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Young president, old values (access required)

New Bar Association leader makes ambitious push for more pro bono work

At 44, Martin H. Brinkley is the youngest lawyer to lead the North Carolina Bar Association in over 50 years, but for all his youth what defines him are things old — his old fashioned style, for instance, and his love for the wisdom of the ancients. Brinkley, a business lawyer with the prominent Raleigh firm of Smith Anderson, favors bow ties and quotes freely from the classics of ancient Greece and Rome. Now he wants to give a noble legal tradition new life in North Carolina. His priority as association president is to get more lawyers to donate their time pro bono on behalf of the poor. The words are drawn from a Latin phrase used by Cicero — a Roman writer Brinkley studied as a highly honored classics major at Harvard — “Pro bono publico” or “For the public good.”

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