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David Gergen highlights Elon Law’s emphasis on leadership and service in remarks at North Carolina Bar Association annual meeting

Delivering the keynote address at the 2010 North Carolina Bar Association annual meeting, held in Wilmington, N.C. June 24-27, and through remarks at Elon Law’s reception for alumni and friends at the meeting, David Gergen recognized the importance of civic leadership initiatives being advanced by the NCBA and by Elon Law.

Gergen, who served as an adviser to four United States presidents, is the Director of the Center for Public Leadership and Professor of Public Service at the Harvard Kennedy School and Chair of Elon’s Law School Advisory Board.

Speaking at Elon Law’s reception for students, alumni and friends at the NCBA meeting, Gergen said that the scale of challenges before the nation required new lawyer-leaders to contribute significantly to the betterment of society.

“The challenges we face as a nation are bigger than almost any time I can remember in my lifetime and our capacity to solve them, at least in our political system, is more diminished than any time I can remember in my lifetime,” Gergen said. “We’re facing a situation where we desperately need more young people who are coming up through the law to step up and to work to build a better society.”

Class of 2009 alumni members with Dean Johnson, from left, Andrew Nettleman, Summer Nettleman, Neil Oakley, Chad Hinton, and Mital Patel

At the Elon Law reception, Gergen also recognized the NCBA’s Citizen Lawyer initiative for its potential to inspire increased community service among members of the legal profession nationally.

“We are at a really serious inflection point as a nation and I think this commitment to recognize citizen lawyers as a bar association, this effort to build up community service and commitment to others, and to causes larger than oneself, has got the possibility of North Carolina really becoming a model for the nation and it already is in many others ways,” Gergen said.

During his keynote address at the NCBA meeting, Gergen took time to spotlight Elon Law's innovative approach to legal education.

From left, N.C. Court of Appeals Judge Rick Elmore, Class of 2012 member Hasina Lewis, N.C. Superior Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles, nominated by President Obama for United States District Court, and Bill Eagles, adjunct faculty member at Elon Law and attorney with Higgins Benjamin Eagles and Adams, PLLC

“We have an active mentorship program with many lawyers from the Greensboro bar and lawyers from around the state coming in and working with the students,” Gergen said. “It’s part of what we are trying to create and that is a law school with a difference, with an emphasis upon community service, upon leadership, and we’re very proud of the early results.”

In his remarks, Gergen also highlighted the law school’s recently announced Billings, Exum, and Frye National Moot Court Competition, the 9-month employment rate for the Class of 2009 of 90 percent and its overall bar passage rate of 93 percent.

Also at the annual meeting, Elon Law dean and professor of law George R. Johnson, Jr. was elected as a vice president of the North Carolina Bar Association.

From left, Malvern King, Jr., Partner, Pulley Watson King and Lischer, N.C. Court of Appeals Judge Robert C. Hunter, and Nancy Hunter

Click here for a report on remarks delivered by Gergen at Elon University School of Law during the 2009-2010 academic year.


From left, David Gergen, N.C. Superior Court Judge Patrice A. Hinnant, N.C. Court of Appeals Judge Cheri Beasley, and Elon Law Dean George Johnson


Former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Henry Frye, Elon Law Dean George Johnson, and David Gergen at Elon Law's NCBA reception
Philip Craft,
1/26/2011 4:10 AM