Opening Doors For Visiting Haitian Lawyers

By Rachel Blunk

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
— T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Business, industry, law, and relationships straddle our oceans more often than not in a world increasingly connected through technology. It is imperative, then, for many young lawyers of the North Carolina Bar Association to build international relationships with attorneys outside of the United States. In an effort to foster these relationships, the NCBA Young Lawyers Division, in partnership with the International Law & Practice Section of the NCBA, will host five fellow young lawyers from Haiti the week of Sept. 10-15.

Over the course of the week, our visitors from Haiti will travel to Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Cary to meet with a variety of lawyers and judges across the state. They will have the opportunity to meet with our legislators and learn about the process of creating North Carolina law. They will also learn about the rule of law in North Carolina and North Carolina’s common law tradition from Attorney General Josh Stein and North Carolina judges at all levels of the trial and appellate divisions of our courts.  They will meet with attorneys in-house at NASCAR and Honda Aircraft, and participate in a seminar with entrepreneurs in Greensboro at Elon School of Law to learn about legal issues facing business owners in North Carolina. While in Charlotte, the group will also have the opportunity to discuss issues of juvenile justice with attorneys and staff members at the Council for Children’s Rights.

At the federal level, our Haitian young lawyers will attend a hearing in the Middle District of North Carolina and meet with USDOJ attorneys. In the Western District of North Carolina, our guests will meet with Chief District Court Judge Frank D. Whitney, Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler, and Chief Judge Laura T. Beyer.

As a capstone for the week, our visitors will tour the North Carolina Legislature and meet with Gov. Roy Cooper.

Hosting these young lawyers will not only enrich the lives of our guests, but those of our young lawyer hosts and participants as well, who will learn about practicing law in Haiti and its legal institutions. Be sure to keep an eye on the North Carolina Bar Association’s Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter — @NCBAorg #myNCBA — for updates on our travels with our visiting Haitian young lawyers and to connect with our colleagues from overseas.