the number of attorneys, family members and paralegals using BarCARES services has increased from fewer than 3,000 in 2000, to over 18,500 in 2014.44 The majority of those seeking assistance suffer from depression, anxiety, stress, chemical dependency and work-related difficulties. The NCBA must continue its support of BarCARES; it must also actively work to enhance the usage of BarCARES among the members of our legal community and to diminish the stigma of seeking professional care. Access to Justice. Pro bono service opportunities are among the most effective and laudable means of promoting collegiality and community among NCBA members, providing the participants with an enhanced sense of impact as they serve the increasing number of our neighbors lacking even the most rudimentary access to justice. Adopted on the heels of the 2008 economic downturn, the NCBA’s last strategic plan, Service 2015, recited discouraging poverty statistics as it called for reinvigorated pro bono efforts. Such numbers continue to be daunting: according to 2012 Census numbers, 18 percent of North Carolinians are still living below the poverty line, including 26 percent of our state’s children. Under Legal Services Corporation guidelines, almost 24 percent of North Carolina’s population meets the eligibility requirements for free legal services because they earn at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty guideline amount;45 most who are fortunate enough to obtain legal aid representation have household incomes of much less, below $15,000 per year, according to LANC. Despite the need, North Carolina’s legal services programs combined are staffed with one lawyer for approximately every 16,000 eligible clients.46 These figures and the human stories of hardship behind them illustrate that North Carolina is still woefully lacking in its provision of civil legal representation to those without the means to retain a private attorney. Our state’s primary provider of civil legal representation to those of limited economic means, LANC, cannot address the burgeoning demand of those seeking assistance with such matters as protection from domestic violence, illegal evictions and foreclosures, housing discrimination and the wrongful termination of public benefits. LANC estimates that more than half of those seeking assistance who are representation eligible cannot be served because of lack of resources. In an era of decimating cuts to legal aid 43

Ted David, Can Lawyers Learn to be Happy? Prac. Law, August, 2011 at 29; also, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lawyers rank fourth in suicide deaths by profession, after dentists, pharmacists, and physicians, Rosa Flores and Rose Marie Arce, Why are lawyers killing themselves? (January 20, 2014), available at 44 BarCARES of North Carolina, Utilization Report for the Calendar Year 2014, (Dec. 2014) (statistics through December 8, 2014). 45 According to 2014 federal poverty guidelines, an individual earning $14,588 and a family of four earning $29,812 are legal aid eligible based on a 125 percent test, while an individual earning $23,340 and a family of four earning $47,700 are legal aid eligible based on a 200 percent test. 46 LANC’s statistic derived from dividing the number of North Carolinians who are estimated to be legal aid eligible (3.5 million – 2012 census) by 220, the approximate number of legal services attorneys in North Carolina.


funding, including the recent loss of over $600,000 in funding due to the General Assembly’s elimination of the Access to Justice Act and reductions in IOLTA, United Way, and federal support, LANC and the other legal aid providers in North Carolina continue to represent the most vulnerable of our neighbors with remarkable dedication, making do with less and less. Private attorney involvement and support are essential to address the gap in access to justice between those with means and those who are barely subsisting. The Association must continue to provide attorneys statewide with diverse and abundant opportunities for pro bono service. Lawyer on the Line, perhaps the NCBA’s most impactful pro bono initiative, is a partnership between the NCBA and LANC in which prescreened legal aideligible clients are assigned to volunteer attorneys who agree to donate one hour per month (many generously offer more protracted representation) to the provision of legal advice over the telephone, resulting in the resolution of the majority of the legal issues presented. Since its inauguration in 2011, Lawyer on the Line (previously “Call 4 All”) participants have aided over 11,000 clients, providing over 10,000 hours of pro bono assistance. Five other states are exploring the implementation of a similar program because of the relationships that it builds and because of its impact. Another signature program, 4ALL Service Day, offers the opportunity for volunteer lawyers throughout North Carolina to provide free phone-based legal information to residents of North Carolina on a specific day each year. During the eight years that the 4ALL Service Day has been in existence, 3,543 attorney volunteers have served a total of 68,169 callers. The North Carolina Veterans Pro Bono Project is one of the NCBA’s most collaborative projects, uniting those entities in the community that serve the interests of veterans, including the NCBA, the Equal Access to Justice Commission, legal services providers, VA hospitals, and a variety of other veteran service organizations, around the goal of attending to the myriad legal needs of the growing number of veterans in North Carolina. Staffing for the project is underway and fundraising has commenced. NCBA sections and divisions are also engaged in a variety of pro bono ventures, including NC LEAP, providing free legal services to low-wealth entrepreneurs, various will and estate planning related projects, including the Eugenics Project, Wills for Heroes, Wills for Military, Wills for Equality, and Project Grace, the representation of those appealing Medicaid determinations, assisting Habitat for Humanity homeowners by providing free real estate closings, and aiding those with construction-related matters caused by natural disasters. All of these programs, initiatives, and projects, many of which were conceived since the adoption of the NCBA’s last strategic plan, provide North Carolina attorneys with a sense of community, encourage collaboration, enhance collegiality, and furnish attorneys with accessible means to fulfill each attorney’s professional obligation to serve the community in which he or she practices. Yet, despite these laudable undertakings, in this era of greater need and diminishing resources more must be done to boost program participation and attorney financial support of legal services providers. The observation in Service 2015 that “Lawyers in our state are not adequately supporting legal services programs with their money or their time,” still holds true today. Many of our colleagues do not participate in pro bono endeavors, even with the availability of an increasing number of superb service options, and the percentage of attorneys


making access to justice contributions is woefully small.47 We can and we must do better, thoughtfully expending NCBA resources on these issues, perhaps with a creative focus on what is becoming an access to justice paradox: the legal needs of the poor remain largely unmet, yet, an increasing number of new attorneys have not found employment or are underemployed; the possibility of melding need with resource is intriguing and presents yet another opportunity to lessen the shameful access to justice gap in our state. Diversity. The legal profession, to maintain its legitimacy and to ensure access to justice, must be representative of the diverse community that it serves. The resolute commitment of the Association to a diverse North Carolina bar is reflected in its diversity statement: “The North Carolina Bar Association is an inclusive organization committed to recognizing, respecting, promoting and encouraging diversity among its leadership, its membership and the entire legal community.” The NCBA is active in its mission to ensure a diverse profession through its continuing fulfillment of the recommendations made by its Joint Diversity Task Force in 2010. Such efforts, many of which are overseen by the NCBA’s Minorities in the Profession Committee, include the annual Diversity Conference, the 1L Summer Associate Program, various Preparing to Practice activities and the Minority Corporate Counsel Program. One particularly innovative program not affiliated with the Minorities in the Profession Committee is the LegalLINK (Legal Leadership, Information, Networking, Knowledge) program of the Young Lawyers Division. Recognizing that interest in becoming an attorney often begins prior to entering college, the LegalLINK program educates students in elementary and secondary schools, many of which are located in areas of diverse populations, about the law and the legal profession; the creative and entertaining presentations made by members of the YLD throughout the state have garnered much praise from the participating schools and students. Despite these fine endeavors, the quest for the diversity essential to the integrity of our legal system must continue, with NCBA resources devoted to these and other diversity initiatives. Emerging Trends. The emerging challenges to the position of the attorney as the predominant source of legal representation affect not only the manner in which legal services are rendered, but also the continuing vitality of law firms throughout the state. Law firms, no matter the size, must now attend to such issues as organizational structure, pricing and service delivery models, all in the context of the professionalism that has long been the pride and hallmark of the North Carolina bar. As a service to its members and the legal profession in our state, the NCBA must continue to identify those trends that impact its members, their practices and the public. The Association must also educate North Carolina lawyers about these changes, many of which have already influenced such matters as attorney hiring and retention and fees, and it must, where appropriate, work to protect the integrity of the legal profession in its service to the public. Technology has transformed the delivery of legal services. The public has more access than ever to information about various aspects of the law and with that, the enhanced ability to self-represent, as evidenced by the proliferation of Web-based document generation systems 47

In 2013, only 832 individual attorneys and 25 firms and local bar associations made such contributions. Thousands of attorneys throughout the state made no contribution at all to any access to justice campaign. The 2014 figures, still being compiled, are also discouraging: 685 individual attorney donors and 22 firm and local bar associations are reported.


