Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, L.L.P., has committed $100,000 to the Legal Aid of North Carolina Fund. The gift is made in conjunction with the North Carolina Bar Association's 4ALL Campaign to expand the provision of legal services provided by LANC.
The contribution serves as the perfect compliment to the firm's commitment to the 4ALL initiative. Partners Caryn McNeill and Martin Brinkley served as founding co-chairs of the NCBA's 4ALL Task Force in 2007-08, leading a sizable contingent of Smith Anderson attorneys and legal assistants who have contributed to the 4ALL effort.
Smith Anderson paralegals, independent of the firm's gift, contributed $1,000 to the LANC Fund.
Managing Partner John Jernigan, a past-president of the NCBA, credited the leadership of the campaign's Donate Working Group for making "a very strong, compelling case" that encouraged the firm to contribute the major gift. "We did it because it is our professional obligation to do so and is consistent with our firm culture," Jernigan said. "And we did it because two of our very best, Martin Brinkley and Caryn McNeill, had key leadership roles in this project."
The leadership gift is also intended to provide stimulus for other firms and individuals to support the LANC Fund.
"Those reasons are our basis for making the kind of commitment that we made," Jernigan said. "We remain hopeful that this sort of leadership gift will encourage others to support this important effort."
The gift also continues Smith Anderson's longstanding commitment to the NCBA, which includes the establishment of the Willis Smith and Willis Smith Jr. Justice Funds and the naming of Dorsett Auditorium at the N.C. Bar Center in honor of firm namesake James K. Dorsett Jr.
"Time and time again," said NCBA Executive Director Allan Head, "the lawyers of Smith Anderson have shown their leadership by their commitment of time, money and human resources to advance the cause of 'seeking liberty and justice.' "
Founded in Raleigh in 1912, Smith Anderson is recognized as the largest business and litigation firm based in the Research Triangle. More than 100 Smith Anderson attorneys and paralegals are members of the North Carolina Bar Association.
The LANC Fund was established by the NCBA Board of Governors in January 2007 as a named fund within the NCBA Foundation Endowment restricted to Legal Aid of North Carolina. Adopted shortly thereafter as a major objective of the 4ALL Campaign, the LANC Fund has attracted more than $750,000 toward a fund-raising goal of $1 million.
(Published with permission of North Carolina Lawyer, A Publication of the North Carolina Bar Association = September/October 2008)