2018 Citizen Lawyer Award Winner: Dan Green
The Citizen Lawyer Committee of the NCBA Young Lawyers Division, in conjunction with the NCBA Citizen Lawyer Committee, provides expanded coverage of the 2018 Citizen Lawyer Award recipients in recognition of their volunteer service and leadership in their communities and beyond.
By Mary Kristen Kelly
HICKORY – Dan Green embodies every sense of the phrase “Citizen Lawyer.” From his church to arts organizations to political involvement and foreign exchange programs, he is actively involved in and deeply devoted to his community.
Dan grew up in Catawba County and attended Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory (graduating Magna Cum Laude) and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill School of Law. He returned to Catawba County after law school, where he has practiced since 1979. His practice has taken various forms: as a sole practitioner, as a partner with Gorham, Crone & Green, and in-house as General Counsel for Affinity Living Group, LLC. He also has served as a District Court Judge for the 25thJudicial District as well as a Superior Court Judge. Dan is currently a sole practitioner in Hickory specializing in real estate, family law, wills, and estates.
For Dan, involvement in his community provides friendships and personal connections, as well as a healthy distraction from work, though he readily admits that he often calls upon his legal training and knowledge in some of his volunteer activities. For instance, he has served for the past three years as President of the Board of Directors of the American Prize winning Western Piedmont Symphony, where he puts his legal skills into action in such activities as helping with contracts and bylaws. In this role, Dan led the Board in hiring a new executive director and has formed a search committee to hire a new conductor.
As Dan sees it, lawyers are specially situated in their communities as they have studied law and justice – it is a lawyer’s responsibility to work towards the furtherance of those principles in any way possible. To this end, he has been active in local politics, serving as Chairman of the Catawba County Democratic Party for four years. He has also been a member of the Hickory Sunrise Rotary Club since 2008, working to support homeless veterans and to provide scholarships for local students attending Catawba Valley Community College. Dan is also deeply devoted to his church, having served as the Acolyte Master since 1982 and is currently the longest-serving member of the choir
Dan’s community activities also stretch beyond the borders of Catawba County, the State of North Carolina and even the United States. He has been active with AFS Intercultural Programs since 1991, hosting foreign exchange students in his home since that time and coordinating other host families as President of the Hickory/Catawba County AFS chapter since 1996. His goal – and the organization’s goal – through this work is to instill a sense of global citizenship in the host families and students and to foster intercultural understanding. Dan states that he now has twenty-three “exchange sons” and eight “exchange grandchildren” through his work with this organization.
As Dan’s friend and colleague, Oliver Nobles aptly states, “Dan is exactly the kind of attorney who deserves to be recognized for service to his church, to his political party, to his profession, to his community, and to his country and the world. He really is a citizen lawyer.”
Mary Kristen Kelly is Corporate Counsel for bioMérieux, Inc.