Slowing Down

By Marc E. Gustafson

I must admit this article began as a piece about slowing down to enjoy the holidays after I observed my almost five-year-old son napping on an airplane flying to see family. But then I thought about all the times I had heard someone (a preacher, a parent, an unsolicited stranger, a Hallmark commercial) extorting me to slow down, and I thought better of it.

Given that I was working on that flight, though, I started to think about ways I could slow down the practice of law, and maybe be a better lawyer for it.

Given the ever-present pressures of the billable hours (and the perennial jokes that go with earning a living in such a manner), it’s no surprise that lawyers are sensitive about time. We rush to draft closing documents, to serve discovery, to argue motions and to communicate with clients, colleagues and opposing counsel so that these tasks fit neatly into 1/10 of an hour increments.

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Checking In: Jan. 7, 2020

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By Sidney Shank

From left, Jeffrey Russell, Melissa Michaud, Colin Shive and Stephen Rawson.

Tharrington Smith Announces Four New Partners
Four associate attorneys—Melissa Michaud, Stephen Rawson, Jeffrey Russell, and Colin Shive—have been promoted to partners at Tharrington Smith in Raleigh. Michaud, Rawson, and Shive practice in the Education Law Section, and Russell practices in the Family Law Section.

Michaud has worked at Tharrington Smith since 2013, prior to which she taught middle school in eastern North Carolina through Teach for America. She holds a bachelor of arts in political science from Brown University and a juris doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Rawson has worked at Tharrington Smith since 2013, prior to which he was a middle school science teacher in Kentucky. He holds a bachelor of science in physics and a juris doctorate from Duke University.

Russell has worked at Tharrington Smith since 2013 and is a board-certified specialist in Family Law. He holds a bachelor of arts in political science from Furman university and a juris doctorate, magna cum laude, from Campbell University.

Shive has worked at Tharrington Smith since 2012, prior to which he clerked for the Honorable William Osteen, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. He holds a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Clemson University and a juris doctorate with high honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Pro Bono Volunteer Spotlight: Steve Epstein

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Pro Bono Project: Lawyer on the Line

By Rachel Royal
Steve Epstein considers it not only his duty as a lawyer, but his privilege, to provide pro bono service. “If not for me, who will do this work?” he questions. Since April 2010, Steve has spent his days as a Civil Litigation attorney at Poyner Spruill, LLP with a focus in Family Law. By contrast, his pro bono work is where he steps out of his everyday comfort zone to delve into landlord tenant issues and customer disputes with car dealerships. He does this through Lawyer on the Line, a partnership between the NC Bar Foundation and Legal Aid of North Carolina. Steve has been volunteering for Lawyer on the Line since its inception as the formerly known “Call 4All.” He handles approximately half a dozen calls per year, but he often assists the client well beyond the initial call, which has included writing demand letters, problem resolution, and even filing suit on the client’s behalf.

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