On June 24, Smith Anderson Partner Caryn Coppedge McNeill became the 123rd president of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA). In the Triangle Business Journal article, New NCBA president: Big pro bono projects 'comfortably in our wheelhouse', Caryn’s impressive record of service with the NCBA is revealed as well as her plans for the future.
Specifically, Caryn’s tenure will focus largely on a number of pro bono projects across North Carolina. “The North Carolina Bar Association is a community — it is the place where North Carolina’s lawyers come together to make a difference for our profession and the public,” Caryn explained. “In the coming year, we will seek to make the NCBA still stronger. We will hone our value proposition and enhance the experience of our members, and we will redouble our efforts to be ‘a power for good’ in our State.”
In addition to continuing the North Carolina Bar Foundation’s successful 4ALL Statewide Service Day and Lawyer on the Line campaigns, Caryn intends to launch the American Bar Association’s Free Legal Answers web-based program. The service provides lower-income community members an opportunity to submit civil legal questions through a web portal that are answered by attorney volunteers.
“The need for pro bono services in North Carolina has never been greater. Currently, the legal needs of more than 80 percent of the 2.2 million citizens who qualify for legal services, including veterans, victims of domestic violence and senior citizens, go unmet. Access to lawyers impacts outcomes, and it is foundational to trust and confidence in our legal system,” Caryn said.
Confirming statewide pro bono projects fit comfortably in the NCBA wheelhouse, Caryn explained these projects capitalize on a number of the organization’s strengths, including the statewide reach and sheer numbers of its membership, as well as its ability to recruit, organize and support volunteers.
Caryn has practiced her entire career at Smith Anderson, where she leads the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group, which has consistently received the highest ranking from U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” since 2010. A significant part of her practice is devoted to counseling and negotiating on behalf of clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions.
Triangle Business Journal subscribers can view the full article here.