that allow consumers to draft wills, employment agreements, articles of incorporation and organization and similar types of legal documents. Rocket Lawyer, which received $18.5 million in venture capital recently,48 provides legal forms that online users can complete, store and share on the web; for an additional $20 per month, the documents are reviewed by attorneys who provide legal advice at no additional cost. Law Pivot, a legal question and answer website that allows its customers to receive low price legal answers from a roster of private lawyers, is flourishing.49 At the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association, the ABA and Rocket Lawyer announced that they are “teaming up to explore innovative solutions to a vexing legal paradox-the difficulty small businesses face finding affordable legal services at a time when many lawyers would welcome expanding professional opportunities.” Rocket Lawyer founder and CEO Charley Moore characterizes the arrangement as one which will “democratize access to legal counsel using technology.”50 Alongside such commoditization of routine legal services is the disaggregation of legal work into a series of tasks, all of which do not need to be performed by attorneys seated at the table but, rather, may be best handled by specialized computer programs or remotely. The explosion in digital data and the success of such digital and technology solution firms as United Lex, which has a “globally integrated delivery center” in Durham, North Carolina, and provides broad technologically based services including e-discovery and other types of litigation management, have displaced the usage of law firm associates for document review, potentially reducing the demand for litigation associates.51 Joe Dearing, an executive with United Lex, in a presentation to the Committee, described United Lex’s partnership with North Carolina law schools and its establishment of a “residency” training program for new attorneys. Mr. Dearing represented that United Lex has hired more graduates of North Carolina law schools than any other single employer in North Carolina.52 Nationally, legal work is flowing into legal process outsourcing firms (LPOs) established in places such as India, where the work is performed for a fraction of the price charged in the United States. Familiar brands such as Thompson Reuters, are entering into the LPO business, with its 2010 purchase of Pangea3, an LPO firm employing over 850 attorneys in India. Huron Consulting Group recently opened a new document review facility near Delhi, bringing its document review workforce to 1,500, with approximately 17 offices worldwide.53 More recently, “predictive coding” vendors such as Recommind have emerged, producing computer-based machine algorithms that aid in large document discovery.54 The ban on fee splitting has been relaxed in such places as the U.K. and Australia, permitting the entry of such entities as Tesco, a supermarket chain, into the consumer legal business.55 In the United States, Washington state has now licensed non-lawyers to practice law on a limited basis. Such “LLLTs” are permitted to represent clients in family law and other matters. A principal catalyst 48

Jordan Furlong, Welcome to the Crucible 1 Inside Legal Thought Leaders’ Digest 6 (Oct. 28, 2011) available at 49 Id. 50 Monica Bay, Game Change: The ABA and Self-Help Legal Shops Seek Common Ground, Law Technology News (Oct. 1, 2014) available at 51 William Henderson, Losing the Law Business, 30 First Quarter 78, 79 (March 2013). 52 Presentation by Joseph F. Dearing, Executive Vice President-Global Legal Solutions, United Lex, to the NCBA Strategic Planning and Emerging Trends Committee on January 10, 2014. 53 Henderson, Losing the Law Business, 30 First Quarter at 79. 54 Id. 55 Id.


for the establishment of the LLLT program is the duty to ensure that the public has “access to affordable legal and law-related services [so that] they are not left to fall prey to the perils of the unregulated market place.”56 It is likely only a matter of time before other states, including North Carolina, consider licensing LLLTs for the similar reasons. William Henderson, a prolific writer about trends in the delivery of legal services, aptly observes that “Law is not just for lawyers anymore. This genie is permanently out of its bottle.”57 We recommend that the NCBA implement the following four strategic goals and their targets for the benefit of The Profession section: GOAL 1:

The NCBA will preserve and enhance a culture of professionalism, civility and collegiality among all segments of the legal community in North Carolina.

Targets: (1)

The NCBA will develop a statewide mentorship program to assist lawyers, particularly attorneys in their early years of practice, working cooperatively with local bar associations to identify local mentors for the mentor program, while enabling each local bar to establish its own mentor program in a way that does not erode the ability of the NCBA to form the foundation of strong, career-long relationships with new lawyers in our state. North Carolina’s bar has a shared responsibility for the integrity, effectiveness and well-being of its attorneys. With respect to our newest members, while law schools provide, and the bar exam ensures, core competency, the practice of law transcends the academic and involves issues of professional identity not acquired in the classroom, such as making ethical judgments in accordance with the rules of professional responsibility and notions of individual and social justice, civility and collaboration. Mentoring from more experienced attorneys eases the transition into the profession, enabling the development of judgment and skills integral to the effective representation of clients and the acquisition of a sense of fulfillment in the practice of law. Peer mentoring is also beneficial to attorneys in transition, whether due to a firm’s contraction, an attorney’s desire to focus on a different area or practice or environment, or the retirement with dignity from an active career. The importance of mentoring is underscored by its appearance in other portions of this Plan.


The NCBA should continue to sponsor activities that foster a sense of community among lawyers and provide opportunities for interaction. A recent survey of NCBA members indicates that the opportunity to meet, collaborate with, learn from and to network among other attorneys throughout the North Carolina is a valuable attribute of NCBA membership; however, distance was repeatedly cited as an impediment to involvement in bar activities. The NCBA


In the Matter of the New Adoption of New APR 28-Limited Practice Rule of Limited License Legal Technicians, No. 25700-A-1005 (Wash. June 15, 2012). Washington State Supreme Court, Order adopting Admission to Practice Rule (APR) 28 (order at 5-6), June, 2012. 57 Henderson, Losing the Law Business, 30 First Quarter at 79.


is already endeavoring to narrow this geographical gap by its “On the Road” series, by considering diverse locations within the state in planning meetings and other events, and by using technology to enable members to interact wherever located. A shared sense of community is augmented by broad participation in such NCBA activities as the 4ALL Statewide Service Day. Such endeavors are essential to the maintenance of an engaged membership and the enduring vitality of the NCBA and must be both maintained and augmented with the goal of attracting as many members as possible. (3)

The NCBA will support and promote BarCARES and educate members of the NCBA about the availability and work of BarCARES, with the goal of enhancing the usage of BarCARES among the members of our legal community. A recent ABA Journal article recognizes North Carolina for adding a mandatory mental health component to its continuing legal education requirements. While laudable, such presentations alone are not sufficient to address the malaise, anxiety, suffering, depression, substance abuse and other mental and emotional health issues that pervade our profession as attorneys throughout North Carolina grapple with a still recovering economy, a poor job market, crippling student debt, increasing competition from non-lawyer providers of legal services and isolation. BarCARES provides North Carolina attorneys and their families with an effective and confidential means of accessing the support and counseling that are essential to the welfare of our colleagues who struggle with myriad mental and emotional health issues. The NCBA’s BarCARES Statewide Initiative is certainly a factor in the increasing number of attorneys, families and paralegals who are participating in BarCARES programs and it must continue to be supported as an indispensable NCBA resource.


The NCBA/NCBAF will promote access to the civil justice system by increasing the number of North Carolina lawyers performing pro bono and public service and increasing the legal community’s financial support for legal services programs.

Targets: (1)

The NCBA will increase the amount of pro bono legal services, public service and financial support provided to the poor by creating a statewide Public Service and Pro Bono Project. Lack of access to the civil justice system by the most underserved segments of society is a moral and ethical crisis that our profession must confront. As a longstanding leader in championing pro bono causes, the NCBA is uniquely positioned to make meaningful improvements in the current system. A statewide Public Service and Pro Bono Project will both highlight the universal importance of this goal to lawyers across North Carolina and will facilitate getting lawyers who do not have an established pro bono track record involved in serving our state’s most vulnerable citizens.




The NCBA will continue to sponsor “done in a day” or other short-term projects that are open to all segments of the profession and that provide critical assistance to the public. Undertaking significant pro bono projects is not possible for many lawyers due to the demands of their practice and personal lives. Short-term projects that require a limited time commitment have proven to be a very popular and effective means to engage significant numbers of North Carolina lawyers in providing meaningful pro bono services to the public. The NCBA will promote diversity and inclusiveness in the legal profession.

Targets: (1)

The NCBA will appoint a group to establish and report recommendations to the NCBA’s Board of Governors by the 2016 Annual Meeting on creating a structure for diversity and inclusion to be conducted under one NCBA committee with one common staff liaison. This recommendation is the most far-reaching of the Targets within Goal 3. It is intended to reshape entirely the NCBA’s approach to diversity and inclusiveness by bringing under one umbrella the spectrum of those practitioners who are intended to be reached by diversity and inclusiveness initiatives by the NCBA. In past years, committees have been individually tasked with providing separate reports on progress in identifying and promoting opportunities aimed at expanding diversity and inclusion within the Association and the profession in our state. Lacking a continuing uniformity of approach, these efforts, while well-intended, have produced uneven results, which have been challenging for the staff to monitor and to assimilate, in order to produce measurable results for future guidance. If the approach suggested in this Target were adopted, it is believed that the end result will be an NCBA mechanism that will maximize the potential for creating effective outreach, communications, collaboration and organizational efficiency. In addition, the structural simplification should produce meaningful and measurable feedback to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the outreach, and shape future efforts.


