As you know, the MCB has reduced the number of annual newsletters from 12 to six. Although I am very much in favor of writing fewer columns, there is a challenge in timing the content with the ultimate publication date. In some ways, this process is analogous to a quarterback leading the wide receiver by throwing the ball to a spot farther downfield where the receiver should end up. [Note to Panthers fans: if you are unaccustomed to witnessing this fundamental aspect of football, please watch highlights from almost any other team.] Therefore, I am trying to write about things now (in late July) that should be relatively timely when you are reading this column.
The immediate goal for the MCB is to hire and onboard a permanent Executive Director. The job was officially posted on August 1 and the application period closes September 6. The Search Committee is hopeful that the new Executive Director will start on or around December 1. The search is being conducted by Young Mayden, LLC, which was selected through an RFP process in which three finalist search firms were interviewed. Young Mayden has offices in Charlotte and Nashville and the MCB search is being led by Ken Young and Lynsey Kmetz, both of whom are attorneys and former members of the South Carolina Bar’s Board of Governors. Since it was launched in 2008, Young Mayden has conducted many bar association searches around the country, including the Executive Director of the ABA, the Director of Legal Accreditation for the ABA, and Executive Director searches for the New York State Bar, the California Lawyers Association, the Texas State Bar, the Florida Bar, the Tennessee Bar, the North Carolina Bar Association, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and the Houston Bar Association.
You should know that the Executive Director search process is not delaying or interfering with any other MCB activities and progress. Your MCB leadership is building on the momentum from last year’s Membership Value Task Force (MVTF) and diligently working to implement the MVTF recommendations. The Executive Committee and Board are tracking this progress at each meeting and we are sharing updates on that progress with you in each newsletter (see chart on page 13). Several recommendations have already been implemented or are well underway, including:
- Up to three hours of live CLE for the mandatory hours (Ethics, Technology, Mental Health/Substance Abuse) included with your MCB membership
- A kiosk set up at the Bar & Foundation Center to provide all members complimentary access to Fastcase legal research
- Meeting with court personnel to discuss possible revisions to courthouse access cards
- Hosting MCB events and CLEs in diverse geographic locations around the county
- Access to new member benefits that provide free or discounted services from third-party vendors. To see the full list of these new benefits (with more being added regularly), visit MeckBar.org.
Speaking of MCB leadership, we held an orientation session on August 22 for the Board of Directors and the new chairs and vice chairs of each section and committee. Please visit MeckBar.org to view this year’s Board and committee/section leadership. Thank you in advance to all of these volunteers for their leadership and time during the upcoming year. And to you, the members, please help these leaders serve you by attending events, CLE programs, service opportunities and participating in the MCB’s signature events and programs such as the Law & Society Luncheon (see cover story for details on this year’s luncheon); the MCB Holiday Party (December 5 at the Bar & Foundation Center); the Bar Leadership Institute (applications for this year’s program will be due later this fall); the Charlotte Legal Diversity Clerkship program, the Law Day Luncheon in the spring and the Linking Lawyers mentoring program.
By now, the MCB will also include a lot of new faces, namely from those newly minted lawyers who passed the July Bar exam. Congratulations to you, and all 5,400+ members of the MCB welcome you to this robust legal community into which we hope you will become integrated and involved. I look forward to seeing you at the Swearing-In Ceremony in October.
We shall also see whether the downfield pass was on target or not – for both Cam and myself.