Affinity is “likeness based on relationship or causal connection” and affinity bar associations are attorney organizations that promote the interests and goals of a particular demographic. There are several affinity bars, formal and informal, in Mecklenburg County. These are sister organizations, independent of the Mecklenburg County Bar, with which the MCB partners on occasion. I want to be sure you’re aware of the great things the larger local affinity bars are doing:
The Charlotte Asian Pacific American Bar Association (CAPABA) is the local affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (www.napaba.org). CAPABA is dedicated to promoting and improving the quality of legal service to the Asian Pacific American (APA) community; monitoring legislative, judicial and administrative actions that may impact the welfare of the APA community and informing the community about such developments; providing support on issues that would strengthen equal opportunities and ensure equal participation and equal treatment of APAs; and providing resources, including educational programs, about best practices and technology that will benefit an APA legal practice. Sid Shenoy (email@example.com) is CAPABA’s president. To learn more about CAPABA, like it on Facebook (CAPABACLT) or follow it on Twitter (@CAPABACLT).
The Charlotte Women’s Bar (CWB) is the local chapter of the NC Association of Women Attorneys (NCAWA). The NCAWA’s mission includes promoting the participation of women in the legal profession, advancing the rights and welfare of women under the law, and increasing women’s participation in the justice system, in public office and in the legal profession. CWB President Amanda Cutler (firstname.lastname@example.org) can tell you more, or you can visit https://ncawa.memberclicks.net/charlotte-womans-bar-cwb.
The John S. Leary Association of Black Attorneys is the Charlotte chapter of the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers (NCABL). In 1892, Mr. Leary became the first black lawyer to practice in Mecklenburg County. The Leary Bar’s objectives include encouraging and increasing diversity in the legal profession, supporting black college students with an interest in the legal profession, and furthering the goals of the NCABL. Contact Chairs Terry M. Brown, Jr. and Eddie Thomas (TBrown@horacktalley.com; email@example.com) or visit www.learybar.com/about/ for more information.
The Mecklenburg County Hispanic Latino Lawyers Bar was founded in 2008 for the purpose of increasing diversity in the legal profession and encouraging Hispanics and Latinos to seek employment in the judiciary and legal communities. Its goal is to connect Hispanic and Latino attorneys in the Charlotte region and empower their involvement in the larger legal community. For details, reach out to President José Vega (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.mecklenburgcountyhispaniclatinolawyersbar.org/about-us.
Women Lawyers of Charlotte (WLC) is a locally governed, locally funded and locally focused organization and professional networking group. WLC’s mission is to foster professional and social relationships among the diverse group of women lawyers in the Charlotte community, while promoting equality, advancement and opportunity for women through events, programs, mentorship, education and community outreach. Victoria Mathias (email@example.com) is president of WLC and you can learn more by visiting WLC’s website at www.wlclt.org or connecting on social media – Facebook (Women Lawyers of Charlotte) and Twitter/Instagram (@wl_clt).
I’ve attended events hosted by four of these five affinity groups, and without exception, I’ve made new friends, learned a lot and had a fabulous time. Consider connecting with someone new this month through one of the affinity groups listed above or another one that is of interest to you. Who knows what new connections you will make and what new things you will learn?