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Author Archives: Diana Smith, Staff Writer

10 NC lawyers honored as Emerging Legal Leaders

North Carolina Lawyers Weekly recognized some of the state's brightest young lawyers at its first annual Emerging Legal Leaders event on Tuesday at the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro. Ten attorneys were selected from of a pool of 30 nominees for their outstanding leadership in their profession, community and personal lives. "It is obvious that you are the ones who consistently go above and beyond what is asked of you," publisher Tonya Mathis told the 115 attendees at the event, which was sponsored by Kilpatrick Stockton.

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Non-Lawyer to Lawyer: ‘Can I get files with that?’ – Firm adds drive-thru for clients

There are several things you might expect to see when you pull up to a drive-thru window at a fast-food restaurant. The window attendant, of course. The cash register. Maybe even the soda dispenser and employees bustling about in the background, serving delectables to the customers waiting inside. But a lawyer? Seriously? Yup. That's exactly what you'll find if you visit the Manchester, Conn., office of the Kocian Law Group.

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She and her dog Velveeta are a pet therapy team (access required)

Connie J. Vetter is an attorney and mediator in Charlotte. The Illinois native focuses her practice on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender clients. Vetter graduated from Ohio State University and the Northeastern University School of Law. She is active in gay and lesbian causes and serves on the board of her neighborhood association.

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ABA ponders ‘Truth in Law School Education’ (access required)

Law schools need to be more transparent about the costs and employment data they give to applicants, and it's time to make that happen. So says American Bar Association President Steve Zack (pictured), who recently told a group of educators that the ABA is considering whether to increase the types of information that schools are required to disclose to consumers.

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Weighing the value of LL.M. (access required)

LL.M. = Lawyers Losing Money. That's a running joke in the online legal world these days, where bloggers and practitioners puzzle over whether a master of laws degree yields valuable returns for recipients or simply plunges them into another year's worth of law school debt. It's not an easy question to answer. On one hand, the demand is certainly there. The number of LL.M.s granted by American Bar Association-approved schools grew by 65 percent between 1999 and 2009, according to a September article in the National Law Journal. North Carolina schools are trending upwards, too.

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Memorable case: Plaintiff blamed tear duct surgery on lawyers (access required)

Charles George is a trial attorney with Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton in Raleigh, where he focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation and medical malpractice defense. He has represented clients in disputes involving closely held corporations, commercial contract breaches, business torts and security matters. A graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, George is a member of the Wake County, North Carolina and American bar associations. He also belongs to the N.C. Association of Defense Attorneys and the Defense Research Institute.

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Legal Aid struggles to place cases with lawyers in rural areas (access required)

Officials from Legal Aid of North Carolina are quick to praise the state's attorneys for providing pro bono representation to their clients. But the staffers who spend each day recruiting private attorneys to lower LANC's ballooning case load say the need for relief remains great - and unmet - especially in the state's rural areas. Coordinators across the state also come up against some philosophical walls that are harder to break down, noted Cynthia Alleman (pictured), who was named the NCBA's 2010 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year in June.

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