2015 - 16 Professionalism, Lawyer Life and Culture Committee



The Professionalism, Lawyer Life and Culture Committee seeks to enhance and support the Mecklenburg County legal community, through the active development and promotion of educational programs, resources and mentoring relationships in order to facilitate healthy, collaborative, rewarding and service oriented professional lives and culture among its members.








2015-16 Chair

2015-16 Vice-Chair

C. Jennifer Coble

David S. Melin







Class of 2016

Class of 2017

Class of 2018

Carolyn Bellof

Shantia J. Coley

Catherine A. Barnes

Scott R. Branam

Matthew S. DeAntonio

Hon. Karen Eady-Williams

Mary E. Degner

William Garrity

Kenneth R. Harris Jr.

Cassidy B. Estes-Rogers

Jason B. James

Dirk Lasater

Katherine Kliebert

Abbey L. Mrkus

Kenneth R. Raynor






Staff Liaison

Breanne Mercer, Legal Services & Referral Assistant Coordinator - bmercer@meckbar.org 


Communications Committee Liasion
Scott Branam


Volunteer Need / Commitment

Members of the Professionalism, Lawyer Life and Culture Committee (PLLC) attend bi-monthly committee meetings, develop CLE programs focused on the health and wellbeing of attorneys, discuss relevant topics for Coffee Connections and work to provide useful resources for the legal community that will promote a healthy work /life balance. Opportunities for involvement on one of four subcommittees of PLLC include: Linking Lawyers Mentoring Program, Coffee Connections, Career Transition Series and North Carolina Lawyer Assistance Program.  Interested in joining this committee? Complete the committee interest form.  




Committee Documents/Links



 Linking Lawyers: A Mentoring Initiative


2014-15 Professionalism, Lawyer Life, Culture Committee Report
Hon. Jane V. Harper, Chair

The Professionalism, Lawyer Life and Culture Committee (PLLC), now in its sixth fiscal year, has continued its efforts to evolve and modify its programming to meet the needs of Bar members in the current economic climate.

This year our Career Networking and Transitions subcommittee, chaired by Jennifer Coble, hosted two roundtable discussions, or “old rap sessions,” and one CLE to help attorneys in transition gain access to the resources they need, and engage in meaningful dialogue about relevant topics. Over 75 people attended these programs and provided great feedback for future programs. The topics for these programs were:
• “Women in the Legal Profession” Roundtable Discussion
• “The Business of Practicing Law” CLE & Roundtable Discussion

The Professionalism Taskforce reviewed the results from the professionalism survey which was developed and administered to courthouse personnel and judicial branch last fiscal year.  Past chair Jamie Wells wrote our report summarizing the survey results. Feedback from this survey will assist the PLLC Committee in the coming year(s) with developing programming geared toward professionalism topics. This taskforce has also focused on understanding the needs of those attorneys who are considering or are in the midst of winding down their practices. This taskforce worked with Brian Oten, with the State Bar’s Ethics Committee, and a panel of retired attorneys to put together a two hour presentation on the practical steps to winding down your practice. On the other end of the spectrum, this taskforce also worked with the Young Lawyers Division in presenting a CLE on handling challenging clients and clients with mental illness.

Another successful year for the Linking Lawyers mentoring program, chaired by David Bishop, kicked off in August 2014 and currently has more than 40 mentor/mentee pairings.  Each Bar member who requested a mentor was paired up. This program strives to provide mentoring in many different practice areas and levels of practice. The Subcommittee spent time determining how to address the change in mentoring programs to encompass attorneys who are not in a traditional legal practice. This will continue to be addressed in the coming years. 

PLLC will continue to work with other MCB Committees – including the Continuing Legal Education and Communications Committees – to ensure professionalism topics are fully presented to the Bar.

Points to consider:
•  In the upcoming fiscal year, the Committee hopes to apply the insights gained from the professionalism survey to improve overall Bar programming. 
• The Committee will continue to develop programming that focuses on helping attorneys wind down their practices, and share ways that lawyers can effectively retire without losing their identity. Part of this process will include further exploration of a senior lawyers group.
• The combined Career Networking and Transition subcommittee continues to seek an effective means of providing the resources attorneys in transition need. This subcommittee realizes that the true challenge lies not only in what kind of information and resources to present, but also in how it is presented. The roundtable discussions seem to be well received with an average of 20 participants or more; therefore, this subcommittee will continue this method next fiscal year and will be working on new topics for discussion.