American Bar Association - Division for Bar Services

Mecklenburg County Bar - Operational Review

December 5, 2008 - Download the full report here (pdf)



A.  Statistics

B.  Governance

C.  Policies

D.  Financial Management

E.  Staff Management and Administration

F.  Program Administration and Development

G.  Communications and Membership Outreach




Central to the MCB's mission is ensuring the competence of its members through professional development. Accordingly, the bar's programs share this focus. The cornerstone is a sophisticated, professional CLE program. The CLE program is characterized by both depth and breadth. The curriculum includes seminars for both the novice and seasoned attorney. Programs vary not only in sophistication but in length, format, and subject matter. Indeed, the bar's recent survey found that CLE was the most cited service used by members - 66%, no doubt contributing to high levels of satisfaction with the bar's services.


Sections and committees provide both volunteer opportunities and venues for delivering services to and creating community among members. They afford members more intimate settings for professional, business, and leadership development. As is the case with most bar associations, the level of activity varies among MCB's sections.


The technology and infrastructure that supports the staff and program activities are appropriate to the needs and the tasks at hand.


Exemplary Practices

  • The Bar Leadership Institute is one of the oldest and most emulated programs of its kind in the nation.
  • Diversity initiatives are targeted and guided by a comprehensive action plan.
  • Managing partner roundtables and general counsel outreach reflect the bar's sensitivity to particular segments of the bar's membership and their unique position in the Charlotte legal community.
  • Luncheon series provides an opportunity for members to engage with each other and reinforces the bar's position as a civic leader.
  • Section policies for activity levels, financial management, orientation, and oversight are exemplary.
  • Comprehensive CLE program includes an online component and law firm-based video replays. 

Recommended Areas of Attention

  • Consider combining Lawyer Life, Professionalism, and Mentoring committees into one committee with appropriate sub-committees. There is considerable overlap among the committees and more coordination on the issues would result in greater program impact.
  • Consider improving the alignment of the volunteer lawyers project/public service programs with members' interests and needs. Every member with an interest in volunteering for pro bono or a public service project should have that opportunity.
  • Consider engaging section and committee chairs in cooperative programs and projects. Host quarterly meetings and develop a leadership listserve.
  • Consider ways for sections to use the Web site to facilitate communication and networking opportunities among their members. Practice-related resources on the site are very limited.
  • Consider programs that further members' professional and business development that would complement existing offerings and address concerns identified in the pulse of the profession survey.

Next Section: G.  Communications and Membership Outreach


Previous Section:  E.  Staff Management and Administration