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Convocation Considers Future of Legal Services

Convocation Considers Future of Legal Services

Convocation speakers included, from left, David Levi, Mark Martin, Catharine Arrowood, Shelby Benton, William Hubbard and Andrew Perlman.

The Convocation on the Future of the Delivery of Legal Services in North Carolina was held on Wednesday, May 27, at the N.C. Bar Center in Cary. The daylong program brought together stakeholders, bar leaders and key individuals who interact with the justice system.

NCBA President Catharine Arrowood and President-elect Shelby Benton provided welcoming remarks and introduced speakers throughout the event. Keynote addresses were provided by Chief Justice Mark Martin of the N.C. Supreme Court and President William C. Hubbard of the American Bar Association.

Hubbard, who hails from Columbia, S.C., established the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services as his signature initiative for 2014-15.

Featured speakers included Dean David Levi of the Duke University School of Law, who discussed public access to the courts, and Professor Andrew Perlman of the Suffolk University Law School, who discussed technology and the delivery of legal services.

The luncheon address was provided by Ed Winslow, managing partner of Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, who provided interesting perspective on how the legal profession has changed throughout the years.

The program concluded with breakout discussions. Chief Judge Linda McGee of the N.C. Court of Appeals and Suzanne Reynolds, interim dean of the Wake Forest University School of Law, led discussions on access to justice.

Judge Wanda Bryant of the N.C. Court of Appeals and Professor Melissa Essary of Campbell Law School led a discussion on technology and the delivery of legal services.

Enrique Armijo, assistant professor of law at Elon University School of Law, and Thomas Grella of McGuire, Wood & Bissette led discussions on the changing economics of the profession and the future for today’s lawyers.

Convocation attendees returned from their breakout sessions to hear reports from each discussion group before Chief Justice Martin provided his closing remarks.

At the outset of the event, Chief Justice Martin announced the creation of the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice that he referenced in his State of the Judiciary address to the General Assembly in March.

Martin also named five co-chairs who will oversee the separate components of the commission: criminal investigation and adjudication; civil justice; technology and its application to our courts; the future of legal services; and public trust and confidence.

NCBA President Catharine Arrowood will be one of the co-chairs along with Justice Barbara Jackson of the N.C. Supreme Court, Dean David Levi of Duke Law School, William Webb, retired U.S. magistrate judge, and Brad Wilson, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.