The Chair’s Comments: A Word from Stephen M. Lynch
Article Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2011
In the April 2003 issue of Notes Bearing Interest, we reprinted an article by Dale Whitman, then the immediate past-president of the Association of American Law Schools and a professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. Professor Whitman is a graduate of Duke Law School and started his academic career at the UNC School of Law. Professor Whitman's article, "Clinics For the Rest of Us," addressed perceived shortcomings in the training that law schools provided to students interested in a transactional practice, contrasting litigation-oriented clinical experiences to the lack of equivalent practical educational offerings focused on transactions.
The April 2003 issue also included articles from each of our North Carolina law schools detailing their efforts to provide clinical experiences addressing the negotiation and documentation of contracts, formation of business entities, and other aspects of transactional practice. In this issue, we have again asked our North Carolina law schools to describe their "clinics for the rest of us." As you can see in the following pages, the law schools in our state have developed a wealth of interesting opportunities for students to become better prepared for the practical aspects of being a business lawyer. As a business bar, we benefit from having new lawyers better equipped for transactional practice.
I want to offer special thanks to Jim Beckwith of N.C. Central School of Law for his efforts in contacting the deans of each of the law schools to solicit these articles, and more generally for his great work as the editor of our newsletter for many years.
Also, since this is my last column as chair of the Business Law Section, I have many more thanks to express. First to Carol Eubank, John Marshall, Maureen (Mo) Ogburn and Anthony Williams, who are completing their three-year terms on the section council. For the past two years Carol has also served as the chair of our Ethics and Professionalism Committee and has very ably represented our section before the State Bar's Ethics Committee with respect to proposed ethics opinions applicable to business lawyers. John has also served as a committee chair, co-chairing the Membership Committee first with Jim Snow and later with Jeffrey Batts. Members throughout the state may have received a call from John during his term. Mo has served as our liaison to the Secretary of State's office for the past two years and has continued to develop the section's excellent rapport with Secretary Marshall's fine staff. Before leaving earlier this year to accept an in-house position in Philadelphia, Anthony had chaired a section committee and was the course planner for one of our annual meetings. We are grateful to all of them for their efforts on behalf of the section, as we are for every other member of the council, the committee chairs and other section members who have volunteered their time for the section's benefit.
Also ending their terms are Chris Capel, Rob Kidwell and Scott Coward, the section's vice chair, secretary and treasurer, respectively. I am delighted that each will continue to serve on the section council, though in a different capacity. Scott will succeed Rob as secretary, and Rob will be joining the council as a member for a two-year term. Of course, Chris will be our section chair commencing with the Bar Association's 2011 annual meeting, and I am sure that he will benefit from a continuation of the support our members have given this section over the years. Ken Carroll is succeeding Chris as section vice chair, opening the vacancy on the section council that Rob has been elected to fill.
Anna Mills is rolling off as chair of the NC LEAP Steering Committee, and Dave Caplan will lead NC LEAP for the coming year. Thanks to each of them and the other members of the Steering Committee for enabling NC LEAP to continue to pursue its important mission.
As a section, we are blessed to have the support of Tina Hughes, Mary Horowitz and Jane Weathers at the Bar Center. Tina makes each of our CLE programs possible, while Mary has reinvigorated NC LEAP as its director. Jane is simply the reason why this section works as well as it does.
Finally, I owe a deep debt to Bill Gwyn, our immediate past chair. Bill has offered invaluable encouragement and guidance over the past two years, the most important being to copy Jane on every email regarding section business so she could promptly straighten me out.
I sincerely encourage each of you to consider becoming involved in the section's activities, from suggesting ideas for projects and programs to being involved in a committee or project. The strength of our section depends on each of you, and I am sure that, like me, you will get more out of it than you put into it.
Views and opinions expressed in articles published herein are the authors' only and are not to be attributed to this newsletter, the section, or the NCBA unless expressly stated. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all citations and quotations.