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NC Bar Center Hosts ¡Adelante!

NC Bar Center Hosts ¡Adelante!

NCCU School of Law students attending ¡Adelante! were, front from left, Tia Hudgins, Joseph Garcia, Aunyai Blackstock and Shema'n Fullwood. Second row, Candice Morales, Olabisi Ofunniyin, Jordann Smart and Erica Richardson. Back row, Myranda Rawley and Arona Powe.

The North Carolina Bar Association’s Minorities in the Profession Committee (MIP) presented the eighth annual ¡Adelante! | Moving Forward student skills building event, Surviving and Thriving, on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the N.C. Bar Center.

Jaimey Howard and Ana Nuñez co-chaired the event and participated in the program, as did Sharita Whitaker who chairs the MIP Committee.

Click here to access the event’s photo album on Facebook.

The event is presented to inform law students from diverse backgrounds about the skills necessary to succeed in law school, transition from law school into the workforce, and to effectively network with professionals in the legal community and beyond.

The agenda features three panel discussions and concludes with a networking lunch. The first panel presentation, Professionalism: From Law School to Law Practice, was moderated by Danielle Barbour Wilson. Participating on the panel were Rashad Morgan, Whitney Frye and David Elliott.

The second panel discussion, Raising the BAR: Developing a Financial Strategy, was moderated by Nuñez. Participating on the panel were Cindy Arevalo, Sherifatu Bangura, Ron Williams, Crystal Todd-Yelverton and Trevor Lawson.

The final panel discussion, Reflections: What I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was In Law School, was moderated by Andrea Fowler. Participating on the panel were T. Greg Doucette, Pooyan Ordoubadi, Whitaker and Whitney Stanley.

Breakfast was sponsored by Fay & Grafton.

“This is a very valuable event,” noted one attendee, who encouraged more law students to take advantage of this program in the future.

Annually one of this program’s strengths is the expertise and experience of the participating speakers, and 2017 certainly qualified in that regard. Please read further to learn more about all of this year’s speakers.

Speaker bios:
Cindy E. Arevalo is a proud resident of Durham, where her family settled after emigrating from El Salvador. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Arevalo attended law school at North Carolina Central University School of Law. There she served as a senior editor for the North Carolina Law Review and as the Hispanic Law Student Association’s vice president. While in law school, Arevalo worked as a student attorney at the Durham County District Attorney’s Office and as a summer associate at GlaxoSmithKline. After law school she began working at the Durham County District Attorney’s Office as an assistant district attorney. She is now a Contract Associate II at PRA Health Sciences.

Sheri Bangura is a Commercial Claims Specialist with IAT Insurance Group. Her insurance defense experience spans 10 years including insurance claims work before, during and after law school. She received her bachelor of science in criminal justice and minor in sociology from Old Dominion University in May 2005. She received her juris doctor from North Carolina Central University School of Law in May 2014.

T. Greg Doucette’s passion for uplifting others is what prompted him to start a litigation-centric firm focused on helping small businesses and college students. An admitted “tech geek,” He graduated from North Carolina State University in Raleigh with his degree in Computer Science in 2009. After graduation, Doucette attended North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham. He graduated cum laude from NCCU Law in May 2012 and started the Law Offices of T. Greg Doucette PLLC days after taking the attorney’s oath of office in September 2012.

David Elliott, Deputy Chief of Staff and Special Deputy Attorney General, has served in the North Carolina Department of Justice since 1997. Elliott spent 10 years as a litigator in the Consumer Protection Division and has represented the Attorney General’s office at the N.C. Court of Appeals and the N.C. Supreme Court. Since 2007, he has been the Director of the Victims and Citizens Services section of NCDOJ, where he has advocated against domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. In 2017, he was asked to serve as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Attorney General. Elliott is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University School of Law.

Andrea Fowler is an associate at Hyland and Padilla in Durham. She earned a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006. She attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she graduated in May of 2009. Fowler then interned at the N.C. Attorney General’s Office and at Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog in Raleigh before joining Hyland Padilla, PLLC. She is a member of the Wake County Bar Association.

Whitney Frye is General Counsel and Associate Commissioner of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. She is also Adjunct Professor of Law at NCCU School of Law, teaching Legal Reasoning and Analysis. A native North Carolinian, Frye is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill where she was a varsity cheerleader; and attended North Carolina Central University School of Law, where she served as articles editor of the Law Review, graduating with high honors. Prior to joining the NCHSAA, she was an attorney advisor for the U.S. Social Security Administration with a primary focus on administrative law. At the NCHSAA, Frye focuses on a number of legal areas including sports law, education law, employment law and regulations affecting non-profit corporations.

