Professional Leadership

The legal profession plays a significant role in creating a just and civil culture, and we value that our firm is a voice of influence and change within the community. Since our founding in 1912, Smith Anderson has demonstrated a commitment to professional leadership that remains among our key firm values, with our attorneys holding esteemed leadership positions throughout the legal industry.

Leadership Roles of Distinction

We are particularly proud that the North Carolina Judicial Branch, General Assembly and Governor have appointed Smith Anderson attorneys at the highest level of the state to serve on Commissions that make recommendations to improve issues in the court system and the state as a whole. Five Smith Anderson attorneys have served as presidents of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA), including current firm attorneys John Jernigan, Martin Brinkley and Caryn Coppedge McNeill. Other leadership positions of significant distinction include Henry Mitchell and Jim Dorsett, III having each served as presidents of the American Counsel Association and Jim’s tenure as president of the North Carolina State Bar. Additionally, Martin Brinkley currently serves as the 14th dean of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, the only member of the practicing bar in the modern history of the law school to be appointed to the dean’s post.

Business Leadership and Advocacy

Smith Anderson is well-positioned at the intersection of law and business, which we recognize as an opportunity and responsibility to improve the quality and efficiency of the administration of justice in North Carolina and on policy and legislative matters affecting the business legal climate in the state and beyond. Our attorneys have long been woven into the fabric of the state’s business community, collaborating with business groups and government officials on initiatives such as drafting business legislation that modernized North Carolina corporate law and enhanced the state’s ability to attract and retain corporate headquarters, making it a more competitive and a more business-friendly state.

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Among the prominent legal leadership roles, commissions and boards that Smith Anderson attorneys now serve, or have served on, are:

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    • "The lawyers are incredibly responsive, acutely aware of the urgency of matters and never fail to deliver. They understand not only our business but also our culture and team dynamics."

      Client quotation as published in Chambers USA
    • "The team provides top-end talent, experience and quality of work."

      Client quotation as published in Chambers USA
    • "Their work is excellent. The timing, responsiveness, negotiation quality, personality, thoroughness and cost management are all beyond expectations."

      Client quotation as published in Chambers USA
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