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Committees

Career Support & Advancement

CAREER SUPPORT & ADVANCEMENT COMMITTEE

The Career Support and Advancement Committee works with the NCAWA Board to promote the purposes of NCAWA by developing programs to encourage professional cooperation among members of NCAWA and to encourage women to enter the legal profession. The Career Support and Advancement Committee endeavors to develop information on employment and career opportunities, and provide any other services to the membership which will encourage professional growth and development. 

 

The Career Support and Advancement Committee provides members with opportunities for professional development and networking. Further, the committee seeks to provide opportunities for every attorney to give and receive information from other attorneys on a timely basis to allow our members to succeed and thrive in this new economic environment. 

 

In furtherance of the NCAWA goal to support the entrance into and retention of women in the practice of law, the Career Support and Advancement Committee coordinates and selects recipients of the Balanced Life Workplace Award (BLWA).  The Balanced Life Workplace Awards are typically presented annually by NCAWA at the annual conference to employers that have distinguished themselves by establishing employment policies and practices that assist lawyers in achieving balance between their work and personal lives.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN JOINING THE CAREER SUPPORT AND ADVANCEMENT COMMITTEE?

If you have questions about Career Support and Advancement Committee's work or are interested in joining the committee, please contact Committee Chair Robyn Hicks-Guinn.

 

Community Outreach

COMMUNITY OUTREACH COMMITTEE

NEW NCAWA COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROJECT WITH NC BAR FOUNDATION: NC FREE LEGAL ANSWERS

NCAWA is excited to announce a new partnership between NCAWA and the North Carolina Bar Foundation that will provide our members with an easy way to do pro bono and community service work.  North Carolina became a participant in the American Bar Association’s ABA Free Legal Answers™ project when it launched NC Free Legal Answers in 2017.  NC Free Legal Answers is an entirely web-based pro bono program aimed at increasing access to legal advice and information about non-criminal matters for low-income people.  This project has been nicknamed “Pro Bono in your PJs” because you can literally do this work anywhere -- and in your PJs! 

NC Free Legal Answers allows financially eligible users to post civil legal questions for volunteer attorneys to answer pro bono.  Generally, questions take 5-7 minutes to respond to.  With the sort and filter features, you can readily find a question that aligns with your interests.  Then you can either answer the question, hold it for three days, or return it immediately to the queue.  Users receive an email when their question receives a response from a volunteer attorney.  

There are 17 categories for questions: Family/Divorce/Custody, Housing, Debts & Purchases, Work, Workers Compensation, Wills/Inheritance, Benefits, Health Care, Medicaid/Medicare/Affordable Care Act, Natural Disaster, Personal Injury, Expungement, Special Education, School Discipline, Immigration, Civil/Constitutional Rights, Emancipation & Delinquency. 

NCAWA has an incredible chance to make a real impact across our state through this project.  Chapters that host a “Clear the Queue” event will have an opportunity to be spotlighted in an upcoming virtual newsletter.  Please note that you do not have to be a member of a chapter in order to participate.  Individual members that contribute their time in a significant way also have an opportunity to be spotlighted.  ABA Free Legal Answers™ has been a success in other states so let’s make it a success in North Carolina and in our communities.  Here’s how you can get started today!

Getting Started

  1. Read the NC Free Legal Answers Attorney Agreement for volunteers.

  2. Register online.

  3. Sign In.

  4. Browse the queue of questions.

  5. Respond to a question, whenever and wherever you like.

 

If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact NC Free Legal Answers Administrator at ncfreelegalanswers@ncbar.org, or direct general questions to NCAWA.

 

We hope that you will join us in this exciting partnership, but most importantly we hope that you continue to pursue the worthy causes that you may already be pursuing in your local communities.  If your chapter is doing something great in your local community, please share it with us!  We would love to hear about your efforts.  Furthermore, sharing your events with other chapters will stimulate ideas and give chapter ways to become involved in their perspective communities.  Thank you in advance for volunteering your time and talents.

