The Newest Forms Of Ransomware and How To Protect Your Business From Them

By Chris Michalec

This article details how dangerous ransomware is, how it could harm your business, and what you should do to protect your data.

The Situation

Ransomware is now one of the top security concerns for businesses and organizations of all sizes. For example, the City of Atlanta was recently hit with a ransomware attack called SamSam. SamSam crippled some important departments like Atlanta’s court system, their sewer infrastructure requests, and their water billing department.

The attackers who deploy SamSam are known for clever, high-yield approaches. This, combined with the City’s lack of preparedness, explains why the infection was so debilitating.

Experts are telling us that SamSam will strike again. Unlike many forms of ransomware that spread via phishing attacks where individuals inadvertently invite the attack, SamSam exploits IT system vulnerabilities and cracks weak passwords. These ransomware attackers have made $1 million in less than six months.

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S – E – Ohh: Search Engine Optimization For Small Law Firms

By Deirdre M. Stephenson

What happens when people google “Divorce Lawyer” in the geographic area where your small firm is located? Does your firm come up on the results page? Do you even want to be a result of a search for family law attorney? Do you see other firms on the list of results that do not even practice family law? In a world where the answer to a posed question is more often than not: “I don’t know …just Google it,” it is important, if not imperative, for small firms to harness the power of Search Engine Optimization, aka SEO.

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Five Content Marketing Methods That Go Beyond Blogging

By Alexandra Davis

When people hear the term “content marketing,” they immediately think of blogging. For most busy lawyers, the prospect of fitting blogging into an already packed schedule is daunting: How many topics can possibly fill a 1,000-word blog post? How can you keep your content interesting before the well runs dry? And, above all, how are you supposed to make time to keep up with your online presence when you already have a full plate?

Although blogging is indeed a highly effective content marketing method, it’s not the only one. In fact, the concept of content marketing long predates blogs. Today, it takes on a sundry of shapes and forms.

What is so beneficial about content marketing is that it allows ample room for creativity and innovation. At the heart of content marketing is telling a compelling story; the medium you choose in which to do this means little. What matters most is the content that fills the pages, the impact it has on your customers, and the relationships it ultimately cultivates.

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Small Firm & Technology Section Has Big Plans For 2018-19

Welcome to the Small Firm & Technology Section. With our first blog post of the new bar year, we wanted to introduce ourselves and let you know our plans for this new Section.

Section Co-chair Pegeen Turner

My name is Pegeen Turner. I am legal technology consultant with Legal Cloud Technology. I am most recently the chair of the Law Practice Management & Technology Section and have been active in various roles in the NCBA since starting my consulting practice in 2010. I am not an attorney, but I have worked with attorneys both inside and outside of law firms for about 20 years. Our Section is one of the few sections at the North Carolina Bar Association that allows non-attorney members. Other non-attorney members would include IT managers, legal marketing staff, firm administrators and others interested in legal technology. Please feel free to contact me anytime at or on Twitter @pegeenturner. Now, onto Matt, my co-chair extraordinaire!

Section Co-chair Matt Van Sickle

My name is Matt Van Sickle. I am a partner at Lynch Van Sickle, PLLC, a two-attorney firm in Cary. Prior to the creation of this Section, I was chair of the Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Section, and I have been a member of the NCBA since 2007. My current practice focuses on construction litigation, commercial litigation and employment law. I also am a mediator and arbitrator. For a majority of my career I have worked in firms comprising one or two attorneys. You can contact me at

Brandon Huffman is our Section Secretary. Brandon is the founder of Odin Law and Media, a boutique digital and interactive media and entertainment law firm. He’s been an active member of the NCBA since 2013 and, in addition to serving as secretary of this section, he is the secretary of the Sports & Entertainment Law Section. You can reach him on virtually every social media platform as @brandonjhuffman or by email at

We have a lot planned for this Bar Year. Here are a couple of highlights:

Blog Posts and Webinars

We are excited to have a new chair for our communications committee, Deirdre Stephenson. She is a relatively new attorney from Lee County and is excited to share and communicate lots of information this year. One of our goals this year is to build up a library of information for Section members that would be helpful to them – now and in the future. We are looking for help with blog posts, webinars and other communication that you think would be helpful to our Section. Please reach out to Deirdre at  if you are interested in helping us.


