Me and My Mini-MBA

By Erik Mazzone

The day started off innocuously enough.

I was in a meeting with my boss and I passed him a spreadsheet I had been working on. He has an MBA and has, shall we say, well-developed thoughts and feelings about spreadsheets. I majored in English and have well-developed thoughts and feelings on who is the vilest character in “Game of Thrones.” (Ramsay Bolton over Joffrey by a nose.)

After reviewing the spreadsheet for a couple of minutes, Jason looked up and said, “Hey … I have an idea. Why don’t you attend the Mini-MBA program in December?” His reaction wasn’t a total surprise. My spreadsheet skills could best be described as “Needs Improvement.” Microsoft Excel isn’t my love language.

NCBA Spring Executive Education Courses
​Elements of Business Management, May 30-31
Elements of Construction Management, June 4-5
Find details and register here.

The Mini-MBA held in December 2018 was the NCBA’s first executive education program. I was excited about this foray. My time as the director of the Center for Practice Management convinced me that there are lots of things that lawyers want and need to learn that do not qualify for CLE credit. Executive education courses — intensive, short-format courses taught by professional faculty and not offered for CLE credit — seemed an ideal way to fill that need.

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Wellness Expert Jeena Cho On Lawyers, Self-Care and the Billable Hour

This year’s NCBA Annual Meeting theme is wellness and how legal professionals can achieve it. In preparation for the event, we talked with speakers scheduled to present at Annual Meeting for a series of quick-read Q&As. Watch NCBarBlog for upcoming Q&As with Annual Meeting speakers Stan Phelps, Laura Mahr and Greg Romeo. Admission to all speaker presentations, including those for CLE credit, is included in registration.

NCBA Annual Meeting 2019
Jeena Cho on Better Lawyering Through Mindfulness
Friday, June 21
1.0 hr of CLE credit
Find more details about Annual Meeting and registration here.

By Amber Nimocks

As a partner in a San Francisco bankruptcy firm, Jeena Cho understands that the pressures lawyers face are unlike those faced by others in high-stress occupations. That’s one reason she is such a valuable resource for legal professionals.

A co-author of “The Anxious Lawyer” and a frequent contributor to Above the Law, Cho earned her law degree from the University of Buffalo. She began her exploration of mindfulness in Buffalo as well, attending the Himalayan Institute for meditation training. Cho teaches mindfulness and meditation to lawyers and counsels firms on stress management and work-life balance.

Q: What unique challenges do lawyers face when it comes to self-care?

A: A few common challenges I’ve observed: First is that lawyers think self-care is antithetical to lawyering. There’s a myth that lawyers should work all the time and sacrifice their well-being for their clients and career. I’ll often have lawyers push back and say, “If I take an hour to go to the gym, that’s an hour I won’t be able to bill.” That’s a short-sighted view, of course, because heaving a healthy body is a foundation to being a good lawyer.

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Members In Focus: Alex Pearce

Pearce is leading the NCBA’s efforts to tackle issues in the privacy and data security law field.


By Russell Rawlings

The Privacy and Data Security Committee, which formed last year, is well on its way to becoming an NCBA Section. On Jan. 17, the NCBA Board of Governors gave a green light to the committee’s plan to form a new NCBA Section. Formal recognition as an NCBA Section is anticipated in July. In support of this effort, and in the interest of providing members with insight regarding the work of this committee, North Carolina Lawyer is pleased to provide the following question-and-answer interview with Alex Pearce, who currently chairs the committee.

Pearce grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has strong ties to North Carolina, where his father is from. He is a 2001 graduate of Wake Forest University and a 2004 graduate of Stanford Law School. He focuses his practice on privacy and data security law with Wyrick Ellis & Winters in Raleigh. He has been certified by the N.C. State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a Specialist in Privacy and Information Security Law, and as a Privacy Law Specialist by the International Association of Privacy Professionals, which has been accredited by the American Bar Association to certify lawyers in this specialty. He is a member of both specializations’ inaugural classes.

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