The NCBA will continue to enhance its CLE offerings by: (a) seeking CLE credit for and providing programs on the subject matter of diversity and inclusiveness as stand-alone programs or add-on modules for other programs, and (b) leveraging the technological capabilities of the new association management system to identify speakers of diverse backgrounds, including race, gender, city, firm size, practice area, practice and the like with the goal of maximizing the diversity of potential NCBA CLE speakers. It seems logical and attainable for programs on diversity and inclusiveness to be afforded CLE status. The enhancement and promulgation of the goals of diversity and inclusiveness are an integral part of the advancement of professionalism in this state. Leveraging NCBA technology to help identify appropriate speaker resources to further this goal will insure the CLE courses presented will be of the highest caliber. The assembly of such an immediately


available resource roster will also, be of help as a speakers bureau for local bar associations and any other groups in search of able presenters on diversity and inclusiveness. (3)

The NCBA will provide links to NCBA online resources on diversity and inclusiveness in any online mentorship information disseminated by the NCBA. The NCBA resources available to mentors should be as broad as possible, and should take advantage of available technology to facilitate immediate linkage to diversity and inclusiveness resources at the NCBA. Links to those resources within the first page briefing information for mentors will ensure that the Association’s emphasis on diversity and inclusiveness is highlighted as part of the core values of the Association, providing evidence of its commitment to a more diversified bar within the state.


The NCBA will expand and enhance its diversity training programs for bar association and staff leaders and work to obtain CLE credit for lawyers participating in such programs. This Target is distinct from, but has an obvious affinity with Target 2, in seeking CLE credit for participating lawyers. For all practitioners, time is precious. There needs to be a credible incentive for lawyers to participate in diversity/sensitivity training to underline the bar’s commitment to the expansion of diversity and inclusiveness within the bar. Providing CLE credit is a logical and tangible way to encourage the interest of those lawyers who are inclined to participate in such programs—but for whom the tipping point is whether or not they would get CLE credit for attending.


The NCBA will: (a) target and solicit minority members of the profession for NCBA membership; (b) solicit minority bar members as liaison resources to the various North Carolina law schools (including their minority group associations to: (i) promote awareness of the mission and activities of the NCBA in furtherance of diversity and (ii) facilitate the presentation of Association programs and events on campus. The overarching goal of this Target is to maximize the NCBA’s program penetration to the grassroots level, where real changes take place. This concept is very straightforward—it involves identifying and soliciting lawyers who have the group affiliation and desire to assist the bar in reaching out in a direct and meaningful way to those intended to be reached—and to provide them easier access to share in the Association’s membership benefits and significant resources as an enrichment to their professional careers and contributions to community development on all levels.


The NCBA will assist its members in addressing the dynamic tension between emerging changes in the delivery of legal services and the highest standards of professionalism that should be exhibited by all members of the legal community.




The NCBA will identify emerging trends, technological and professional, that impact the members of the NCBA and their practices. The NCBA will identify emerging trends, technological and professional, that impact the members of the NCBA and their practices. It is imperative that the NCBA identifies emerging trends and their impact on the profession. This will require constant vigilance due to the fast paced nature of the changes and evolving technologies. As Paula Littlewood, the Executive Director of the Washington State Bar Association, recently queried, “Will the bar paddle out to meet the oncoming wave or wait for the wave to crash onto shore?” We believe the NCBA should be proactive in identifying the trends, understanding the implications, and helping members manage them while maintaining the highest levels of professionalism.


The NCBA will educate lawyers on emerging trends, working with individual attorneys and practices to ensure the retention of the professionalism that is the hallmark of our work and calling. Identifying the emerging trends is just the beginning. The NCBA needs to turn the information into actionable items that will help lawyers in their practices. Positive responses to the trends will enhance the pride lawyers feel in their profession and improve the public perception of attorneys. The NCBA needs to promote professionalism in publications and course offerings that foster the highest ethical standards, proficiency in essential elements of law practice, and engagement in the legal community. Professionalism courses should bring these principles to life.


The NCBA, where appropriate, will protect the integrity of the legal profession in its service to the public. The NCBA is a leading voice of the legal profession in North Carolina. It has worked closely with the N.C. State Bar, the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism and other groups to encourage North Carolina lawyers to adhere to the highest standards of professionalism. In light of these emerging trends and inevitable changes, the NCBA should remain resolute in its pursuit of the highest standards of professionalism. The myriad changes facing the legal profession will require agility and adaptability on the part of practicing attorneys. The NCBA should continue being a resource and champion of professionalism to ensure access to justice and to foster civility, integrity and collegiality among lawyers. * * *




The NCBA’s Vision: North Carolina will enjoy a court system which is efficient and engenders public confidence that justice is rendered and the rule of law followed. We strive for a court system in which judges are highly competent and are not, or perceived to be, political; where litigants are treated equally, regardless of race, gender or economic status, location, English skills or physical disability; and where the public understands and values the rule of law, the protection of civil liberties and the vindication of civil rights, and the distinct function of the judicial branch as bedrock principles of our American constitutional experiment. Comments The NCBA desires to provide the people of North Carolina with an exemplary justice system. Chief Justice Mark Martin has developed a comprehensive plan to strengthen our courts, which he emphasized at his investiture in January 2015. He has proposed “a multidisciplinary study commission” to “evaluate the operation of our court system” and issue recommendations “to ensure that we innovate in a deliberate and logical way.” Chief Justice Martin proposed the improved use of technology within the judicial branch, including the expanded use of e-filing and online availability of court filings. Chief Justice Martin recommended a thorough evaluation of specialty courts which are tailored to address specific situations, and their implementation as needed. All of the proposals require adequate funding to ensure the proper administration of justice. Chief Justice Martin’s views are consistent with the longstanding position of the NCBA as articulated in the Strategic Plan. Accordingly, we recommend the NCBA embrace five strategic goals for The Courthouse section: Goal 1:

The NCBA will advocate at the General Assembly for separate block-grant funding for the judicial branch, in keeping with the nature of a co-equal branch of government.

Targets (1)

The NCBA will successfully advocate at the General Assembly to encourage a reasonable level of funding for the judicial branch and to afford greater discretion to the judicial branch over allocated funds.


The NCBA will identify, document, and communicate the negative effects of court system budget cuts in an effort to educate the public, government officials and the business community.


The NCBA will create a team of decision-makers that will focus on current judicial compensation and funding issues as well as long-term (five- to 10year) compensation and funding issues.


The NCBA will support the candidacy of lawyers to the General Assembly. 28

Goal 2:

The NCBA will advocate at the General Assembly for an evaluation of the court system by an existing or new study commission (similar to that done by the Medlin Commission) to study and present proposals for changes to our courts including by way of example the success of specialty courts such as business courts and their expansion and evaluation of the best body to propose and the best method to enact court rules including the Rules of Civil Procedure and the Rules of Evidence.

Goal 3:

The NCBA will devote appropriate resources to ensure that the citizens of North Carolina have a judiciary that consists of well-qualified, well-trained, well-compensated and well-equipped judges, who are selected from among North Carolina’s best lawyers. To the extent that this requires amendment of the North Carolina Constitution, the NCBA will advocate that the amendments be ratified by the people.

Targets (1)

Continue efforts to abandon judicial elections in favor of appointment of judges based on credentials and experience.


Continue to enhance the process of evaluating all of North Carolina’s trial judges.


Continue to study the feasibility of the evaluation of appellate judicial candidates.


Continue to advocate for appropriate judicial compensation.

Goal 4:

The NCBA will promote and facilitate the implementation and installation of state-of-the-art computer and other technology in every courthouse in the state system.

Target The NCBA will work to support the Administrative Office of the Courts in expanding technology in the court system. The NCBA will work with the Administrative Office of the Courts to lobby the General Assembly for funding, to develop proposals and identify providers of products and services, and to assist with the installation, testing and training for new technology, including pilot programs. As appropriate, the NCBA will work with county and local governments to achieve these goals. The key initiatives will include, among other things, installation of: (i) (ii)

digital video screen connection and monitors in courthouse courtrooms for jurors, counsel, witnesses and the bench; wireless Internet access in all public areas of every courthouse; 29

(iii) (iv) (v) Goal 5:

an online filing system in every county courthouse; conversion to a paperless document management system in all county and appellate courthouses; and a universal identification card for attorneys to allow immediate access and admission to every county and appellate courthouse.

The NCBA will actively preserve and protect the independence of the federal and state judiciaries, as well as state agencies acting in quasi-judicial capacities.

Targets (1)

Educate the public about the importance of an independent judiciary.


