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Association, Foundation Earn National Awards

Association, Foundation Earn National Awards

From left, Shelby Benton, Allan Head and Nan Hannah display NABE award.

Two national affiliates of the American Bar Association presented awards last week at their annual meetings to the North Carolina Bar Association and the NCBA Foundation. Both presentations took place in Chicago.

The National Association of Bar Executives recognized the NCBA as a winner of a 2015 NABE LexisNexis Community & Educational Outreach Award for its Transitioning Lawyers Commission (TLC).

NCBA President Shelby Benton and Nan Hannah, founding chair of the TLC, accepted the award.

The National Conference of Bar Foundations presented the 2015 NCBF/LexisNexis Partnerships for Success Award to the NCBA Foundation in recognition of the NC LEAP Inventor Assistance Program.

Benton, President-elect Kearns Davis and Clara Cottrell who chairs NC LEAP accepted the award

NCBA Executive Director Allan Head was also joined in the recognition luncheons.

TLC is an NCBA initiative established in 2012 under President Mike Wells as the Retiring with Dignity Task Force. The program is designed to help lawyers who need assistance transitioning from the full-time practice of law.

The inspiration for TLC can be traced to discussions carried on by the Senior Lawyers Division as well as the Small Firm, Solo and General Practice Section, which developed the award-winning Turning Out the Lights project for closing out a law practice.

From right, Kearns Davis, Shelby Benton and Clara Cottrell accept NCBF Award.

The Inventor Assistance Program, which was launched in North Carolina in 2014, recently expanded into Tennessee through its partnership with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Through this program, volunteer attorneys provide qualified clients with assistance in preparing and filing provisional and non-provisional patent applications at no charge.

NC LEAP, which stands for North Carolina Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program, began as a project of the NCBA’s Business Law Section and later became a project of the Corporate Counsel Section as well. With the addition of the Inventor Assistance Program, NC LEAP now also receives support from the Intellectual Property Law Section.

The NCBA and the NCBA Foundation are often recognized by these and other national organizations for their outstanding programs and projects. It was especially gratifying in this instance to receive two awards in the same year for programs that have been deemed national models for their ingenuity and service to the public.