It’s Not Goodbye, Just See You Later – 2021-22 NCBA Small Firm & Technology Section Wrap-Up

Alicia Lewis is a young woman with blond hair. She is pictured in a sleeveless grey cowl turtleneck. She stands in front of a grey bookshelf with a blurred background.

By Alicia W. Lewis

Attorneys and legal professionals in solo and small firms are some of the hardest working individuals in the industry. No matter your practice area, you juggle your caseload and clients, run a business behind the scenes, volunteer for professional and pro bono causes, hopefully throw in some exercise or time for mindfulness, and then there is the thing we call “life” you try to insert into the “work-life” equation. It can be overwhelming and not an easy thing to accomplish, but the members of this section rise to the challenge day in and day out to provide top-notch legal services to our communities.

Our goal for this past year was for the Small Firm & Technology section to offer tools and support for your practice whether you are starting out, winding down to start retirement or somewhere in the middle. I’m proud of our team of dedicated volunteers who chose to serve as an executive member, council member or committee chair. Through their efforts, we were able to provide education on topics such as employment, ethics, legislative issues, recruiting, marketing, compensation, leveraging technology, and tips for starting your own practice.

Another valuable resource of this section is the discussion board. In a larger firm, it’s easy to bounce ideas off a colleague or ask questions. If you are practicing in a small firm, you are limited in that area. Our discussion board gives you access to almost 500 members across our state who can be that sounding board for you. I’ve learned our section is eager and willing to help a fellow section member with referrals, legal, ethical, business, technology questions, or anything else and that is a unique benefit. Thank you to everyone who has participated in those discussions. I encourage you to participate if you are able.

One of my highlights this year was the ability to ease back into socials after almost two years of not gathering. We offered a member social for the section as well as co-hosted a joint social with our friends from the Military & Veterans Law Section, Family Law Section and Law Students Division. I truly enjoyed socializing and networking with section members. I believe the online meetings are an important and necessary tool, but I hope you choose to meet in person if given the opportunity. Relationships are built there, and it is fun!

Finally, we were able to make a donation to support the North Carolina Bar Foundation. The Foundation’s public service and pro bono programs advance the Foundation’s mission of “Uniting the talent and generosity of our profession to be a power of greater good for the people of North Carolina,” and further its values of access to justice, service through the profession, civic education and professionalism. Thank you for supporting these important initiatives which are crucial to people in communities across the State of North Carolina.

As we wrap up another bar year, I want to say thank you for all of your support and participation in the Small Firm & Technology Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. It’s been an honor and privilege to serve as your Chair. I encourage you to stay or get involved with the section in the coming year and continue collaborating with each other. I also implore you to carve out and prioritize time for self-care as you journey through your legal career. It is vital for you and those you encounter along your path. I look forward to the section’s continued service to small and solo firms and other legal professionals and the friendships we will make in 2022-2023!