The NCBA will continue to advocate for courthouse security. * * *




The NCBA's Vision: North Carolina lawyers will steadily regain their acknowledged leadership positions in business, civic, charitable and governmental activities. The public will steadily regain its respect for lawyers and the legal system. Comments Lawyer bashing and contempt for certain aspects of the legal system are nothing new and always will be with us. In the last generation, however, public disrespect for lawyers and the legal system has grown worse not only in intensity but also in character. Traditionally, lawyers were deemed essential in every undertaking. As the eminent lawyer Harrison Tweed noted: “Even if he [or she] contributes nothing more than a sense of orderliness and an ability to organize thought and to pose the right questions, the lawyer will have pulled his [or her] weight in the boat.” Though lawyers remain involved in business, civic, charitable and governmental activities, their leadership roles are declining in all these areas, as is the respect given them. It is no longer assumed that lawyers will play leadership roles. And the old good natured jokes about lawyers are now morphing, in some quarters, into actual hostility toward lawyers serving in leadership roles. Meanwhile, a lack of understanding of our court system, combined with a lack of adequate funding, fosters public frustration with the branch of government with which the public often has the most involvement. Some of this disrespect arises from factors the profession cannot change, but the profession cannot fail to address the problem. If the NCBA does not address these issues, who will? We recommend the following three Goals in support of The Community section: GOAL 1:

The NCBA will work to improve the public's perception of, understanding of and support for lawyers and the legal system. The wording of this goal frankly acknowledges that the public's outlook on lawyers and the legal system is at an all-time low and needs to be addressed vigorously. The changes in the wording of this goal and the targets under it are designed to move from the 2015 notion of educational outreach to a more proactive notion of building relationships to reverse this decline.

Targets: (1)

Establish relationships with state and local business, civic and charitable groups through presentations on areas of concern in the legal system and on how NCBA seeks to address these concerns. Partner with specialty bars, local bars and judicial district bars to build relationships with these local 31

groups. The NCBA, as an umbrella group, usually cannot "ally" or "partner" with other organizations by exchanging support for agendas. However, it can reach out to other groups to rebuild connections. Doing so in tandem with specialty bars, local bars and judicial district bars will make the outreach more effective and strengthen the NCBA relationship with North Carolina lawyers. (2)

Develop outreach programs for state and local elected officials that offer our assistance and counsel. Partner with specialty bars and with local bars and judicial district bars to reach elected officials with whom they have relationships. It is imperative that we build relationships with elected officials. Every year, fewer elected officials are lawyers. Non-lawyer elected officials more and more tend to disdain lawyers and their "inputs." Yet most elected officials have some friends who are lawyers that they respect individually. Outreach through those lawyers can be effective and can strengthen the NCBA internally.


Create outreach programs to the general public, including schools at all levels, designed to improve the perception of lawyers and the legal system. This effort will frankly address the problems people perceive and sometimes experience with lawyers and the legal system. Outreach materials will include: (i) an improved website that the general public will find useful, (ii) creation of information in a format that the general public may opt to receive or access (e.g., newsletter, blog or social media), (iii) a "tool kit" presentation package, or (iv) other efforts designed to make the legal system more understandable to the public. The educational component of NCBA's outreach is not confined to high schools or even to schools. The public should become involved in legal issues with which NCBA wrestles and support NCBA and the legal system. Presentation materials that are effective in explaining complex issues to non-lawyers must be part of the outreach. The "other efforts" could include ideas such as instructional videos available for download (expanding the current brochures we offer), or a "lawyer on call" option (expanding the 4ALL concept).


The NCBA will advance the value of the "Citizen Lawyer" by promoting the public citizenship of its members, including volunteer civic activities, service on non-profit boards, pro bono legal services to non-profit organizations and service in elected office, and by continuing to recognize lawyers who are exemplary "Citizen Lawyers." The change from the prior plan is to add the pro bono legal services piece here.

Targets: (1)

Continue the statewide leadership academy program that trains and prepares lawyers to serve in leadership roles, both within their firms and their communities.



Explore partnerships with local bars and judicial district bars to expand the leadership academies on a regional basis. In tandem with the statewide program that NCBA developed, which can train only a few young lawyers or lawyers new to practice each year, NCBA should develop local bar leadership programs. Some large local bar associations already have local leadership programs. This approach would be similar to that used by chambers of commerce, which have both local and statewide programs. If NCBA could take a "packaged" approach for local leadership programs to local bars or judicial district bars (perhaps aggregating smaller ones) it could help build our relationship with local bars and judicial district bars at the same time that it strengthened leadership by local lawyers.


Develop an outreach program to law firms to encourage the "Citizen Lawyer." Examples here include: (i) developing a program to recognize citizen lawyers in each local bar or judicial district bar, (ii) working with local news outlets for maximum recognition partner with local and judicial district bars and (iii) developing a "tool kit" package.


Encourage lawyers to run for local, state and federal offices and point them toward available resources for support. The downward trend of lawyers serving in public office must be reversed.


The NCBA will advocate for improvements in the law to benefit the community by using section and other expertise to advance the public interest.


Continue to support proposals for legal reform. The NCBA has a process in place for its governmental affairs department to support legislation that is in the public interest, and to oppose legislation that is not in the public interest, when that legislation is properly addressed by the NCBA. The process involves all section councils, the Legislative Advisory Committee, the staff and the Board of Governors. The process is being refined through yearly legislative conferences. * * *




The NCBA's Vision: Building on the strength of its successes, the Association will continue to be the leading advocate and resource for the legal profession in North Carolina and will continue to fulfill its mission "[t]o serve the public and the legal profession by promoting the administration of justice and encouraging the highest standards of integrity, competence, civility and well-being of all members of the profession." Comments Throughout its history, the NCBA has been the leading voice of, and resource for, the legal profession in North Carolina. The Association’s role has never been more critical, as our profession faces intense pressures and is undergoing the most fundamental changes in its history. The NCBA is in a unique position to shape the future of the profession in North Carolina as it possesses the credibility, visibility and resources to tackle the most difficult problems before us. As an association, we must continue to provide a compelling value proposition to our members in order to retain them and attract new members. Our members remain largely passive, and we must find new and effective ways to engage existing members and prospective members. We must also give attention to segments of the legal profession that are currently underrepresented in the NCBA and take appropriate steps to ensure the NCBA represents the entirety of its constituency. This includes under-representation among those from certain geographic regions, practice settings, substantive areas of practice, racial and ethnic groups, age groups and others. The benefits of membership must be continually examined and enhanced, and clearly communicated to members and potential members. Robust membership and a strong value proposition, when combined with responsible fiscal planning, should allow the NCBA to devote the resources necessary to fulfill its mission. Changing times require that the NCBA be nimble and creative, continually reassessing itself and the means by which it pursues its goals. It must listen carefully to its members, potential members and the public to understand the challenges and opportunities on the horizon. It must leverage the collective talent of its membership and develop future leaders to fully realize its potential. The NCBA must make wise decisions and present clear messages to its members, its prospective members and to other stakeholders and authorities. Finally, if the goals identified in the Plan are to be realized, the talents and energies of the NCBA staff must be fully engaged. Accordingly, the staff must be given guidance regarding prioritization of goals and strategies, as well as measurable performance metrics, in order to facilitate efficient allocation of resources and accountability for achievements.


The NCBA must continue to focus on the fundamentals that have made it the preeminent leader in the profession in North Carolina. To do so, we recommend that the NCBA embrace these five Goals in The Bar Association section: GOAL 1:

The NCBA will maintain and grow membership through recruitment and retention efforts.

Targets: (1)

Special efforts to recruit new members and retain current members will be deployed that recognize the increasing segmentation of NCBA membership and increase participation in underrepresented segments. Special recruitment efforts also will be deployed to target currently underrepresented practice segments in our membership ranks, resulting in an increase in membership in all underrepresented areas.


The NCBA and NCBA Foundation should jointly review the organization of its sections, divisions, and committees, and restructure them as appropriate, including its current programs, events and activities to determine if such may be improved, combined or should be discontinued.


The NCBA should continuously review member benefits and develop new ones to better meet the needs of members that are targeted toward the increased demands of their practices.


A comprehensive communication plan will be developed to facilitate more consistent messages to members, and to better educate members and nonmembers about the value of NCBA membership and the opportunities for participation.


Special efforts will be made to minimize geographical distance as a discouragement or hindrance to member participation and engagement. The NCBA will develop and implement a plan for social outreach to members to include regional member meetings, senior lawyer meetings, and regional advisory groups.


The NCBA should utilize the data provided by its information management system to determine whether changes in its dues structure will be beneficial to enhancing and maintaining sufficient levels of membership. The NCBA should help members understand its dues structure and the costs and benefits of membership.


The NCBA should further evaluate the eligibility for NCBA membership by those who have graduated from law school but do not yet hold a license.


