Continuing Legal Education Committee


The Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee develops, implements, and oversees all CLE programs for the Mecklenburg County Bar (MCB) in conformance with the rules of the North Carolina State Bar (NCSB) CLE Board. Committee members are requested to plan one CLE training.






2019-20 Chair
Rhonda L. Patterson

2019-20 Vice-Chair
Hon. Christopher E. Bazzle


Class of 2020
Class of 2021
Class of 2022
    Benjamin S. Chesson    
    A. Taylor Goodnight    
    Kevin L. Pratt    
    William B. Wallace    
     Meghan L. Abernathy     
     Corey V. Parton     
     Mallory A. Willink     
Edward P. Byron  
Robert K. Corbett III
Marli J. Dabareiner
Richard M. McDermott
Hon. Nancy B. Norelli
Staff Liaisons

Lisa Armanini, Director of Continuing Legal Education -
Sonja Lucas, Assistant Coordinator for Continuing Legal Education -
Michelle Lee, Continuing Legal Education Coordinator -



 Volunteer Need / Commitment

Develops, implements and oversees all CLE programs for the MCB in conformance with the rules of the North Carolina State Bar. The committee meets on the third Thursday of each month from 12 - 1 p.m. Each member is expected to plan/coordinate a minimum of one program annually which requires approximately 3 to 6 volunteer hours outside of meeting time. 

Committee Documents/Links

CLE Committee Manual


2017-18 CLE Committee Report
Shannon Hoff Duarte, Chair & Rhonda L. Patterson, Vice-Chair

The CLE Committee has had another very busy year. The Bar & Foundation Center at 2850 Zebulon Avenue has been the primary venue for CLE programming welcoming over 2,000 members this past year. The training facilities offer the technology to capture and record CLE classes, to broadcast internally into all conference rooms and to launch webcasts and webinars to attendees participating offsite.

In August, CLE transitioned to a new on-demand catalogue hosting company SeminarWeb that is a recommended partner of the MCB’s new database management website Member Central. In conjunction with both companies, CLE program information and data and registrant information has been assembled into easily accessible files. Other new initiatives include: Creating a new Split Proceed/Honorarium Policy, developing guidelines for a Member v. Non-member and Early Bird v. Regular pricing structure and offering “audit” seat pricing for those programs typically one hour in length, aimed at new attorneys and/or directed by the courts. The first FREE CLE “What Would Lincoln Do” organized by MCB President Heather Culp continued to draw crowds and was enjoyed by over 400 Bar members. Incoming MCB President Timika Shafeek-Horton continued the tradition of free CLE and organized a “View from the District, Superior and Federal Bench” immediately preceding the May Annual Meeting and BBQ. It is anticipated that the FREE Member Value CLE will attract a large following.

Goals in 2017-18 were promoting more programs with a social networking component, improving the delivery of technology-based programming, increasing the number of creative CLE programs that have interaction or interesting topics of discussion, meeting projected net budget goals and to continue as a key sponsor for the State Bar mandatory Professionalism for New Attorneys class.

Financially, CLE net revenues trended down. Increasing competition, more discounted and free CLE in the marketplace and increasing costs over the past year have played a role. To this end, the CLE team is undertaking a performance audit to analyze market share, programming delivery efficiency, technology, staffing and selection of program topics. It is anticipated that the performance audit results will provide the MCB with a roadmap for a successful CLE future.

Kudos to those sections providing CLE programming this past fiscal year. Continued participation will be welcomed as planning opens for the upcoming year.

Members of the Bar have a choice in where they spend their CLE dollars, and year after year MCB CLE appreciates you choosing to spend your resources here in Mecklenburg County. With the exception of the mandatory dues, CLE revenue is the largest funding source for our local Bar. Members of the Bar are encouraged to contact CLE staff, committee members and leadership with suggestions or concerns regarding CLE programming. In addition, getting involved is easy – planning, speaking or sitting on the committee – simply contact CLE Director, Lisa Armanini, CLE Assistant Coordinator Sonja Lucas or CLE Coordinator, Michelle Lee