Morgan,Jennifer

By Jennifer Morgan

Welcome to a new year of Administrative Law Section activities and events. My name is Jennifer Morgan, and I am an attorney at Williams Mullen law firm in Raleigh. My practice includes a focus on alcoholic beverage distribution and regulation, as well as a focus on utilities regulation. I am honored and excited to serve as chair of the section for the 2015-2016 year.

As we all know, one of the questions we are usually asked as administrative lawyers is how we became interested in pursuing a career in administrative law. For me, the position I took out of law school with a firm sparked an early interest in administrative law through the fact that administrative law issues surrounded nearly every business client I represented, no matter what the subject matter. I became fascinated by the ways business operations intersected with the government, and my position provided an excellent platform to experience how administrative law affect business operations. An early interest in administrative law was further inspired through the opportunity to represent a minor petitioner pro bono at the Office of Administrative Hearings in a Medicaid case, which expanded my view of how administrative law affects the lives of even young children. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with excellent attorneys who have served as mentors in administrative law.

As a section, our responsibility is to further the mission of the Bar Association to serve the public and the legal profession in the specific area of administrative law. Our section leadership is working hard this year to fulfill this mission and serve the members of the section by providing exciting and informative educational, networking and pro bono opportunities.

In sparking and furthering the interest of young attorneys practicing in administrative law, our section has for the first time this year a liaison who will serve on the Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division Executive Council. Our section liaison is Catherine Lee, an attorney with Allen, Pinnix & Nichols. One of the goals this year is to encourage and facilitate active young lawyer participation in the Administrative Law Section. Watch for a joint networking social with the Young Lawyers Division this fall at Spartacus in Durham. This will be a great way for young lawyers to learn more about administrative law and the lawyers who practice in this area. We look forward to promoting and sharing the exciting opportunities in administrative law to members of the profession.

During the recent legislative session, administrative law issues were hotly debated and the subject of many legislative actions. On Nov. 6, our section and the Environment, Energy & Natural Resources and Government & Public Sector sections are presenting a joint CLE focusing on key legislative, executive, and judicial developments that have taken place in 2015. Administrative lawyers will have the opportunity to hear firsthand about key legislative reforms and changes impacting administrative law. This information will be important and beneficial to all practitioners in government, the public sector and the private sector. The CLE planners have worked hard to put forth what should be an excellent and informative program. We invite you to participate and provide input on key issues affecting administrative law.

Be on the lookout for another CLE this spring focusing on the topic of judicial review in North Carolina, which is being evaluated by the Judicial Review committee, chaired by Jack Nichols. The committee is reviewing topics of interest to practitioners, Administrative Law Judges, and Superior Court Judges. Potential topics include filing the petition for judicial review, including requirements, pitfalls and best practices, as well as legislative updates.

The Section continues its pro bono initiative of identifying and providing opportunities for practitioners to represent individuals pro bono who need assistance with Medicaid hearings at the Office of Administrative Hearings. We look forward to continuing to identify pro bono needs within administrative law and the section and encourage and seek out section members to participate.

I invite you to become more active in our section this year. Section members are invited to volunteer and take part in one of our section committees, including Pro Bono, Membership, and CLE, among many others. If you are interested, please contact me and let me know by phone at (919) 981-4051 or by email at jmorgan@williamsmullen.com. Please feel free to share any ideas for CLE topics, pro bono opportunities, or networking opportunities.

I look forward to working with you in what has been an exciting year for administrative law. Thank you for the opportunity to serve this year.