Catherine Reach, Visionary Legal Tech Leader, To Join NCBA Staff As CPM Director

By Erik Mazzone
NCBA Membership Experience, Senior Director

I am super excited to share with you that we have hired a new Director of the Center for Practice Management. Catherine Sanders Reach, Director of Law Practice Management and Technology for the Chicago Bar Association and former Director of the Legal Technology Resource Center for the American Bar Association, will serve as our new CPM Director beginning on Oct. 31.

I couldn’t be more pleased and proud to have Catherine join the NCBA. She is one of the most widely respected law practice management advisors in the country. She was an inductee into the inaugural class of the Fastcase 50 – an award which recognizes the year’s “smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law.”

Catherine Sanders Reach

Catherine is also a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, which honors extraordinary achievement in law practice management and in stimulating innovation in the delivery of legal services. She received her Bachelor of Arts (English) and Masters of Library and Information Studies from the University of Alabama.

Catherine has been an highly sought after speaker and volunteer with the ABA, having served as a member of the Law Practice Futures Initiative, a member of the Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, and is currently serving as a Vice Chair of TECHSHOW, one of the largest legal technology conferences in the world.

Qualifications and accolades aside, Catherine has been a gracious colleague, insightful mentor (including to me, which is vexing because she is younger than I am), and a generous leader in the law practice management community. She’s been a good friend to the NCBA and has spoken at our programs many times over the past years. Catherine is a great addition for our team, and I know once you get to know and work with her, you will be excited about her joining us as I am.

A Higher Calling: Hurricane Florence Relief From Above

Have a Hurricane Florence story to share on NCBarBlog or in NC Lawyer magazine? Email Amber Nimocks.

By Bettie Kelley Sousa

The Wednesday after Hurricane Florence left the state, Smith Debnam partners gathered for their monthly lunch meeting, normally chaired by the law firm’s managing partner, Jerry Myers. Many learned then that Myers’  absence resulted from his accepting a higher calling — delivering supplies in his small airplane to Eastern North Carolina charities.

In this day of drones and helicopters, small planes landing on short runways provided a much needed service to the hurricane survivors. With hundreds of roads, including I-40 and I-95, flooded and closed to delivery trucks, the federal, state and local governments set up shelters, conducted rescues, and assessed damage on a larger scale. But, for the day-to-day lives of most of the population, thankfulness for survival melted into desperation to return to normalcy. Cash does no good when there are no stores open, or no stock on the shelves.

Want to help Hurricane Florence survivors? The North Carolina Disaster Legal Services pro bono program needs volunteers. Find details at ncbar.org/florence.

Smith Debnam Managing Partner Jerry Myers, an NCBA member,  stuffed his personal airplane with supplies for Hurricane Florence survivors and flew them into isolated areas after the storm.

Yet there were able-bodied locals who could help deliver bottled water and supplies to people in need.  Help with the “who-needs-what.” Recognizing the missing link, Operation Airdrop flew into action after Florence. Connecting the donors, and the donated goods, to charities with volunteers to deliver the donations had been done before in Houston, after the similar disaster from Hurricane Harvey in 2017. A Texas non-profit, volunteer led group, Operation Airdrop is a loose organization of pilots and small airplanes which sought and coordinated volunteers through the internet. Call it a “pop up,” with no true existence until the need arises, Operation Airdrop denotes itself as a “week one disaster response organization.” And, after Florence, the need arose in North Carolina.

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NCBA LRS Benefit So Sweet, a Member Just Had To Bring Us Chocolates

The Lawyer Referral Service is one of many benefits available to NCBA members.
Renew your membership before Oct. 31 to stay with the NCBA.

By M’Lea Peak
NCBA Lawyer Referral Service Program Coordinator

Not every attorney on his way to pay a $20,000 bill would have a spring in his step and smile on his face. But when Steve Paul stopped by the North Carolina Bar Center on a sunny afternoon last fall, not only was he smiling, he was also carrying an armload of Godiva chocolates for the NCBA Lawyer Referral Service staff.

Paul was dropping off a remittance fee check representing 10 percent of his share of a medical negligence case that originated with a referral from LRS. Standard operating procedure does not require attorneys to deliver their remittance fee checks in person – or for them to bring chocolates – but the LRS staff is happy to accommodate both practices.

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