Roland Smith tapped as special adviser to NCBA task force
Roland Smith, Skeens-Watson Visiting Professor of Leadership at Elon Law and Senior Faculty member at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), has been appointed special adviser by the North Carolina Bar Association for the organization's Young Lawyer Initiatives Task Force. Smith will advise the task force on the creation of a Leadership Academy for young lawyers.
Eugene C. Pridgen, President of the NCBA, announced in his installation address on June 26 (also printed in the July/August edition of North Carolina Lawyer) that he had formed a Young Lawyer Initiatives Task Force to help new lawyers both navigate a legal profession that is undergoing dramatic changes and connect with the profession’s historic ideals.
“If we are concerned that lawyers will have a diminished role in our society, then we must inspire and develop our young lawyers to become the next generation of citizen lawyers as legislators, community leaders and bar leaders,” Pridgen said.
One of the projects of the NCBA task force, for which Smith will serve as special adviser, will be the creation of a Leadership Academy for young lawyers across the state.
Smith has served on the faculty at Elon Law since the fall of 2009, teaching the school’s Lawyering, Leadership, and Professionalism course to first-year law students and participating with a team of faculty members in the evaluation and enhancement of the school’s overall Leadership Program.
John Alexander, former president of CCL, also serves on the faculty at Elon Law, initially as the Isabella Cannon Distinguished Visiting Professor of Leadership and currently as Distinguished Leadership Coach-in-Residence.
Click here to explore Elon Law’s Leadership Program through a five-part video series featuring students, faculty and three former chief justices of the North Carolina Supreme Court who also serve on the law school’s advisory board.
In his installation address, Pridgen noted plans for a completely revamped Statewide Mentoring Program as part of the work of the Young Lawyer Initiatives Task Force.
“Many of us were fortunate enough to have entered the legal profession during a period of relative stability and prosperity,” Pridgen said. “We expected that we would be mentored and nurtured in a firm that had been stable for a long time …”
Elon Law’s Preceptor Program, with more than fifty attorneys providing guidance and insights to law students from the moment they enter law school, reflects a similar interest in mentoring new lawyers as they prepare to enter the profession. Click here for details about the Preceptor Program including a video segment with students and preceptor Marsh Prause, an attorney with Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP.
Law school dean George R. Johnson, Jr. participated in what Pridgen outlined in his address as a third element of the NCBA’s focus on young lawyers this year, a “Summit Conference of the Academy and the Profession” held September 10 in Raleigh.
Delivering the keynote address at the NCBA Annual Meeting this year, David Gergen, chair of Elon Law's advisory board, emphasized the importance of the law school's Preceptor Program and Leadership Program, and complimented the NCBA for its Citizen Lawyer initiative. Click here for details.
Gergen has served as an adviser to four United States presidents and is the Director of the Center for Public Leadership and Professor of Public Service at the Harvard Kennedy School.