The NCBA and NCBA Foundation should maintain the sound financial infrastructure necessary to support innovation and their respective missions. 35

Targets: (1)

The NCBA Foundation should increase its endowment through careful management, new contributions, coordination of fundraising efforts and promoting the establishment of a tradition of giving by NCBA members to the NCBA Foundation. For example, the Board of Governors culture of annual giving to the Patron Campaign should be sustained and deepened to include a growing percentage of section, division and committee leadership.


The NCBA and NCBA Foundation should continue to seek diversified sources of revenue, as appropriate, to help support the work of the NCBA and NCBA Foundation. Sources might include revenues from selling merchandise, collaborating with other entities to produce new programs, leasing existing space, advertising on portions of the website and providing services to other organizations.


NCBA will ensure that its governance is appropriate to achieve its mission and nimble enough to be responsive to changes affecting its constituencies and to permit strategic action to further the NCBA’s vision.

Targets: (1)

The Board will review its requirements of volunteer leaders. The NCBA will involve a broader base of membership in leadership roles.


The NCBA will create programs to mentor, support and groom leaders and potential leaders throughout members’ careers.


The NCBA should seek to cultivate a membership and leadership structure that is reflective of the North Carolina bar and North Carolina’s diverse citizenry.

Targets: (1)

The NCBA should support programs to bring underrepresented demographic groups into the legal pipeline and the profession.


The NCBA should actively recruit underrepresented demographic groups to its membership.


The NCBA should identify and encourage members from underrepresented demographic groups to assume leadership roles in the Association throughout members’ careers.


The Board of Governors, or its designee, should establish metrics for the implementation of the Strategic Plan, based upon recommendations from the SPET Committee and the NCBA staff, on an annual basis. The NCBA staff should be responsible for coordinating among the volunteer


leadership—particularly the SPET Committee and NCBA staff-the implementation and updates of each Goal and Target in accordance with the priority established by the Board of Governors and pursuant to the Implementation Plan included with the Strategic Plan as Exhibit 1. Each staff member will work with their respective leadership team to ensure their targets are expressed in meaningful ways and identify metrics by which performance can be measured. Target: (1)

In collaboration with the NCBA staff, the SPET Committee will provide a comprehensive set of metrics to the Board of Governors by the end of the first year of the Strategic Plan and revisions annually thereafter.

* * *


EXHIBIT 1 Implementation of the Plan To be successful, the vision embodied in this Plan must be understood and accepted by NCBA leadership, staff and members. A significant milestone in this acceptance process is achieved by the issuance of this Final Report and Recommendations by the SPET Committee, after a long and thoughtful process, and adoption by the Board of Governors. A deeper understanding of this Plan must follow, and will be achieved as the work needed to address the goals and targets is sharpened and disseminated throughout the organization. This job will remain a focus of the SPET Committee, along with appropriate volunteer leadership, divisions, sections, committees and task groups, with the able assistance of NCBA staff. This Plan will focus more on having, where appropriate, some measure or metric associated with the appropriate goals and targets. One significant lesson learned from Service 2015 is that it makes a difference on implementation when it is possible to set clear priorities and having some form of a metric to guide the implementation item. Communications. Communication of the Plan and how it will impact the activities of the Association is critical to its success. The SPET Committee, along with the Director of Communications, will remain responsible for ensuring that the Plan is marketed and communicated to the appropriate people at all times during the five-year cycle of the Plan. Financial Impact. The financial impact of this Plan is still being analyzed by senior staff. Many of the goals will require little direct financial expense since they will be implemented by volunteers. In other areas of the Plan, it is likely that expansion or restructuring of staff will be necessary, resulting in a financial cost, depending on how fast expansion occurs. Areas where it is likely that additional staff will be needed, either in the short or long term, include the Center for Practice Management, the new Center for Career Services, support of the statewide mentorship program, marketing and fundraising activities, and perhaps other entrepreneurialbased efforts of the organization coming out of this Plan. The NCBA Executive Director will retain responsibility for addressing staffing needs. Additional financial resources will be necessary to support several other initiatives contemplated by this Plan, although many of these initiatives have been in the works, more or less, and may be covered by existing budget forecasts. For example, potentially significant resources will be necessary to support renewed legislative initiatives for access to justice items and to increase the grassroots lobbying efforts of the NCBA. Undertakings outlined in the Plan to evaluate the organizational structure of the NCBA and overall communications will likely involve hiring consultants for outside expertise. Priorities. In the past, the SPET Committee did not undertake to direct the NCBA on the priority of specific goals or targets, in the short term, although this Plan contemplates that that all goals will be accomplished over the course of the four to five years following adoption of the Plan. Under this Plan, it is recommended that the SPET Committee work with the Board of Governors to have them set the priorities in advance of each bar year that this Plan will be in effect. This will provide focus and guidance to those who will be implementing the various goals


and targets, and it will also allow for the conversation to take place on whether any goals or targets need to be added, revised or deleted from the Plan.

The Work. To successfully implement this Plan, specific goals and targets must be assigned to various groups within the NCBA. It is appropriate to discuss these assignments with the key stakeholders before finalizing them, and to recognize some necessary evolution in them over time. As a starting point, the SPET Committee recommends these general assignments, to be addressed in more detail following adoption of the Plan: I.

The Lawyer’s Practice.

The responsibility for implementation of goals described in The Lawyer’s Practice will be distributed to a combination of the executive staff, including the Director of the Center for Practice Management, the Director of Membership, the Director of Continuing Legal Education, among others, along with the Membership Committee, the Continuing Legal Education Committee, and the Technology Committee. As appropriate, Sections and Divisions will be asked to focus on specific targets, and to remain abreast of new developments in the profession that affect their members. II.

The Profession.

The responsibility for implementation of goals described in The Profession will be distributed to a combination of departments and various committees and sections headed up by volunteers. The staff led departments will include the Public Service and Pro Bono Activities Department, the Center of Practice Management, the CLE Department and the Membership Department, The various committees that can help may change over time, but should at least be considered by the Lawyer Referral Service Committee, Pro Bono Activities Committee, Citizen Lawyer Committee, Minorities in the Profession Committee, Women in the Profession Committee, Professionalism Committee, Transitioning Lawyers Commission and the Technology Committee. The leadership of the NCBA Sections and Divisions will also be important as those groups have committees and teams working on items falling under the Profession. They will be asked, as appropriate, to participate in the implementation of this section of the Plan. III.

The Courthouse.

Much of the work outlined in The Courthouse is already underway by several NCBA committees as well as by the NCBA’s Office of Governmental Affairs. Continuing responsibility for these goals will remain, as appropriate, with these active committees including the Administration of Justice Committee, Bench Bar Liaison Committee, Judicial Independence Committee, Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee and the Law-Related Education Advisory Committee, along with appropriate senior staff such as the Assistant Executive Director, the Director of Governmental Affairs, the Director of Communications and others.



The Community.

The goals and targets outlined in The Community will continue to be the responsibility of several committees and staff members. Other groups bearing responsibility will be the Citizen Lawyer Committee, Law-Related Education Advisory Committee, Young Lawyers Division, Senior Lawyers Division and Paralegal Division, along with the Director of Law-Related Education, among others. V.

The Association.

The responsibility for the goals in The Association will be assigned to virtually every Section and Division of the NCBA, along with specific committees. A major focus of The Association is, among other things, to maintain and expand the representation of all segments of our profession and to increase engagement and participation by our members in the activities and leadership of the NCBA. This will require focus by every Section and Division, as they reach out to members. In addition, responsibility will be assigned to a combination of: (i) the Membership Committee and the Director of Membership; (ii) the Director of Development, the Endowment Committee and the Development Committee; (iii) the Director of Communications and the Communications Committee; (iv) the Audit and Finance Committee and the Director of Finance; and (v) the NCBA President, President-Elect and the Board of Governors. * * *


APPENDIX A NCBA Strategic Planning & Emerging Trends Committee (2014 – 2015) Ken Hammer, Chair David Bohm, Staff Liaison

The Lawyer’s Practice

The Community

Julian Wright, Convener Justin Eldreth Drew Erteschik Mike Mitchell Norfleet Pruden Stephanie Roberts Devon Williams The Profession

Knox Proctor, Convener Dick Archie Todd Billmire Mo Green Catherine Lee Adrienne Meddock Yolanda Smith The Bar Association

Debra Foster, Convener John Bowers Walker Douglas Judge Eric Levinson Matt McGuire Tom Steele Sam Wyrick

Matt Cordell, Convener Roy Baroff Andy Haile Harrison Lord Dan McLawhorn Corie Pauling Sharon Robertson Gray Styers Matt Wolfe

The Courthouse Justice Paul Newby, Convener Russ Ferguson Rep. Richard Glazier Judge Patrice Hinnant Jason Kay Judge Bradley Letts Trey Lindley Judge Paul Ridgeway


APPENDIX B Membership Survey Summary To assist the planning efforts of the SPET Committee in creating the next strategic plan— Vision 2020—the NCBA Membership Department conducted a survey of its members. The survey was open for about two weeks in September 2014 and circulated electronically to 16,590 members with an email address. We were quite pleased with the number of people who completed the survey—2,308, which is essentially a 14 percent participation rate. See Appendix C for the actual survey results. Captured below are some of the highlights from the survey.

