Pro Bono Spotlight: Kate McCullough

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Pro Bono Volunteer Spotlight: Kate McCullough
Pro Bono Project: NC LEAP

By Caroline Trautman
For attorneys working in business law who want to give back, it’s hard to think of a better opportunity than the NC Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (“NC LEAP”).

And when it comes to attorneys who have taken that opportunity, Kate McCullough immediately comes to mind.

Kate has been an active NC LEAP volunteer since she graduated from Elon University School of Law in 2017. NC LEAP, which is the only statewide program of its kind, provides legal services to low-wealth entrepreneurs. Through her work with NC LEAP, Kate has assisted business owners with a wide range of topics including contracts, trademark registration, company handbooks, operating agreements, and formation. She sat on a panel during the 7th Annual Business Summit – Business Q&A at Vance-Granville Community College.

Having a background in business, Kate knew that she wanted to focus on corporate, business, and contract law. Volunteering for NC LEAP helped Kate build experience in these practice areas soon after graduating while also doing something she has always loved – helping others in need. “NC LEAP provides an opportunity for individuals who may not have finances to seek financial or legal advice about building a business,” she said. She pointed out that starting a business requires a great deal of work, time, and resources that many people don’t have and that NC LEAP “really empowers people” through its services.

Kate has first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to start a business with limited resources, and this also drew Kate to NC LEAP. Kate started a non-profit of her own when she was living in Boston several years ago. Her charity, Wrapped Up in Sports, Inc., made nearly 1,000 sports-themed quilts out of Red Sox and other sports team jerseys and apparel for needy and sick children. The non-profit was such a hit that it even partnered with Fenway Park, which offered free space to women to make the quilts. The charity donated the quilts to hospitals and homeless shelters. Kate recalled that she got her non-profit off the ground with the help of a pro bono attorney who schooled her on things like Employee Identification Numbers, business incorporation basics, and contracts. She says that the dedicated attorney who helped her set up Wrapped Up In Sports inspired her to pay it forward once Kate earned her law degree.

Volunteering with NC LEAP also enhanced Kate’s career in business law. After graduating, she started working for the NC Community College System. Because NC LEAP clients are often from the Community College Small Business Center, she was able to help NC LEAP partner with community colleges throughout the state and also connect with entrepreneurs and talk with them about their legal needs. Kate now works in Winston-Salem as an in-house Contracts Manager with Collins Aerospace, a large company serving the aerospace and defense industry around the globe. Kate is a member of the NCBA Government/Public Section and also volunteers with Legal Aid.

Want to get involved with NC LEAP? Learn more at https://www.ncbarfoundation.org/our-programs/nc-leap/.

 

Caroline Trautman is a partner at Oak City Law and a member of the NCBA Pro Bono Committee.

Checking In: September 23, 2019

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Wilson law firms Thomas Law Attorneys and Farris & Farris, P.A., will consolidate effective Oct. 1, managing partners Allen Thomas and Bob Farris announced recently. The firm will be named Farris & Thomas and operate at the current location of Thomas Law. The consolidation reunites the managing partners, who began their legal careers in practice with Robert Farris, the father of Bob Farris and the uncle of Allen Thomas. (Photo: Allen Thomas, left, and Bob Farris, courtesy The Wilson Times.)

 

Constangy, Brooks, Smith and Prophete has added a new office in Raleigh to complement North Carolina offices in Asheville and Winston-Salem. In tandem with its opening, the Raleigh office has welcomed its first partner, Justin Coffey, who worked previously for Ogletree Deakins. Coffey has more than 14 years of experience in immigration law, including serving as Chair of the Board of Directors of the International and Immigration Law Section of the Atlanta Bar Association.

 

 

 

Zachary Underwood has been promoted to Litigation Partner at the Raleigh office of Cordell & Cordell. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield and a Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University.

 

 

 

 

Jeffrey Tyburski and his staff have joined the Raleigh office of Geosyntec Consultants after previously working for McAdams. “This was an amicable decision between McAdams and Geosyntec,” Tyburski wrote, “recognizing that McAdams Civil Engineering/Land Development environmental needs are better served from a separate closely aligned partner. This will create a win-win situation for both companies.”

 

 

 

Steven Bader has joined the Raleigh office of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog as an Of Counsel attorney. Bader’s practice focuses on appellate law, and his experience includes arguing cases before the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals. He holds a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Saint Cloud State University, and a Juris Doctorate from Gonzaga University.

 

 

 

Grace Kays has joined the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog as an associate attorney, focusing her practice on medical malpractice defense. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, cum laude, with a major in criminal justice and a minor in political science, and a Juris Doctorate from Elon University.

 

 

 

Lori Fuller has joined the Technology practice at Smith Anderson in Raleigh. She brings with her a wealth of experience from previous positions, including serving as General Counsel for the North Carolina Department of Information Technology and as the first and leading advisor from the Attorney General’s Office for the State Information Processing Services and Information Technology Services.

 

 

 

Colin J. Tarrant has joined Block, Crouch, Keeter, Behm & Sayed in Wilmington after working previously for Smith Moore Leatherwood and Fox Rothschild. Tarrant’s practice focuses on business and commercial litigation, real estate development, land use, and zoning. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from North Carolina State University and a Juris Doctorate from the New England School of Law.

 

 

 

Megan Cook has joined the Raleigh office of Teague Campbell. She focuses her practice on issues of liability, including motor vehicle negligence and wrongful death. Cook holds a Juris Doctorate from North Carolina Central University School of Law.

 

 

 

 

Carmelle Alipio joins the Raleigh office of Teague Campbell. Carmelle holds a Juris Doctorate from Emory University, where she was the first woman and the first woman of color to be elected Director in Chief of the Emory Law School Supreme Court Advocacy Program. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and economics from Fordham University.

 

 

 

Patrick Scott joins the Raleigh office of Teague Campbell after participating in the Teague Campbell Summer Associate Program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a Juris Doctorate from Campbell University.

 

 

 

A Story Too Captivating To Go Untold

By Russell Rawlings
By the time you read this, Steve Epstein may be famous. His first book, “Murder on Birchleaf Drive: The True Story of the Michelle Young Murder Case,” is that good.

The true crime story chronicles the trials, appeals and conviction of the victim’s husband, Jason Young.

Here’s what fellow NCBA member David Rudolf, famous in his own right for his defense of novelist Michael Peterson and resulting Netflix series “The Staircase,” had to say about it: “A compelling and accurate description of a fascinating murder case, from the initial investigation through the twists and turns of two trials, and all of the strategic decisions in between. One of the best true crime books I have read. Very entertaining.”

The murder, which also claimed the couple’s unborn son, occurred in the couple’s Raleigh home on Nov. 3, 2006. On Nov. 30, 2018, following multiple trials and appeals, the N.C. Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Paul Ridgeway’s ruling that Jason Young was not entitled to a third trial.

Thus, as Epstein writes in the book’s final paragraph, “… barring a turn of events of a magnitude far greater than the hung jury or the first Court of Appeals’ decision, Jason Lynn Young will spend the rest of his life in prison.”

Read more