Recap of New(er) to In House Counsel Program

Alex Gwynn is a Black woman with black hair and brown eyes. She is wearing a red and white shirt, black glasses, and dark jacket.Clara CottrellBy Sheila Spence, Alexandria Gwynn, and Clara Cottrell

The New(er) to In House Counsel Program was held on Oct. 27 at the Bar Center. The purpose of the program was to provide firsthand experiences on what it’s like to work in house and to help those who are transitioning to in house within the first seven years of practice. Clara Cottrell opened the session with a warm welcome and opening remarks. Corporate Counsel Section Chair, Tammy Nicholson, spoke on the benefits of joining the section and upcoming events. Sheila Spence introduced the Knowledge Resource Committee and showed the participants how to access the available resources under the NCBA Community Page. Read more

Join Us for a Food Bank Service Project on November 18!

By Tracy M. Wright and Jane Yumi Paksoy 

As we get into the busy holiday season, don’t forget to take time to give back to your community. The Corporate Counsel Section is hosting an in-person volunteer opportunity at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina’s Raleigh branch (1924 Capital Blvd) on Friday, November 18, 2022, from 9 a.m. until noon. Volunteers will provide assistance in various activities, including sorting out produce and food donations, creating Commodity Supplemental Food Program and Disaster Relief boxes, packing food items such as cereal, pasta, eggs, and other dry food.

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina serves 34 counties and is the largest food bank in the state. Nearly 600,000 people in the Food Bank’s service area are food insecure. Last fiscal year the Food Bank provided 115 million meals with the support of 134,988 volunteer hours, which is the equivalent of 65 full-time employees. Come join your fellow Corporate Counsel Section members in supporting hunger relief for our community!

Kids 12+ are welcome to join.

Register today.

Date & Time | Friday, November 18 | 9 a.m. until noon

Location | Food Bank, 1924 Capital Blvd | Raleigh

Register Now for the New(er) to In House Counsel Program and Networking Lunch!

Clara, a white woman with brown hair, wears a grey blouse and is smiling.By Clara Cottrell

Everyone says, “I want to be closer to the business,” but when we worked through the transition from private practice to in-house counsel, we found out it is a bit more than that. We have obligations to one client represented at times by various stakeholders and competing interests, not to mention a new legal group that can be one person or 100 people! There are no easy answers and sometimes even fewer resources, but the Corporate Counsel Section is here to help! We are excited to present the following program in order to share experiences and tips that may help guide you in your in-house practice.

Please join us on Thursday, October 27 for our “New(er) to In House” Program, which will be followed by a networking lunch free of charge. This program was designed for North Carolina based in-house counsel to meet colleagues and ask questions. We even have the amazing Sarah Levitt to talk to us about working with all those stakeholders and being a trusted member of the team. Member eligible in-house counsel may attend all or a portion of the program free of charge. Please pass along the program description (and registration link below) to your colleagues who may be interested. But do act fast: the deadline for registration is Tuesday!

New(er) to In House Counsel Program and Networking Lunch!

This exciting new program is an in-person only event that will provide opportunities for those newer to a North Carolina in-house counsel role (approximately 0-7 years) to meet and learn from their colleagues in other organizations. As an in-house exclusive event, attendees will find an open environment for asking questions and making connections.

In addition to dedicated networking times and spaces, we will also hear from the amazing Sarah Levitt, a premier executive coach, who brings her business experience to help leaders grow and deliver business results.  Join us to see Sarah in action and to find out how to elevate your own career and leadership paths! The panel includes Jane Paksoy, Geneva Yourse, and Brad Roehrenbeck and will be moderated by Alex Gwynn.

If you aren’t a “New(er)” In House attorney, feel free to join our Networking Lunch!

Date & Time | Thursday, October 27 | 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Program | 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.  – Networking Lunch

Location | The Bar Center, 8000 Weston Parkway | Cary

RSVP | by Tuesday, October 25 | 5 p.m. | Limited Seating

Questions | Contact Julianne Dambro – Senior Manager of Communities

This event is not for CLE credit.


Greetings from Your Section Chair

By Tammy NicholsonTammy Nicholson is a Black woman with shoulder-length black hair and brown eyes. She is wearing a black and white patterned shirt, a bright blue blazer, and tortoise shell glasses. She is pictured smiling and standing against a white background.

Welcome to a new bar year! Your membership is greatly appreciated and valued.

It is my honor and pleasure to serve as your section Chair for the 2022-2023 bar year.  Our section leadership team is committed to continuing our tradition of offering exciting events, from our annual CLE in January, to our Thought Leadership event in the spring and networking and pro bono activities throughout the bar year. We are also very hopeful that we will be able to come together in the fall for our first in-person event in two years! We are planning a new, exciting, and engaging program.  We can’t wait to share more details with you in the upcoming months!

Joining a Committee

Our committees are responsible for executing on the section’s goals and objectives. The good work of our committees results in our successful events and programming. The committees have already begun planning their activities for this bar year, so if you are interested in being a member on any of our amazing committees listed below, or learning more about any committee’s work, please let me know. We are always looking for new committee members who can add new and diverse ideas and thoughts. Committee work also establishes an opportunity to network with other members and to be a part of section leadership. Committee work is virtual, so do not allow travel to be a barrier to you joining a committee!

Knowledge Resource
Pro Bono

Renew Membership

If you have not done so already, please renew your NCBA membership for this bar year and be sure to join the Corporate Counsel Section the deadline to renew is July 31!

