One-Member Wonders: NCBA Attorneys In Far-Flung Counties Are Never Alone

By Russell Rawlings

Our monthly reports at the N.C. Bar Center provide a wealth of information about the members of the North Carolina Bar Association. We can see how many lawyers, law students, paralegals and paralegal students comprise our membership, as well as how many members are participating in each of our sections and divisions.

The reports also reveal how many members hail from each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. There are thousands in Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg and Wake counties, and more than a hundred members in each of 13 additional counties.

Another important number also stood out in a recent membership report for Gates, Graham and Tyrrell counties: one. That’s right – in each of those counties, we had one member, each of whom has a story to tell about their lives, their careers, and their reasons for being members of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Please allow me to introduce them.

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ABA TECHSHOW 2019 NCBA Member Discount and Some Marketing Tips

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Sponsored Post

North Carolina Bar Association Members Get $150 Off Standard Registration

ABA TECHSHOW has over 31 years of experience bringing lawyers and technology together. Legal work today is dependent on technology to manage day to day activities, to practice more competently, and to service clients more effectively. ABA TECHSHOW teaches you how technology can work for you. Through the expansive EXPO Hall, CLEs, presentations, and workshops, you will be able to get your questions answered and learn from the top legal professionals and tech innovators, all under one roof. Regardless of your expertise level, there’s something for you at ABA TECHSHOW.

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Join the NCBA Privacy & Data Security Section To Stay Up On This Evolving Field

We are pleased to announce the formation of the NCBA Privacy and Data Security Section.  Privacy and data security issues are constantly evolving, which makes this field uniquely suited to collaboration and information sharing. Further demonstrating its importance, in November 2018, the N.C. State Bar recognized its first class of privacy law specialists.  Even if your practice does not focus specifically on privacy and data security, join us to stay informed as to the latest trends and developments that may affect your clients. The new Section, which we anticipate will be formally recognized by the NCBA starting in July 2019, is open for registration here.

For more on the Section’s mission, read Chair Alex Pearce’s inaugural blog post.

How To *Really* Lock Down a PDF Document

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CATHERINE’S CALL

By Catherine Sanders Reach

Did you know that it is very easy to edit a PDF document unless you take steps to secure it? You can convert a PDF to Word in MS Word 2016 or in Adobe Acrobat and other PDF conversion applications. You can also easily edit a PDF in Acrobat. If you want to secure a PDF there are many ways to do so, but the strongest security is to apply a watermark, disable copying and printing, and apply a digital signature. This three-step process will create a document that is very difficult to alter or reproduce.

To create a PDF document that would be difficult to tamper with, including reproducing from a screenshot, you can take a three-step approach:

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Pro Bono Spotlight: Molly Gross, NCBA Disaster Legal Services Volunteer

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By Caroline Trautman

Few things make people feel helpless like a natural disaster can. If you’re like most attorneys, your daily work doesn’t involve feeding people, clearing giant trees, or repairing homes. As we settle into our day-to-day work, it’s easy to feel like we don’t have anything to offer people who have lost basic needs like clothing and shelter.

But what we forget is that many of our jobs, at their core, DO involve helping people clean up messes – and the knowledge and skills we’ve picked up along the way are probably more useful than we think.

 

Molly Gross, a young lawyer in Hickory who’s been bitten by the pro bono bug, has figured this out. Her story is proof that attorneys like you can impact people with big needs, even with just a little time. We at the NCBA Pro Bono Committee were so inspired, we thought we’d give her a shout out.

 

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A Better Way to Find Time

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Finding a mutually available time to meet with multiple busy people including clients, colleagues and other parties used to mean a lot of negotiation and multiple emails. Then tools like Doodle and FreeBusy came along to make scheduling much easier. Now users of Microsoft Office 365 can take advantage of a built-in polling tool called FindTime that integrates directly in the Outlook calendar for free!

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Take Steps This Holiday Season

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By Catherine Sanders Reach

With the holidays approaching, we can look forward to gathering with friends and family, celebrations, and merriment. We also look forward to lots of great food and tempting treats. For many the holidays also add stress, tension and increased feelings of depression. Make time to keep up with exercise, which will help guard against weight gain and help boost your serotonin levels. Need motivation? Your mobile device likely has a pedometer built in to help you keep track of your steps and stay on goal.

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Is a Password Enough To Keep Your Sensitive Information Safe?

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By Catherine Sanders Reach

Are you using two factor authentication? You should be! Passwords alone are not enough anymore to thwart motivated hackers from accessing your accounts, whether by a keystroke logger infection on your computer or a data breach of the systems you use every day online. Two factor authentication, or two step verification, adds strength to your passwords by using something you know (your password) and something you have. The “something you have” is often a code sent separately to a mobile phone via text. Without the code you will not be able to login to an online account on a device you have not previously trusted. Ostensibly it would also thwart anyone who had your password as well. You can turn on two factor authentication in most online accounts by going into your privacy and security settings.

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Civility and Sanity: A CLE To Help Lawyers Maintain Both

By Lucy Inman

In an age abounding with public and private incivility, division, and discrimination, how can lawyers and judges promote professional behavior? And when individual struggles with stress and depression make news every day, how can we recognize and respond to warning signs in ourselves and others? “A Most Stressful Profession: Promoting Civility and Sanity in Your Practice,” a daylong CLE happening Dec. 7, will address those situations we usually don’t talk about.

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Find Help In the ABA’s Well-being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers

Julie D. Beavers

Sarah Nagae

By Julie D. Beavers and Sarah Nagae

As chairs of the North Carolina Bar Associaton’s Professional Wellness Committee, we want to share an important resource created by the ABA earlier this year – the Well-being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers.  In 2017, the ABA’s National Task Force on Lawyer Well-being shared a report noting that many lawyers across the United States juggle mental health and substance use disorders all the while managing demanding caseloads.

While the report spotlights troubling realities in the profession, I suspect few of us are surprised by the findings.  With that in mind, whether you are a solo practitioner ready to set healthy parameters in your office or a large employer needing to refine the workplace culture, be sure to check out the Well-Being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers as well as the toolkit’s “Nutshell” tip sheet.  Both resources offer helpful tools and guidance essential to assisting lawyers thrive in the workplace which promotes optimum client service and better working relationships with colleagues.  Invest some time exploring these resources in order to protect yourself as well as the well-being of your personnel.  You’ll be glad you did.

Julie D. Beavers, julie@lawyersmutualnc.com
Sarah Nagae, SNagae@nexsenpruet.com