How To Track Time With a Tomato


By Catherine Sanders Reach

Tracking time is the bane of many lawyers’ existence. Few would agree it is an exercise they enjoy. While some excel at it, many factors, including attempting to multitask and daily distractions make accurate time tracking difficult, overwhelming and sometimes loathsome. How can a tomato help you make tracking time easier?

Read more

In the News: ABA Bar Leader Shines Light On NCBA Executive Director Jason Hensley

NCBA Executive Director Jason Hensley

Further solidifying the North Carolina Bar Association’s reputation as one of the most innovative bar associations  in the country, the American Bar Association’s Bar Leader publication featured comments from NCBA Executive Director Jason Hensley in a pair of articles this month.

The article “Right On the Money: Careful Strategy, New Technology Help Bars Move Toward the Future,” focuses on how bar associations across the country are tackling challenges posed by changes in the legal profession. Hensley told the Bar Leader that staff restructuring has been an important part of his approach since becoming executive director two years ago. Those changes include three new staff leadership positions designed to break down silos and encourage more communication among various bar departments.

“We can’t operate in a steady state. The organization really needs to be in a steady state of evolution,” Hensley says. “Is the structure durable, and is it adaptable? Does the underlying structure allow for change? How will we move as everything continues to move? You want to be able to identify and lead that change.”

A second article on executive directors who have replaced long-tenured predecessors, “New Executive Directors Bring Change But Appreciate Continuity,” also spotlights Hensley’s work at the NCBA.

“I had the benefit of knowing it was a strong organization, and the fact that it is a strong organization provides a lot of opportunities,” Hensley says. “This organization has had a tradition of innovation. It’s interesting to put tradition and innovation together, but I think it’s been a tradition here to find new programs and new opportunities and to innovate them.”

Five Issues To Watch For In Federal Privacy Legislation


By Saad Gul

Corporate America, retooling privacy programs following California and Europe’s enactment of comprehensive privacy standards, is looking to Congress for a federal counterpart.  The United States has traditionally had little appetite for comprehensive privacy regulation.  Instead, it has followed a sectoral approach, protecting specific sectors such as health (such as Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act or HIPAA), financial services (such as Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act or GLBA), or vulnerable populations such as minors (such as Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA).

The new Privacy and Data Security Section is now open for member registration. Click here to join.

The latest push may be different however.  Faced with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) — itself enacted to ward off even more stringent rules — and CCPA-like privacy bills pending in other states, a comprehensive federal statute may well be on the horizon.

So what issues should privacy counsel monitor as the privacy sausage is made?  Here are five.

Read more

Fact Gathering and Analysis: Business Research Resources


Finding information about companies, such as financials, principles, employees, valuation, competitors, credit and financial health for publicly traded companies is possible if you don’t mind digging through SEC filings. For nonprofits, religious institutions and privately held companies it requires even more digging, and the information is not always easily available. Whether you are looking at helping with business development in an industry for a client, providing competitive intelligence, looking up information on a company that you are filing a suit against or for many other reasons, the following are free and fee company research resources to help with your search.

Read more

Committee Service: Who Knows Where It Might Lead?

By LeAnn Nease Brown

How is it that a young lawyer who joined a little committee to look at whether we had 100 lawyers in the state to make up a Section called Antitrust and Trade Regulation could go from that moment in time to this moment in time?

I asked this question at last year’s Annual Meeting after becoming President-elect of the North Carolina Bar Association. Serving in this role is an honor beyond words.

The next Annual Meeting and 2019-20 Bar year fast approach.  As incoming President of the North Carolina Bar Association and Foundation, I will soon have the privilege of making Committee appointments.

Read more

Annual Meeting: The Time Is This Summer – At Biltmore

By Josh McIntyre

There will be a time when your NCBA Annual Meeting includes three hours of CLE in the cost of registration.

There will be a time when family and friends attend because afternoons are open to enjoy activities at North Carolina’s most visited home.

There will be a time when nationally renowned speakers address one of the profession’s most relevant topics — wellness.

Truly there will be a time. It’s this summer – at Biltmore.

Read more

Pro Bono Spotlight: Chadwick McCullen


Pro Bono Volunteer Spotlight: Chadwick McCullen

Pro Bono Project: Wills for Heroes

By Celia Pistolis

Chadwick McCullen’s pro bono work focuses on Wills for Heroes, a program that enables its volunteers to prepare essential legal documents — including wills, living wills, and powers of attorney — free of charge to North Carolina first responders (police officers, sheriff’s deputies, EMS, fire and rescue workers) and their spouses.

Register to volunteer for a Wills for Heroes clinic or find out how your organization can sponsor a clinic here.

McCullen’s work with the program began in 2010 when he volunteered at various clinics around the state.  He, along with other volunteers, would meet with first responders and their spouses, discuss their estate planning needs, and prepare the appropriate documents.  In 2016, he became a Young Lawyers Division co-chair of the project with Rebecca Rushton.  As a co-chair, his work shifted to planning the clinics (securing a location, feeding the volunteers, advertising the clinic and scheduling clinic appointments) as well as training and providing legal support for the volunteers. This year, the YLD is partnering with the NC Bar Foundation to offer Wills For Heroes clinics, and McCullen is focusing his efforts on conducting volunteer training and serving as the lead Estate Planning Practitioner on site for clinic days.

Read more

Explore More in MS Office 365 Business Premium


If you have taken the plunge and subscribed to Office 365 Business Premium you are likely aware that the Office suite  (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel) is now not only installed on the desktop but also has a cloud component, syncing your work and making sharing easier. However, you may not be as aware of additional tools and features your firm may have with this subscription that may change the way you do work. Let’s explore!

Read more

4ALL: A Chance For Volunteers To Help In Real Time

4ALL Statewide Service Day, scheduled for March 1, gives North Carolinians the opportunity to ask law-related questions of NCBA volunteers at no cost. The event is sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Foundation. Click here to register to volunteer.

By Nicolette Fulton

The first Friday in March is blocked on my calendar. I am a 4ALL volunteer. Across the state, hundreds of attorney volunteers like me staff seven call centers where they will to respond to about 10,000 callers. It’s a full day!

My day starts when I walk into the WRAL studios, to be there when the phones start ringing at 7a.m., and I stay until the phones stop at 7 p.m. As 7 a.m. rolls around, the station broadcasts our call-in number, and the first phone rings. I have before me my trusty notebook (did they cover this in law school?), my reliance that my coffee(s) has kicked in, and my hope that I have not forgotten everything from my former private practice life. (I haven’t always been an Associate Raleigh City Attorney.)

Read more

Tweets, Blawgs and Apps: Use Your Phone To Become a Better Legal Writer

By Laura Graham

If you’re reading this column, it’s a safe bet that you have a smartphone within reach. Depending on whose numbers you believe, upwards of 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone. And for Americans in the Millennial Generation, that number tops 90 percent. Our smartphones have become indispensable tools in many facets of life.

Although I am tethered to my smartphone like so many others, until recently, I had not thought much about how it could help me become a better legal writer (and a better legal writing teacher). But lately, I’ve been hearing and reading about some of the legal writing resources at my fingertips, so to speak. So I thought I would share some of those resources with you.

Read more