As to be expected, almost 75 percent of the respondents were in private practice, but there was also a good mixture of respondents representing the judiciary, government, corporate, non-profit organizations and retired individuals (combined, just more than 25 percent of the total respondents). Numerous practice areas and even non-traditional career paths were represented in the survey participation, such as: criminal law, trusts and estates, business law, solo practitioners, and law firm partners, in-house counsel, academia, and organization management. There was also a nice blend of participants representing those who were new to the practice and all the way to the end of their careers. The survey takers work for employers having primary offices located all over the United States and internationally. Very important to the respondents is that the Association fosters a positive reputation for the profession and a sense of community among attorneys and other professionals. A strong theme in the comments was the value of in-person gatherings (networking face-to-face) while also doing more in the “backyard” of the members. People want to connect and be engaged, but it needs to be convenient for them to be able to do so. Of the services rated, the Association appears to be doing an acceptable job as most services were rated as “middle of the road” or “satisfied.” Most are aware of the various services, but they do not necessarily use the service. On interest, only 10 percent of the respondents believed that North Carolina has recovered from the Great Recession.


Time is a major reason they have not served in a leadership role for the organization. Email is still the overwhelming preferred method to receive information the organization (80 percent prefer it). Of the respondents, their dues were paid 62 percent by their employer, with 33 percent of the remaining respondents being personally responsible for payment. When answering “How can the NCBA do a better job of providing cutting-edge services to its members,” several themes emerged: • • • • • • •

Help me in my practice to be a better lawyer Provide networking and social opportunities to introduce me to opportunities (whether increasing business or developing a larger network base) Explore more value opportunities for membership, such as bundling or other discounts on programs or services Communication remains very important to raise awareness and also to substantiate value of membership. Ask for feedback more often. Be engaged with your membership base as many ways as you can Be more entrepreneurial and creative in the approach to programs and services offered “Already doing a good job”

In summary, the Association must not rest on work it has done on the past in order to be relevant to the member of the future. It must continue to think creatively and proactively, to engage its current members and decide how to attract/retain the members of the future.


2014 Membership Survey

Q1 Which of the following BEST describes your current employment setting? Answered: 2,230 Answer Choices

Skipped: 78 Responses

Private Practice











Non-profit Organization










2014 Membership Survey

Q2 Which BEST describes your current position? Answered: 2,085 Answer Choices

Skipped: 223 Responses

Solo Practitioner



Partner or Shareholder






Of Counsel






Other Salaried Employee






2014 Membership Survey

Q3 If you are a government lawyer, in which level of government are you currently employed? Answered: 176

Skipped: 2,132

Answer Choices














Special Authority/District






2014 Membership Survey

Q4 Is your employer’s primary office located in North Carolina? Answered: 2,221 Answer Choices

Skipped: 87 Responses










2014 Membership Survey

Q5 How many attorneys does your firm/business employ? Answered: 2,229 Answer Choices

Skipped: 79 Responses

























2014 Membership Survey

Q6 What BEST describes the scope of the service area of your employing firm/business? Answered: 2,251 Answer Choices

Skipped: 57 Responses



















2014 Membership Survey

Q7 Substantive Areas of Practice. Please identify from the list below those substantive fields to which you devote 20% or more of the time you spend on legal matters. Check all that apply. Answered: 2,193 Answer Choices

Skipped: 115 Responses

Administrative law and Government Agency matters



Alternative Dispute Resolution



Animal law






Appellate Practice









Business law and Corporate law



Commercial law



Civil Rights and Liberties



Constitutional law



Construction law



Creditors’ Rights/Collections



Criminal law



Education law



Elder law



Environmental and Natural Resources law



Estate Planning, Probate and Trusts






Family law, Divorce, Adoptions, Mental Health and Juvenile



Health law



Immigration law



Insurance law



Intellectual Property



International law




2014 Membership Survey Labor and Employment law



Pensions and Employee Benefits



Public Contracts law: procurement



Public Finance law



Public Transportation law



Public Utilities and other regulated industries



Real Estate: Commercial and Development



Real Estate: Residential and Residential Landlord-Tenant












Workers’ Compensation



Zoning, Planning and Land Use



Total Respondents: 2,193


2014 Membership Survey

Q8 How important are the following activities to your membership in the NCBA? Answered: 2,293

Skipped: 15 Very

Fosters a positive reputation for the profession

Provides me with information on my area of practice

Fosters a sense of community among lawyers and other legal professionals

Takes a leadership role on legislative issues that affect the administration of justice and lawyers

Provides me with news and information about NC legal issues and courts

Connects me to the values and ideals of being a lawyer

Provides opportunities for me to participate in pro bono and public service activities

Allows me to give back to my profession through service

Provides me with networking opportunities

Develops positive relationships between the bench and the bar

Assists me with career development

Provides me with services/benefits that save me time and money

Provides me with an opportunity to serve as a leader

Provides me with an opportunity to develop my leadership skills

Opportunity to support bar’s charitable projects with my contributions

Provides me with law practice and technology services and consulting



Not at All


66.81% 1,522

28.67% 653

4.52% 103


68.29% 1,557

27.11% 618

4.61% 105


54.93% 1,247

39.87% 905

5.20% 118


60.18% 1,363

32.80% 743

7.02% 159


64.46% 1,467

32.07% 730

3.47% 79


30.39% 681

50.51% 1,132

19.10% 428


24.18% 546

49.69% 1,122

26.13% 590


27.18% 614

51.22% 1,157

21.60% 488


42.71% 963

45.41% 1,024

11.88% 268


34.42% 774

47.44% 1,067

18.14% 408


32.77% 740

41.41% 935

25.82% 583


37.24% 838

41.78% 940

20.98% 472


23.92% 537

45.66% 1,025

30.42% 683


23.25% 523

43.44% 977

33.30% 749


14.07% 315

48.24% 1,080

37.70% 844


26.72% 599

42.60% 955

30.69% 688


2014 Membership Survey

Q9 How successful is the NCBA in the following areas? Answered: 2,270

Skipped: 38 Very

Networking opportunities


Not at All

Don't Know


30.08% 681

51.19% 1,159

4.37% 99

14.36% 325


18.85% 425

47.89% 1,080

10.38% 234

22.88% 516


20.10% 449

44.90% 1,003

9.09% 203

25.92% 579


41.57% 932

45.05% 1,010

3.52% 79

9.86% 221


46.75% 1,049

40.24% 903

2.94% 66

10.07% 226


44.43% 1,002

44.04% 993

6.08% 137

5.45% 123


25.72% 575

39.67% 887

4.03% 90

30.59% 684


Taking a leadership role on legislative issues affecting the administration of justice and lawyers

36.29% 815

40.65% 913

5.39% 121

17.68% 397


Providing opportunities for me to participate in pro bono and public service activities

33.60% 755

42.63% 958

7.12% 160

16.64% 374


35.01% 787

42.44% 954

6.18% 139

16.37% 368


25.64% 571

43.20% 962

7.81% 174

23.35% 520


26.77% 596

47.53% 1,058

8.00% 178

17.70% 394


24.34% 543

42.27% 943

9.82% 219

23.58% 526


Career development

Developing leadership skills

Fostering a sense of community among legal professionals

Fostering a positive reputation for the profession

Providing information on my area of practice

Developing positive relationships between the bench and the bar

Allowing me to give back to my profession through service

Providing opportunities to financially support charitable projects

Connecting me to the values and ideals of being a lawyer

Providing me with law practice and technology services and consulting


2014 Membership Survey

Q10 Indicate how satisfied you are with the following NCBA services. Answered: 2,276 Very Satisfied Continuing Legal Education Programs

Continuing Legal Education Publications

Section Service/Membership

Committee Service/Membership

Division Service/Membership

Center for Practice Management


NCBA Website

North Carolina Lawyer (quarterly magazine)

