Heidi Bloom Receives Family Law Distinguished Service Award

Heidi BloomHeidi C. Bloom of Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP in Raleigh received the NCBA Family Law Section’s Distinguished Service Award on April 30. The award was presented in conjunction with the section’s virtual annual meeting and CLE.

Bloom is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1991) and Wake Forest University School of Law (1995). She spent two years as a law clerk for Justice Willis P. Whichard of the N.C. Supreme Court and practiced two years in Charlotte before joining Wyrick Robbins in 1999.

She is a North Carolina Board Certified Family Law Specialist. She is a former editor of the Family Law Forum; chaired the Family Law Section CLE committee for five years; has both presented at and planned numerous family law CLE programs; and is a past chair of the Family Law Section. As section chair, she spearheaded efforts to pass significant family law legislation, including revisions to the equitable distribution laws and parent coordinator statute.

Additionally, Bloom previously served on the Wake County Bar Association Board of Directors; chaired the Tenth Judicial District Grievance Committee; and was (and still is) a member of the Wake County Family Court Rules Committee, which oversaw the first writing of the Family Court rules and forms for Wake County and continues to engage in revisions to those rules. Bloom is currently in her eighth year as a North Carolina State Bar councilor for the 10th Judicial District and chairs a Grievance subcommittee.

Bloom is especially honored to receive an award voted upon by her peers in the Family Law Section.

“I have never taken for granted the privilege of being a lawyer and am eternally grateful to my parents, in particular, for providing me the educational opportunity to do so,” Bloom said. “But as I tell my children (although often falling on deaf ears with them!), with privilege comes responsibility. And as such, I have always felt a strong responsibility to give back to the profession and in particular, to my practice area.

“While those that have preceded me in the receipt of this award are stars whose light shines much further and brighter than mine, this award signifies that in some small way, I have made a difference – to the section, to my peers, to the practice of family law, and to the public we serve. That is both fulfilling and gratifying.”

Being a member of the Family Law Section and the NCBA, Bloom added, has enhanced her career in many ways.

“When I arrived at Wyrick Robbins as a young lawyer (a millennium ago), one of the first things my mentor, Robert Ponton, did was bring me to an NCBA Family Law Council meeting and CLE Committee meeting,” Bloom said. “His initiative in doing so likely changed the course of my career in that (1) it provided me with opportunities for interactions with the best and brightest family law attorneys around the state, broadening not just my professional network but my friendships. Some of my very best friends are lawyers I met through the section; (2) it allowed me to be on the cutting edge of CLE topics, legislative initiatives and hot family law topics and issues – and to actually have an opinion on the trajectory of those issues and a ‘voice at the table’ on questions and issues that were important to me; and (3) it empowered me to take both opportunities and risks that I might not have had but for my involvement with the NCBA and the Family Law Section. I am now ‘paying it forward’ by engaging my associates in the section in ways that I hope likewise positively impact their careers as was mine.” 

The Family Law Section Distinguished Service Award was established to recognize, and to encourage others to emulate, extraordinary service to the Section, the legal profession or the public, above and beyond the call of any official duties to the Section, in an endeavor or endeavors relating to the field of family law and the mission and activities of the Section.

Such endeavors could include, for example, leadership in the creation, promotion or execution of particular projects, programs or initiatives of the Section; contributions to the jurisprudence of family law; advocacy for law reform in the field of family law; promotion of public understanding of family law; continuing education of lawyers in the field of family law; creation or expansion of opportunities for pro bono service by family law lawyers; and other endeavors that reflect the professional ideal of service by lawyers to the profession and the public, beyond service to their clients.

It is expected that the service to be so recognized will be extraordinary and distinguished, beyond the job well done or the duty fulfilled that is to be expected of good lawyers. 

Bloom joins these previous recipients of the Family Law Section Distinguished Service Award:

  • Lynn P. Burleson (1990)
  • Richard D. Stephens (1991)
  • Edgar Moore (1992)
  • Fred A. Hicks (1995)
  • Joe Hackney (1996)
  • Marcia H. Armstrong (1997)
  • George K. Walker (2000)
  • John H. Parker, Carlyn G. Poole and Howard L. Gum (2012)
  • Shelby Benton (2018)

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