--Nihad Mansour, 2019 NCAWA Community Outreach Chair

 

About the Community Outreach Committee

The NCAWA created the Community Outreach Committee in 1997 in recognition of the need for NCAWA members to provide service to our communities. The committee organizes projects across the state to serve children and adults in need.  Projects to date have included distribution of clothing and other items to shelters, the collection of books for libraries for female inmates, and the sponsorship of the legal TV talk show, “Laying Down the Law,” which educates the public about the law.  The television program features North Carolina attorneys discussing consumer-oriented legal topics.  Future community outreach projects will focus on service, education, and assistance to those outside our profession in hopes of improving their lives and improving the public’s perception of attorneys.

 

Are you interested in becoming a part of the Community Outreach Committee?  If so, please contact Committee Chair Rosa Boatwright.

Education

EDUCATION COMMITTEE

The Education Committee organizes the NCAWA Annual Conference, which is held annually at different locations throughout the State of North Carolina. The Committee selects the keynote speaker, organizes the CLEs, hotel accommodations, entertainment, events, education, scholarships, and manuscripts for the event. The conference provides an opportunity every year for NCAWA members to gather, network, and receive CLE hours and education that will benefit the profession and the advocacy & promotion of justice for women. Our annual business meeting is also held at the conference and legislative resolutions, if any, are proposed.

If you are interested in joining the Education Committee, please contact the Committee Chair, Megan Shook

Foundation

FOUNDATION COMMITTEE

In 2005, NCAWA established the “NCAWA Fund” at the Foundation for the Carolinas (the “NCAWA Fund").  The NCAWA Fund at the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) entity and all gifts to the Fund are tax deductible.  The NCAWA Fund was initially funded by an anonymous member of NCAWA.  This generous donor also agreed to match all gifts to the NCAWA Fund up to $20,000.00!  A special thank you goes out to this special donor for her wisdom and vision in recognizing how the NCAWA Fund can greatly impact NCAWA’s future for years to come.

 

While the NCAWA Fund is designed to be flexible and can change over time to meet the ever-evolving charitable and educational needs of our organization, the NCAWA Fund is currently used to fund the law student scholarships that NCAWA presents annually to two (2) female law students who attend North Carolina law schools.  The Foundation Committee is primarily responsible for administering NCAWA's scholarship program.

 

WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAKE A DONATION?

If you would like to contribute to the NCAWA Scholarship Fund, which is maintained at the Foundation for the Carolinas, please visit FFTC's website at www.fftc.org and click "Donate Online."

Governmn Action Committee

GOVERNMENT ACTION COMMITTEE

The Government Action Committee's goal is to promote issues of concern to NCAWA within the legislative and administrative branches of government. Its purposes are to:

  • Study issues related to NCAWA objectives in order to educate its members;

  • Recommend positions on those issues to the NCAWA lobbyist, its members, and the Board of Directors;

  • Organize advocacy to the legislative and administrative branches of government on positions taken by the organization;

  • Maintain the presence of the NCAWA in the legislative process; and

  • Maintain contact with legislative committees of other bar groups and women's organizations.

 

The Committee works with NCAWA lobbyist Ashley Perkinson, to further NCAWA's legislative agenda at the General Assembly. Our lobbying efforts focus on proposed legislation in the areas that fall under NCAWA's mission and resolutions, including violence against women; reproductive freedom; maintenance of economic stability through enforcement of child support and alimony; equal treatment of women in the courts; and increasing the numbers of women in the judiciary. For more information about NCAWA issues, see our Annual Meeting Resolutions through 2018 HERE.

 

Are you interested in seeing NCAWA pursue an active legislative agenda? Are there particular issues you think we should fight to change, or to introduce, in the legislature? If so, please contact Government Action Committee Chair Patricia Shields.

 

Are you interested in joining the Government Action Committee?

If you are interested in joining the committee or generally interested in the work of the committee, please contact Government Action Committee Chair Patricia Shields.

 

For NCAWA Members:

NCAWA members receive regular updates from our lobbyist during the legislative session.  These updates include summaries of legislation related to our objectives and resolutions.  During the legislative session, the GAC holds monthly phone calls with NCAWA Lobbyist Ashley Perkinson.  Check the online calendar for GAC updates.

Judicial Endorsments

JUDICIAL ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

The NCAWA Judicial Endorsements Committee (JEC) is a registered political action committee which makes non-partisan endorsements and, in the past, has also made campaign contributions in judicial elections.  Every NCAWA member is a member of the JEC PAC unless the member indicates on their annual membership application that they prefer not to be.