Legislative Bulletin

Legislative Activities

NCBA Annual Meeting

Access to Pro Bono and Public Service Activities

Volunteer Opportunities

Leadership Opportunities

Law-Related Education Activities

Other Networking Opportunities

Lawyer Referral Service

Health Benefit Trust

Discounts on Products and Services


Skipped: 32 Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied

Somewhat Dissatisfied



46.84% 1,061

40.93% 927

9.27% 210

2.38% 54

0.57% 13


34.56% 777

42.30% 951

20.42% 459

2.18% 49

0.53% 12


32.87% 738

40.27% 904

23.43% 526

2.85% 64

0.58% 13


22.19% 491

34.75% 769

40.26% 891

1.99% 44

0.81% 18


17.67% 388

32.83% 721

46.81% 1,028

1.64% 36

1.05% 23


13.39% 292

23.99% 523

59.63% 1,300

1.70% 37

1.28% 28


21.99% 485

28.24% 623

45.69% 1,008

2.72% 60

1.36% 30


18.71% 417

45.45% 1,013

25.62% 571

8.43% 188

1.79% 40


24.11% 541

47.28% 1,061

24.73% 555

3.03% 68

0.85% 19


15.41% 342

38.15% 847

43.06% 956

2.21% 49

1.17% 26


15.37% 341

34.85% 773

43.37% 962

4.28% 95

2.12% 47


10.90% 241

23.89% 528

60.68% 1,341

2.76% 61

1.76% 39


15.17% 337

32.72% 727

49.23% 1,094

1.94% 43

0.95% 21


16.55% 368

34.85% 775

45.46% 1,011

2.20% 49

0.94% 21


16.48% 365

31.38% 695

48.76% 1,080

2.39% 53

0.99% 22


17.92% 398

36.92% 820

42.28% 939

1.94% 43

0.95% 21


12.99% 287

33.80% 747

48.19% 1,065

3.94% 87

1.09% 24


12.12% 267

24.38% 537

58.83% 1,296

3.00% 66

1.68% 37


8.51% 186

14.55% 318

71.58% 1,564

2.70% 59

2.65% 58


7.42% 163

24.48% 538

60.60% 1,332

5.23% 115

2.27% 50



2014 Membership Survey NCBA Social Networking Opportunities (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)

7.79% 171

19.19% 421

67.23% 1,475

3.60% 79

2.19% 48


Discounts on Insurance Products other than Health

5.75% 126

14.59% 320

72.18% 1,583

4.01% 88

3.47% 76


Retirement Benefits

4.30% 94

10.29% 225

76.62% 1,675

4.44% 97

4.35% 95



2014 Membership Survey

Q11 Please Indicate your awareness of the following NCBA services: Answered: 2,270

Skipped: 38

Aware and use regularly NCBA Annual Meeting

Continuing Legal Education Programs

NCBA Website

Lawyer Referral Service

Continuing Legal Education Publications

Access to Pro Bono and Public Service Activities

North Carolina Lawyer (quarterly magazine)

Committee Service/Membership

Section Service/Membership

Division Service/Membership


Center for Practice Management

Volunteer Opportunities

Leadership Opportunities

Discounts on Products and Services

Legislative Activities

Discounts on Insurance Products other than Health

Retirement Benefits

Legislative Bulletin

Law-Related Education Activities

Aware and use occasionally

Aware but not used

Not Aware


9.82% 222

22.61% 511

65.35% 1,477

2.21% 50


52.43% 1,185

38.72% 875

8.36% 189

0.49% 11


35.86% 808

53.44% 1,204

9.85% 222

0.84% 19


9.30% 208

19.89% 445

64.51% 1,443

6.30% 141


24.64% 554

50.36% 1,132

23.18% 521

1.82% 41


7.96% 178

27.20% 608

59.11% 1,321

5.73% 128


36.96% 832

48.16% 1,084

13.90% 313

0.98% 22


20.27% 453

25.06% 560

50.43% 1,127

4.25% 95


31.32% 699

32.17% 718

33.96% 758

2.55% 57


13.53% 300

22.18% 492

54.96% 1,219

9.33% 207


22.46% 501

24.92% 556

41.60% 928

11.03% 246


4.09% 91

16.85% 375

55.62% 1,238

23.45% 522


8.22% 183

27.09% 603

57.50% 1,280

7.19% 160


10.98% 245

21.52% 480

56.97% 1,271

10.53% 235


3.97% 88

24.84% 551

57.66% 1,279

13.53% 300


7.74% 172

27.63% 614

52.43% 1,165

12.20% 271


2.16% 48

9.57% 213

64.20% 1,429

24.08% 536


1.21% 27

4.36% 97

56.85% 1,265

37.57% 836


10.14% 225

35.06% 778

38.89% 863

15.91% 353


9.19% 204

31.94% 709

44.23% 982

14.64% 325



2014 Membership Survey Other Networking Opportunities

Health Benefit Trust

NCBA Social Networking Opportunities (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)

5.67% 126

29.96% 666

46.78% 1,040

17.59% 391


7.07% 157

5.13% 114

51.01% 1,133

36.79% 817


4.11% 91

19.05% 422

57.79% 1,280

19.05% 422



2014 Membership Survey

Q12 In the past year, estimate how many NCBA programs or events you have attended or participated in. Answered: 2,286 Answer Choices

Skipped: 22 Responses













More than 10









2014 Membership Survey

Q13 With what law practice and technology issues are you concerned? Please select up to three issues. Answered: 2,089 Answer Choices

Skipped: 219 Responses

Moving to/security in the cloud



Having sufficient capacity for data storage



Having appropriate backup and recovery procedures in place



Complying with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau privacy mandates



Adapting to eDiscovery in document production



Keeping up with changing technology



Business development via social media, blogging



Total Respondents: 2,089


2014 Membership Survey

Q14 Has the North Carolina legal market recovered from the recession? Answered: 2,252 Answer Choices

Skipped: 56 Responses













2014 Membership Survey

Q15 Are you currently a member of an NCBA Section? Answered: 2,275 Answer Choices

Skipped: 33 Responses










2014 Membership Survey

Q16 Please rate the importance of the following NCBA Section specific resources: Answered: 2,125

Skipped: 183 Very

Worthwhile publications

Information on current development in my field of the law

Information on legal developments outside my normal practice

Improvement of practice and legal skills and knowledge

Section-sponsored Continuing Legal Education programs

Opportunities for leadership role within the bar

Avenue for influencing legislation and administrative policy affecting my practice

Potential network of colleagues

Potential business development opportunities

Section ListManager (listserv)



Not at all


60.76% 1,282

35.40% 747

3.84% 81


69.05% 1,459

26.60% 562

4.35% 92


25.10% 528

62.40% 1,313

12.50% 263


57.34% 1,203

37.94% 796

4.72% 99


69.96% 1,474

26.25% 553

3.80% 80


29.61% 621

49.83% 1,045

20.55% 431


34.33% 721

49.43% 1,038

16.24% 341


44.88% 943

47.12% 990

8.00% 168


31.77% 666

48.38% 1,014

19.85% 416


32.47% 674

44.85% 931

22.69% 471


2014 Membership Survey

Q17 Have you served (or currently serving) in an NCBA Section leadership role? Answered: 2,261 Answer Choices

Skipped: 47 Responses










2014 Membership Survey

Q18 If you have not served in an NCBA Section leadership role, please indicate why. (Check all that apply.) Answered: 1,423 Answer Choices

Skipped: 885 Responses

Didn’t know how to get involved in leadership



Don’t have the time to be involved



Unclear about expectations of leadership



No one has asked me



Total Respondents: 1,423


2014 Membership Survey

Q19 How do you prefer to receive information about NCBA programs, services, and events that you may be interested in? (Select all that apply.) Answered: 2,266 Answer Choices

Skipped: 42 Responses




E-bar (weekly e-newsletter)



ListManager (listserv)



Personal contact from a colleague



Letter, postcard by regular mail



NCBA website



NCBA social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)



Texts to my cell phone number



Online portal that requires login



Total Respondents: 2,266


2014 Membership Survey

Q20 In which social networking sites do you participate? Answered: 1,991 Work LinkedIn








Skipped: 317


Total Respondents

90.59% 1,521

19.42% 326


23.37% 358

93.99% 1,440


37.18% 245

77.69% 512


4.11% 20

97.13% 473


3.07% 13

97.64% 413


5.36% 3

94.64% 53


44.87% 258

72.00% 414


17.63% 95

90.91% 490



2014 Membership Survey

Q21 Which best describes how your NCBA dues are paid? Answered: 2,260

Skipped: 48

Answer Choices


Firm/employer pays all



I pay all (solo practitioners please select this option)



I allocate funds from an allowance for bar association dues that I receive from my firm



Firm/employer pays part, I pay part






2014 Membership Survey

Q22 The NCBA offers discount partnerships with several companies to help members in their practice. What additional discount programs would be of interest to you? (Check all that apply.) Answered: 1,854 Answer Choices

Skipped: 454 Responses

Hotel discounts



Cell phone discounts



Time and billing software



Data storage/backup



Car discounts



Data encryption vendor



Offsite file storage



Total Respondents: 1,854


2014 Membership Survey

Q23 Should the NCBA take additional steps to attract more members of the judiciary as members? Answered: 2,131 Answer Choices

Skipped: 177 Responses










2014 Membership Survey

Q24 To what other legal associations do you belong? Answered: 1,558 Answer Choices