Corporate Counsel Community

We have learned over the last two years how important community is during difficult times. We look forward to making our Corporate Counsel Section community even stronger, as we re-establish friendships and make new ones. Please check out the NCBA website’s Corporate Counsel Community page to learn more about our section, and to stay in touch on our activities and connect with fellow section members.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly if you have ideas on section events or any ideas on how we can continue to add value to your membership. I look forward to a fantastic year serving as your Chair!

Thank You from Corporate Counsel Section Chair Christine Mazzone

By Christine Mazzone

Hello Corporate Counsel Section members,

It has been an honor to serve as Chair of the NCBA’s Corporate Counsel Section for the 2021-2022 bar year. Thank you for your membership in the NCBA’s Corporate Counsel Section and participation in the section’s events and programs this year. From fun networking events (including trivia and Virtual Escape Rooms) and quarterly council meetings to informative and thought-provoking events (such as the section’s annual CLE program Back to the Future: In-House Practice in a Post-Pandemic World, the always popular Thought Leadership event It Takes More than the GC to Make the World Go ‘Round and the Secretary of State Update), we had a jam-packed year. I was happy to interact with so many of our members throughout the year – it is always time well spent.

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Transitioning In House

Christine Mazzone

Gabe Wright

Laura Chipman

Clara Cottrell

By Christine Mazzone, Gabe Wright, Laura Chipman, and Clara Cottrell

The Knowledge Resource Committee led by Sheila Spence and Nickeyea Wilkinson-Pickett collected four stories from in-house counsel and career coaches regarding how they handled transitions into new lines of work, including transitions from roles in law firms to in-house roles, new in-house jobs, and promotions within their companies.

How has it been transitioning in-house, to a new job, or new position during the pandemic?

Christine (New In-House Role): I joined Lenovo when most employees (myself included) were working remotely. Lenovo has about 71,000 employees worldwide, and I joined with about 150 other North America employees in early December 2021. During the pandemic, Lenovo has really figured out how to onboard employees remotely and provide a warm and informative welcome for new employees. I feel very fortunate to have had such an easy transition to Lenovo during the pandemic.

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Outside the Office: Featuring Greg Higgins

By Jane Paksoy 

Welcome to the first post of the Outside the Office blog post series! Have you been missing the opportunity to connect with fellow Corporate Counsel Section members? Are you curious about the 524 other members in our fabulous section? Here’s your opportunity to get to know each other Outside the Office. Read more

Greetings from the Corporate Counsel Section Pro Bono Committee!

Tracy M. Wright

Tracy M. Wright

Jane Paksoy

Jane Paksoy

By Tracy M. Wright and Jane Paksoy

Co-chairs, Jane and Tracy here, with some exciting pro bono opportunities!

  1. Sign up for the upcoming DLRP Clinic on February 17, co-hosted by the Corporate Counsel Section and the NC Pro Bono Resource Center. Did you know that under North Carolina law, a person who fails to appear in court to resolve a traffic ticket or to pay a traffic or criminal debt is subject to an indefinite suspension of their driver’s license, resulting in dire consequences for drivers and their families? You can help these individuals by volunteering just 3 hours of your time with the Driver’s License Restoration Project Clinic! Sign up here to volunteer for the virtual event on Thursday, February 17, 2022, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Registration is open until Thursday, February 10, 2022. 1-hour CLE training will be provided.
  2. There is an immediate need through March for volunteers for the Housing Stability Project, a joint effort between the NC Pro Bono Resource Center and the NC Bar Foundation. Volunteers will assist tenants and landlords to secure funding through HOPE, the state’s housing stability program. This is a non-litigation, non-advocacy service to help bring parties to agreement. Sign up for this urgent pro bono need here.
  3. The North Carolina Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (“NC LEAP”) coordinates attorney volunteers to provide pro bono business law advice and counsel to small business owners through webinars and clinics held in partnership with non-profit organizations throughout the state. LEAP is looking for presenters for a 1-hour virtual session for small business owners. If you have a topic you can present on that would be helpful for small business owners, please reach out to Karsin Williard at [email protected].

We hope these help you meet your pro bono goals for 2022! Please reach out to us with any questions.

Time to Register for Early Bird Pricing!

By Jane Paksoy

Back to the Future: In-house Practice in a Post-pandemic World

Tuesday-Wednesday, January 25-26, 2022, 8:55 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. via Live Webcast

6.0 MCLE Hours (including 1 Substance Abuse/Mental Health) plus a Networking Event!

Once again, the NCBA Corporate Counsel Section is presenting a blockbuster program of CLE hours and networking to get your 2022 off to a great start. Are you curious about cryptocurrencies and NFTs? We have a panel for you on The Future of Money. Do you need tips for how to advise your BOD on a brewing dispute? Join us for Pre-suit Disputes on Wednesday morning. Want to hear some war stories from seasoned GCs? Come to our General Counsel Panel on Hybrid Warfare. These are just a few of the excellent topics curated by our fantastic CLE planners. If my calculations are correct, when this program hits your screen, you’re gonna learn some serious stuff!

Register here by January 4 to get early bird pricing!

Welcome Message from Corporate Counsel Section Chair Christine Mazzone

By Christine Mazzone

Hello Corporate Counsel Section members,

I hope you and your families are staying safe and well. Thank you for your membership in the NCBA’s Corporate Counsel Section, and for the opportunity to serve as your Section Chair for the 2021-2022 bar year. I’d like to welcome all of our new members to the Corporate Counsel Section. We have a great group of members to connect with, plenty of opportunities to get involved, and a wealth of resources for corporate counsel at all levels.

Please join me in congratulating Clayton Morgan for being named President-Elect of the NCBA. Clayton is Associate General Counsel at Duke Energy and has been a longstanding member of the Corporate Counsel Section. Clayton brings an amazing amount of experience and perspective to the position – and it is extra exciting for our section!

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