The JEC follows set criteria and procedures in making endorsements.  The JEC endorses a candidate for judicial office based on the following criteria: (1) the candidate's legal skill and ability; (2) the candidate's experience as a professional and in the community; (3) the candidate's competence, legal experience, temperament, and demeanor for a judicial position; and (4) the candidate's support for women in the legal profession and for the rights of women under the law.  Endorsements are communicated to our members as well as to the media across the state.

After inviting all judicial candidates to seek the JEC nomination, the Committee evaluates each candidate for their respective race and conducts a thorough investigation.  The investigation specifically includes interviewing practitioners about the candidates, both those the candidate has listed as references and others in the relevant community(ies).  For candidates who have already served as appellate judges, the investigation includes reading their opinions. The procedure is thorough, and the Committee takes its obligation to investigate seriously.

If you have any questions, please contact NCAWA.

Membership

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

The Membership Committee works primarily on recruiting new members and retaining current members. Income from membership dues is the primary source of NCAWA's operating funds. The recruitment efforts of this committee and the work of the Executive Director are critical to the survival of the organization.

 

THE MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Please call, write, or email the Membership Committee with your news: certifications, presentations, publications, awards, appointments, exhibits, etc., are all items the NCAWA membership would like to acknowledge in a “Member News” article. Feel free to include a photo if you like. 

 

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN JOINING THE MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE?

The Membership Committee is always looking for enthusiastic and creative lawyers to join us and help with our mission of recruiting and retaining women lawyers in the NCAWA.  If you are interested in joining this committee, please contact NCAWA.

Nominating & Public Service Awards

NOMINATING & PUBLIC SERVICE AWARDS COMMITTEE

The Nominating and Public Service Awards Committee has played a crucial role in assisting women attorneys in their quest to be appointed to the judiciary and commissions, where women continue to be under-represented. We offer letters of support for state and federal judicial positions, State Bar Council Seats, and any other appointments that will further the goals of the organization. The committee evaluates requests for support and makes appropriate recommendations to the Governor or other appointing authority.

In addition to its work on judicial appointments, the committee has helped increase the numbers of women on boards and commissions of the North Carolina State Bar, such as the Disciplinary Hearing Commission, the Board of Law Examiners, and the Board of Legal Specialization.

For our own organization, the committee selects recipients of the Gwyneth B. Davis public service awards, which are presented at the organization's annual meeting, and assists the President with nominations for the slate for the upcoming year's board of directors and officers.

PROCEDURE FOR SEEKING A LETTER OF SUPPORT FROM NCAWA

The committee welcomes candidates seeking appointments to judicial positions to request letters of support from NCAWA. Anyone interested in seeking NCAWA's support should send a request and a resume to Committee Chair Wendy Vonnegut. It would also be helpful to have any available letters of recommendation or contact information of those who would provide useful information about the candidate's qualifications and abilities for the appointment.

 Advancing women in the legal profession and in the justice system is one of the core goals of the organization and will be an important guideline as the committee evaluates a potential letter of support. Candidates seeking NCAWA's support should review the organization's goals and substantive resolutions. Such information is available on other pages of this website. The committee will want to know the candidate's history of participating in the organization and supporting NCAWA's goals and mission.

 

When a request is received, the committee reviews the materials submitted and appoints members to investigate and report. The investigation will focus on the candidate's evident competence and aptitude for the job; proven support for NCAWA's goals; and history of participation in NCAWA activities. The committee also looks for feedback from local NCAWA chapters where they are active and available to provide input. Based on the material submitted and the investigation results, the committee makes a decision and takes what it determines to be the appropriate action.

 

Because candidates for appointment do not all request support at the same time and vacancies are not predictable, the committee does not have a policy of supporting only one candidate for a particular vacancy, at a certain point in the process. It has adopted a policy of providing letters of support for no more than two candidates for any one vacancy.  The committee will review and research requests as they come in, considering the status of each one both independently and in light of other actions the committee has taken, as well as other pending requests. The committee's analysis focuses on the appropriateness of the candidate for the position, the best interests of NCAWA, and the impact of a letter of support on the process and the goals of the organization.

 

If you are interested in joining the Nominating and Public Service Awards Committee, please contact Committee Chair Lauren Snyder.

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