Skipped: 750 Responses

American Bar Association



American Immigration Lawyers Association



Association of Corporate Counsel



Conference/Association of Judges



Inn of Court



Local (voluntary) Bar Association



Minority Bar Association



NC Advocates for Justice



NC Association of Black Lawyers



NC Association of Defense Attorneys



NC Association of Women Attorneys



NC Gay and Lesbian Attorneys



Total Respondents: 1,558


2014 Membership Survey

Q25 How can the NCBA do a better job of providing cutting edge services to its members? Answered: 338

Skipped: 1,970


2014 Membership Survey

Q26 Please indicate your gender. Answered: 2,270 Answer Choices

Skipped: 38 Responses










2014 Membership Survey

Q27 Please indicate your age within one of the ranges below. Answered: 2,284 Answer Choices

Skipped: 24 Responses

Under 30

































2014 Membership Survey

Q28 (Optional) What is your race/ethnicity? Answered: 2,142 Answer Choices

Skipped: 166 Responses

Hispanic or Latino




African American



Asian American Indian or Alaska Native



Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander



Two or more races




18 1,997



2014 Membership Survey

Q29 To be eligible to participate in the drawing for an iPad mini, please provide your name and email address. Answered: 1,936 Answer Choices

Skipped: 372 Responses

Name (First, Last)



Email Address




Appendix D List of Stakeholders Interviewed and other Consulted Resources State Bars and National Contacts: Joe Dearing, Executive Vice President, United Lex Patrick O’Connor, Long Range Planning & Bar Governance Committee, State Bar of Georgia Paula Littlewood, Executive Director, Washington State Bar Association Steve Crossland, Chair of the Washington State Limited License Legal Technician Board Kevin Ryan, Director of Education & Communication, Vermont Bar Elizabeth Derrico, ABA Division of Bar Services Molly Flood, ABA Division of Bar Services NCBA Volunteer Leadership: Catharine Arrowood, President Shelby Benton, President-Elect Dan McCord Hartzog, Jr., 4ALL Service Day Committee Co-Chair Sharon Robertson, 4ALL Service Day Committee Co-Chair Wade Smith, Access to Justice Leadership Council Chair Christopher Carlisle Lam, Administration of Justice Committee Chair Gary Beaver, Appellate Rules Committee Chair Christopher Derrenbacher, Bench Bar Liaison Committee Chair Judge Linda McGee, Bench Bar Liaison Committee Chair Robert Allen, Charter & Bylaws Committee Chair Teresa Brenner, Citizen Lawyer Committee Chair William Womble, Jr., Committee For Judicial Independence Committee Chair Michael Tadych, Communications Committee Chair Marisa Campbell, Continuing Legal Education Committee Chair George Doyle, Convention Planning Advisory Committee Chair Dena Langley, Development Committee Chair Phyllis Pickett, Endowment Committee Chair Michael Hearn, Investment Committee Chair Matthew Sawchak, Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee Chair Professor George Johnson, Jr., Law School Liaison Committee Chair Keith Howard, Law-Related Education Advisory Committee Co-Chair James Morgan, Jr., Law-Related Education Advisory Committee Co-Chair Nicholas Brown, Lawyer Effectiveness & Quality of Life Committee Chair Ann Anderson, Lawyer on the Line Committee Co-Chair Regan Rozier, Lawyer on the Line Committee Co-Chair David Daggett. Lawyer Referral Service Committee Chair Jacqueline Grant, Legal Education Reform/Unmet Legal Needs Committee Chair Paul Meggett, Legislative Advisory Committee Chair


Arnita Dula, Local Bar Services Committee Chair Andrew Cioffi, Medico-Legal Liaison Committee Chair LeAnn Nease Brown, Membership Committee Chair Afi Johnson-Parris, Memorials Committee Co-Chair Daniel Merlin, Memorials Committee Co-Chair Kirk Warner, Military & Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Gerald Walden, Jr., Minorities in the Profession Committee Chair Justice Rhoda Billings, N.C. Courts Initiative Committee Co-Chair Alan Duncan, NC Courts Initiative Committee Co-Chair Fred Parker, IV, NC LEAP Committee Chair Stuart Dorsett, Nominations Committee Chair Alan Duncan, Past Presidents’ Council Chair Eugene Pridgen, Personnel Committee Chair Robert Wall, Planned Giving Committee Chair Georgiana Yonuschot, Pro Bono Activities Committee Chair Lisa Sheppard, Professionalism Committee Chair James Fuller, Jr., Race Relations Implementation Committee Chair Lloyd Smith, Jr., Resolutions Committee Chair Elizabeth Quick, Succession Planning Committee Chair Clyde Jarrett, III, Technology Committee Committee Chair Bradley Schulz, Transitioning Lawyers Commission Chair Cynthia Pittard, Women in the Profession Committee Chair Judge Selina Brooks, Administrative Law Section Chair Jason Evans, Antitrust & Complex Business Disputes Law Section Chair Allison Van Laningham, Appellate Practice Section Chair Robert Gourley, Jr., Bankruptcy Section Chair Kenneth Carroll, Business Law Section Chair Lesley Moxley, Constitutional Rights & Responsibilities Section Chair Holt Gwyn, Construction Law Section Chair Jason Hensley, Corporate Counsel Section Chair Mark Jones, Criminal Justice Section Chair Danae Woodward, Dispute Resolution Section Chair Giovonni Wade, Education Law Section Chair Rupinder Gill, Elder & Special Needs Law Section Chair Matthew Hanchey, Environmental, Energy & Natural Resources Law Section Chair Craig Dalton, Jr., Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Section Chair Katherine Wiggins Fisher, Family Law Section Chair Judge Frank Whitney, Government & Public Sector Section Chair James Wall, Health Law Section Chair Leslie Simmons II, Insurance Law Section Chair Anibal Cortina, Intellectual Property Law Section Chair David Robinson, International Law & Practice Section Chair Brenda Berlin, Juvenile Justice & Children's Rights Section Chair Narendra Ghosh, Labor & Employment Law Section Chair Damon Duncan, Law Practice Management & Technology Section Chair Christopher Nichols, Litigation Section Chair


Nichole Hutchins, Paralegal Division Chair Elizabeth Harrison, Real Property Section Chair James Exum, Jr., Senior Lawyers Division Chair Holly Morris, Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Section Chair William Traurig, Sports & Entertainment Law Section Chair Eugene Chianelli, Jr., Tax Section Chair Amy Berry, Workers' Compensation Section Chair Michael Wells, Jr., Young Lawyers Division Chair Thomas Johnson, Jr., Zoning, Planning & Land Use Section Chair NCBA Executive Staff Team: Allan Head, Executive Director David Bohm, Assistant Executive Director Erik Mazzone, Director of Center for Practice Management Kim Crouch, Director Office of Governmental Affairs Catherine Peglow, Director of Membership and Marketing Kim Bart Mullikin, Director of Public Service and Pro Bono Activities Russell Rawlings, Director of Communications Hallie Kennedy, Director of Marketing Tom Hull, Director of Development Jacquelyn Terrell, Director of Section and Division Activities Diane Wright, Director of Law-Related Education Amy Plent, Director of Continuing Legal Education Ginny Craig, Director of Finance Ashley Mills, Director of Human Resources Other Important Contacts Made: Jillian Brevorka, representative of the Young Lawyers Division Nan Hannah, past chair of Transitioning Lawyers Commission Dan McLawhorn, past chair of Membership Committee Dean Richard Leonard, Campbell Law School Dean Jay Conison, Charlotte School of Law Dean Luke Bierman, Elon School of Law Shawn McKenna, UNC Law School Career Placement Christopher Johnson, Elon Law School Career Placement Bruce Elvin, Duke Law School Career Services Professor Omari Simmons, Wake Forest University School of Law Julie Beavers, Campbell Law School Career Services Ann Reed Dunn, Senior Deputy Attorney General Edwin M. Speas, Jr., (former) counsel to the Governor Rep. Sarah Stevens, North Carolina Courts Commission Chair Jeremy Browner, participant in “Blue Team” group exercise Anna Hedgepeth, participant in “Blue Team” group exercise Brad Williams, participant in “Blue Team” group exercise Jim Dedman, participant in “Blue Team” group exercise


Association Strategic Plans: Alabama State Bar Arkansas Bar Association District of Columbia Bar New York City Bar Association Ohio State Bar Association State Bar of California State Bar of Georgia State Bar of Michigan State Bar of Texas The Florida Bar Virginia Bar Association North Carolina Dental Society North Carolina Medical Society American Bar Association *It is important to note that the committee includes members of the staff or faculty from N.C. Central Law School and Elon Law School, as well as members of the judiciary including the N.C. Supreme Court and Superior Court, and the N.C. General Assembly.


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