We also have a great group of committee chairs for our new section committees. If you are interested in helping with any of these committees, please contact the committee chair directly for more information.

Marketing and Management Committee Chair Josh Kalish:

Technology Committee Chair Chris Michalec:

Legislative/Ethics Committee Chair Seth Barefoot:


The Small Firm & Technology Section has one of the most active listservs in the NCBA. Section members have been able to use this tool in a variety of ways, including referring clients to attorneys in different practice areas, learning more about how to handle a matter in a new practice area or discussing practice management strategies. We hope that you will contribute and respond to all to share information throughout the Section. The listserv address is Please be aware of the rules regarding use of the listserv located on the NCBA website and enjoy it responsibly.

Starting Out Solo

For the bar year, we will continue to host our  Starting Out Solo program. Headed up by David Omer (, with help from Jared Pierce (, the Starting Out Solo program will be updated to reach a broader audience. We plan on continuing to offer content for those just starting a solo or small firm, but will also provide presentations on topics that we hope will allow experienced solo practitioners to succeed and grow their practice. Stay tuned for more details about this valuable program.

CLE Opportunities

With Jim Dedman ( at the head, the CLE committee will be forging ahead with new CLE for our Section – with or without an Oxford comma CLE! After a very successful Data Driven Lawyer program in June, we hope to expand the offerings of CLE for the Section. We also hope to collaborate with other NCBA groups, including the Young Lawyers Division and the new Privacy & Data Security Committee, this year to provide programming to a larger audience. In addition, we will start planning now for a Solo and Small Firm Conference in June. Please contact Jim if you are interested in helping plan and expand our CLE offerings.


This section would not be a section without YOU. We need your help. We have lots of opportunities to help the Section, get involved and have fun at the same time. If you have a little time, we have something for you to do. Our council meetings are all available on the Zoom Conferencing system at the Bar Center, so even if you can’t attend the meeting in person, please don’t think you cannot participate. But, we will encourage you to turn on your webcam for us to see you!

We are looking forward to a successful year in our new Section and hope that you will join us.



Free Durham Bulls Game For Your Thoughts On the New Small Firm & Technology Section

Solo, Small Firm & General Practice and Law Practice Management & Technology Sections have merged into Small Firm & Technology … and we’re changing things up! If you would like to be a part of the new section, we welcome your ideas and invite you to our Strategic Planning Meeting at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. We’ll meet in a private room overlooking the baseball field prior to the game and then enjoy dinner and the game (all on us)!

RSVP here for the Small Firm & Technology Strategic Planning Meeting and free Durham Bulls Game on Wednesday, May 16. 

If you would like to volunteer be a part of the new section, join us May 16 at 3 p.m. (we’ll send you more information when you sign up). This is a way to get involved with other attorneys in your field locally and across the state and a way to help attorneys in your field. If you can’t make the meeting, but you are interested in being involved (as much or little as you want) let us know.

No cost for all Section Members who want to get involved. You can bring a guest ($35 per person and they should come around 6 p.m. after the meeting). Please register all guests so they can retrieve their tickets at Will Call.

We look forward to seeing you!

Matt Van Sickle,
Pegeen Turner,



Say Hello To the Small Firm & Technology Section

Interested in a leadership role in the new Section? Contact Pegeen Turner or Matt Van Sickle.

Welcome to the Small Firm & Technology Section. It has taken us about a year, but we are now rolling out our new name. As of the NCBA Board of Governors meeting on Thursday, Jan. 25, the Law Practice Management & Technology Section and the Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Section have been approved to officially combine to form the Small Firm & Technology Section. This change will formally roll out July 1, 2018, but we are introducing the new name now in preparation for the upcoming bar year.

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