Tennis Lessons: WFU Prof’s Life A Study In Sportsmanship, Tenacity And The Law

By Russell Rawlings 

Professor Muriel Beth Hopkins of Wake Forest University currently serves as chair of the Constitution and Rules Committee of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), a role she never could have envisioned growing up in Petersburg, Va.

“In the town I grew up in there were no public tennis courts available for African-Americans,” said Hopkins. “We would have been arrested had we attempted to play on public tennis courts in the 1960s.”

So much has changed since then, and Hopkins was done more than simply witness it. She’s been a part of it.

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Still Atticus: An old hero persists despite a new portrayal

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the November 2015 edition of North Carolina Lawyer.

By Amber Nimocks  

 Since Harper Lee breathed Atticus Finch to life in 1960, no other fictional attorney has had such a hold on the American psyche.

The figure of an altruistic Southern lawyer standing up for what’s right in the face of a deeply unjust society in “To Kill A Mockingbird” has inspired millions as a model of dedication to justice, patience and paternal wisdom. But this summer’s publication of Lee’s “Go Set A Watchman,” which presented a new, more difficult view of the character, left us wondering what members of the N.C. Bar Association make of this hero revisited.

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Gifts for Lawyers Who Say They Don’t Want an Apple Watch — But Really Do

Editor’s note: This article appears in the November edition of NC Lawyer.

By Erik Mazzone

I didn’t want an Apple Watch. Really.

With an iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air, I figured owning three Apple devices that need charging daily and upgrading regularly is enough for one person. Not to mention I wanted to avoid being one of those officious “Apple fan boys” running around, going, “and then Apple innovated by putting a device on my wrist … and it tells the time! Mind. Blown.”

Then this happened.

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In my limited defense, it was a gift. In my even more limited defense, I asked for it. It’s not entirely my fault, though. My normally tech-disinterested wife has been rhapsodizing about her Apple Watch for months now:

My Apple Watch does this. My Apple Watch does that. My Apple Watch has a built in laser app like Iron Man.

I’m only human. I broke.

I assumed the Apple Watch was going to be kind of a disappointment. It needs to be Bluetooth tethered to an iPhone. The screen is tiny. It doesn’t really do that much. I was prepared to be underwhelmed.

As it turns out, though, it has been kind of a delight. I’m not overwhelmed. But neither am I underwhelmed. Just regular whelmed.

After a few weeks of wear, the Apple Watch has quietly crept into some crevices in my tech life that I didn’t know existed.

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Nine Questions to Ask About Your Firm’s Website

By Deborah McMurray

Law firms are investing more in the de­sign and development of their websites than ever. But are your visitors any happier?

No matter your law firm’s size or budget, visitors expect the same intuitive experience that they have with CNN.com, Southwest.com or Opentable.com. And your site is be­ing judged by the same criteria: (1) Is it easy to navigate and search—meaning do I quickly find what I want and need? and (2) does it an­swer my question or solve my problem?

If you have marketing or business development expectations of your law firm website, then you must view this medium and investment very differently.

1. Start at the Beginning: Is Your Strategy Clear? The reason so many law firm websites are poor is because too few firms pay attention to firm vision and goals, understand their target mar­kets or develop a website strategy. Firm strategy, key messages and points of differentiation should shape every decision that’s made in creating design, determining functionality and developing con­tent. Your firm strategy should be clear when a visitor comes to your site. You have one chance to make the right impression—and you have about five seconds to make it before your visitors make a “stay/leave” decision. Don’t risk making the wrong impression by not spending time on this critical step.

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