AI Is Adapting, and Lawyers Should, Too

By Marc E. Gustafson

We’ve all been there – negotiating with opposing counsel over a nuanced situation, only to get a run-of-the-mill response. These types of conversations can be frustrating, if not downright maddening. More importantly, they have the potential to spell a hard road ahead for our profession.

Over the last year, there has been a fair amount of gnashing of teeth by lawyers and law firms over ways Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT and the like will affect the legal profession. If your head has been anywhere but buried in the sand, you’ve likely seen examples of articles and briefs, with varying degrees of accuracy, composed using some form of AI. And these tools are going to get better.

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BarCARES Board Nominations Are Open!

Kayla, a woman with dark brown hair, wears a pale pink blouse, bright pink jacket, and gold fairy pin on the lapel.By Kayla Britt

Do you care about the mental health of lawyers, law students and paralegals? Would you like to serve on a board that works towards making a variety of mental health services readily available for colleagues? BarCARES does that and is seeking nominations for Board members.

For those who don’t know, BarCARES is designed to offer no-cost assistance in dealing with problems that might be causing distress and can be used to help with such matters as personal issues, anxiety, substance use, financial concerns, family matters, work issues, professional stressors, and to provide help with case-related stress as well as student coaching on all matters including time management.

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The North Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program – What Is It, and What Does It Do?

Michelle, a white woman with blond hair, wears a blue blouse and is smiling. By Michelle FormyDuval Lynch

The Juvenile Justice and Children’s Rights Section of the NCBA includes attorneys and child advocates who are committed to excellence in the direct representation of North Carolina youth. Three of the most common areas of direct representation of children and juveniles in court are child welfare, juvenile delinquency, and family law proceedings. Attorneys with the North Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program (NC GAL Program) represent children in child welfare proceedings in North Carolina district and appellate courts. This article is a short summary of the NC GAL Program, its purpose, duties, and role in that representation.

Guardian vs. Guardian ad Litem vs. NC GAL Program

A guardian of the person is one who generally has the duties of care, control, and custody of their ward. The term “guardian ad litem” comes from the latin phrase “ad litem” which means “for the purposes of the suit.” A guardian ad litem is usually an individual appointed to appear in a lawsuit on behalf of a minor party or incompetent person. While guardians ad litem may be appointed in a variety of civil and criminal proceedings in North Carolina,[1] the NC GAL Program is only appointed to represent children in abuse, neglect, or dependency (“AND”) proceedings, or termination of parental rights (TPR) proceedings under Subchapter I of the NC Juvenile Code. These cases are initiated when a county department of social services files a juvenile petition; they are sometimes referred to as “DSS court,” but a more accurate name is “child welfare court.”

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