2014 - 15 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.


2014-15 Chair

2014-15 Vice-Chair

Jane V. Harper

C. Jennifer Coble






Class of 2015

Class of 2016

Class of 2017

David M. Bishop

Carolyn Bellof

Shantia J. Coley

Hon. Donald R. Cureton

Scott R. Branam

Matthew S. DeAntonio

Jordan G. Forsythe

Mary E. Bruins

Jason B. James

David Melin

Cassidy B. Estes-Rogers

Abbey L. Mrkus

Hon. Charles M. Viser

Katherine Kliebert

Deborah B. Steele


Staff Liaison

Maya M. Engle, Assistant Executive Director - mengle@meckbar.org.


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

2013-14 Professionalism, Lawyer Life, Culture Committee Report
Jameson P. Wells, Chair

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

This year Coffee Connections and Career Transition Series Subcommittees determined that they might be more effective working as one group, rather than two separate entities trying to achieve the same goal. Therefore, they merged into one subcommittee, Career Networking and Transitions. This subcommittee hosted three roundtable discussions, or “rap sessions,” in order to help attorneys in transition gain access to the resources they need, and engage in meaningful dialogue about relevant topics. The topics for these roundtable discussions were derived from feedback received during the first roundtable discussion which was held last fiscal year in June of 2013. Those topics were Pro Bono Matters, Alternative Options for Legal Practice and Consolidation v. Isolation: Establishing a Sole Practice.

The Professionalism Taskforce worked tirelessly to develop a professionalism survey to be administered to courthouse personnel that would provide the Committee feedback on the level of professionalism exhibited in the Mecklenburg County courthouse. Feedback from the survey will assist the PLLC Committee in the coming year(s) with developing programming geared toward professionalism topics. This taskforce has also focused a considerable amount of energy on understanding the needs of those attorneys who are considering or are in the midst of winding down their practice. This taskforce worked with Nan Hannah, Chair of the NCBA Transitioning Lawyers Commission, Robynn Moraites, Executive Director of the NC Lawyer Assistance Program, and received advice from Brian Oten, with the State Bar’s Ethics Committee, to put together a two hour presentation on winding down your practice. On the other end of the spectrum, this Taskforce also worked with the Young Lawyers Division in presenting two Continuing Legal Education programs geared at newer attorneys.

Another successful year for the Linking Lawyers mentoring program kicked off in November 2013 and currently has more than 40 mentor/mentee pairings. This program strives to provide mentoring in many different practice areas and levels of practice. The Subcommittee spent time this past year 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.

2013 – 14 Goals

  • Look at Linking Lawyers Program and determine what changes to make in order to further the success of the program. 
    • Points to consider: cutoff date for applicants, define what constitutes an unemployed attorney, bifurcation, limit number of participants, request support from CSL.
    • Consider recruiting BLI participants to participate on this subcommittee.
    • Determine how to measure long-term success.
  • Assess the needs of each subcommittee and provide additional volunteers where needed.
    • Establish succession for subcommittees by implementing roll off dates for chairs and vice chairs.
    • Have every committee member engaged on a subcommittee/task force.
  • Combine the efforts of the Career Transition Series and Coffee Connections subcommittees to create a stronger program that supports attorneys in flux by:
    • Offering three - four networking events at the courthouse that are practice area specific in conjunction with applicable CLE’s and/or round table rap sessions.
  • Continue to research the issues facing the aging of the Bar and ways this Committee can provide resources.
    • Develop a program on how to successfully phase out a practice and maintain an active social life.
    • Generate materials that explain the resources available to attorneys who are considering retirement.
  • Continue to research the issues facing new members of the Bar and ways this Committee can provide resources.
    • Engage with local judges and court personnel to identify issues; and
    • Offer assistance with programs and/or materials to promote professionalism amongst new members.
  • Determine whether or not this Committee should recommend to the MCB Board a program similar to SOLACE.
  • Produce a "State of the Union" assessment of the MCB's success in advancing professionalism.