Catharine Arrowood Installed As NCBA President
Article Date: Saturday, June 21, 2014
Written By: Russell Rawlings
Jeannette Arrowood, center, looks on as her mother, Catharine
Arrowood, right, accepts congratulations from Chief Justice
Catharine Biggs Arrowood of Raleigh was installed as the 120th president of the North Carolina Bar Association on Saturday evening, June 21, at the Wilmington Convention Center.
The swearing-in ceremony is the traditional highlight of the NCBA Annual Meeting. Her daughter, Jeannette Arrowood, held the Bible as the oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Sarah Parker of the N.C. Supreme Court.
Arrowood practices law in Raleigh with Parker Poe, where she has been a partner since 1982. She joined the firm, then known as Sanford Cannon Adams and McCullough, in 1977. Prior to joining Parker Poe, Arrowood served as an associate attorney general for the N.C. Department of Justice.
Her goals for her presidency include improving communication with the public, media and elected officials about the important work that lawyers perform on a daily basis across North Carolina, including the important role the courts and judges play in the administration of justice.
One initiative will be to advocate on behalf of the judicial branch and better educate the public about the excellent, fair and impartial court system in North Carolina. She also will work with the NCBA to advocate for legal aid funding to ensure that North Carolinians who are below the poverty line, many of whom are veterans and their families, receive representation.
“No one regularly lobbies on behalf of our judges and our courts,” said Arrowood, “and the NCBA can play an important role in that effort. The election of judges should not be partisan and we as a profession can be a voice in those instances where third parties and out-of-state groups fund advertising that disparages the good names of our judges. The campaigns that are a necessary part of the election of judges have become a device by which the atmosphere is poisoned for all members of our judicial branch. This practice does not affect just the judge who is running for office. It affects the entire judicial branch and all lawyers, casting our profession in a negative light.”
“It is a tremendous honor to serve this important organization,” said Arrowood. “I recognize the significant role that the North Carolina Bar Association plays in promoting the administration of justice and the highest standards of integrity and professional competence.”
Arrowood is a 1973 graduate of Wake Forest University and a 1976 graduate of the Wake Forest University School of Law, where she was associate editor of the law review.
She served on the NCBA Board of Governors from 2007-10 and as chair of the Women in the Profession Committee from 2004-06. She is a past president of the Wake County Bar Association and the 10th Judicial District Bar, and past chair of the statewide N.C. Symphony Society.
Arrowood is a native of Robeson County and a 1969 graduate of Lumberton High School. Her father, the late I. Murchison Biggs, practiced law in Lumberton for over 50 years, where her mother Janis Biggs still resides, and was a member of the NCBA’s General Practice Hall of Fame.
Arrowood was recognized by the NCBA in 2011 as the recipient of the H. Brent McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award. Over the past year she has served as president-elect and chair of the Audit & Finance Committee.