Jaimey Howard is a clinical agreement associate at DOCS. She focuses on negotiating and writing clinical trial agreements. Howard graduated in 2014 from North Carolina Central University School of Law. After law school she focused on real estate law as an associate at Cookson Law. During law school Howard worked for the Land Loss Prevention Project and the Fresh Market. Before law school she worked for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Howard graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2010.

Trevor Lawson is a financial advisor with Capitol Financial Solutions. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University. He provides investment and securities advice to his clients. Lawson focuses on long-term financial planning.

Rashad Morgan is a resident of Durham and a shareholder at Brinks Gilson & Lione. He graduated magna cum laude from Florida A&M University with a bachelor of science in chemical engineering, and he graduated cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Morgan maintains a broad-based intellectual property practice that includes opinion work, due diligence review, and patent litigation, with a particular focus on patent prosecution both in the United States and abroad. At Brinks Gilson and Lione, he serves as the co-chair of the Chemical, Energy and Agriculture Practice Group, Diversity Committee and Recruiting Committee. Morgan is an active member of the North Carolina Bar Association and is a member of the Durham Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Ana S. Nunez was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. She emigrated with her family to the United States and settled in Miami, Florida. She attended North Carolina Central University School of Law where she served as the president of the Hispanic Law Student Association. While in law school Nunez worked as a law clerk for the Environmental Protection Agency and subsequently as a student attorney at the Wake County Public Defender’s Office. After law school she began working at the Wake County Public Defender’s Office as an assistant public defender. Nunez is currently a partner at Fay & Grafton focusing on criminal defense, post-conviction relief, traffic and immigration law. She also serves on the North Carolina Governor’s Council of Latino/Hispanic Affairs.

Pooyan Ordoubadi is an associate attorney at Polanco Law, P.C. He primarily focuses on Criminal Defense and Removal Defense. He graduated from the North Carolina Central University School of Law in May 2015. During his time at NCCU Law, he participated in the Criminal Defense and Juvenile Law clinics. He externed at an immigration law firm and began working at Polanco Law after passing the N.C. Bar exam in July 2015.

Whitney Stanley works at Duke University School of Medicine in their Office of Corporate Research Collaborations. OCRC advises faculty on matters arising from research collaborations, particularly publication rights, intellectual property rights, confidentiality obligations, human subjects protections, and liability issues. She received her Bachelors of Arts from UNC-Chapel Hill and her Juris Doctor from Campbell University. She is also an adjunct at Saint Augustine’s University.

Crystal L. Todd-Yelverton earned her bachelor of arts in political science, magna cum laude, from North Carolina Central University. She immediately pursued her law degree at NCCU School of Law following graduation. After graduating from law school in 1999, Todd-Yelverton was a middle school teacher in Vance County for at-risk youth, where she created several after-school programs. Later, she was a special projects attorney at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice. She is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and is a member of the 14th Judicial District Bar. Todd-Yelverton currently serves as the Academic Support Specialist in the Academic Support Department and teaches N.C. Distinctions.

Sharita Whitaker is a member of Smith Anderson’s Real Estate Development Group and focuses her practice in the areas of Commercial Real Estate and Real Estate Development. Ms. Whitaker assists clients with real estate acquisitions, dispositions and leasing; title disputes; public utility real estate issues; right-of-way acquisitions; condemnation/eminent domain actions; and easement negotiation and drafting. Whitaker is a graduate of North Carolina Central University School of Law and North Carolina State University. She is the chair of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Minorities in the Profession Committee.

Ronald Williams II is a native of Raleigh where he currently resides. He attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he received a bachelor of arts in political science and African American studies. While an undergraduate student, Williams pledged the Pi Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. After undergrad, he worked as a district liaison for U.S. Rep. Brad Miller (N.C.-13). In law school, he worked as a law clerk for the United States Bankruptcy Court, and subsequently the Janvier Law Firm. After law school, Williams worked for the Janvier Law Firm in Raleigh. He currently works as an assistant attorney general for the North Carolina Department of Justice.

Danielle Barbour Wilson is a litigator with a practice focused in the areas of commercial and employment litigation at the Banks Law Firm. She represents companies and local government entities in a wide-range of business disputes before state and federal courts. Prior to joining the firm, she practiced labor and employment law at Poyner Spruill LLP in Raleigh. Wilson graduated with honors from Tennessee State University where she obtained a B.S. in health care administration and planning. She received her juris doctor from Emory University School of Law where she was a member of the Moot Court and Mock Trial Teams, as well as the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in trial advocacy.