|The Professionalism Committee is a joint committee of the WCBA and the Tenth Judicial District that identifies and addresses issues affecting members of the local bar in the broadest sense of professional responsibility, including the member’s obligation to the system of justice, their clients, themselves, their colleagues, and their community.
The Professionalism Committee administers the annual Joseph Branch Professionalism Award, developed and sponsored the adoption of a WCBA Professionalism Creed and regularly contributes professionalism articles to the WCBA's monthly newsletter. The Professionalism Committee, in cooperation with the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, implemented the Professionalism Support Initiative, a pilot project for peer counseling of lawyers and judges. The Professionalism Committee has also participated in an annual free professionalism CLE offered by the WCBA and implemented an annual roundtable discussion on ethics and professionalism issues. In addition, the Professionalism Committee compiled and published a book of Wake County lawyers’ observations on professionalism and is in the process of organizing a county-wide lawyer mentoring program. These efforts resulted in the WCBA being awarded the Gambrell Award.In 2009, the Professionalism Committee introduced the Raising the Bar Program to provide members of the bar the chance to proactively recognize their colleagues who adhere to a high code of professional conduct and notably advance the professionalism of our Bar Association. Nominations are submitted by members of the bar and reviewed by a sub-committee of the Professionalism Committee.
Spotlights: Illuminating Acts of Professionalism
Nomination FormTo recognize specific acts and efforts advancing professionalism within the Wake County and Tenth Judicial District Bars and to promote the positive perception of professionalism among lawyers and the greater public. Generally, it includes conduct that notably advances professionalism, as defined in our local Creed of Professionalism, local custom, and our state's legal and ethical rules. Such conduct by a member of our Bar can range from a single isolated act to lengthy efforts and endeavors.The following is an illustrative, non-exclusive list of some general categories on which we wish to shine a spotlight:· An unwavering commitment to integrity, fairness and civility never overridden by financial considerations· a dedication to excellence in serving a client or clients;· a respect for the rule of law, the court and other lawyers;· a commitment to seek a just result in matters undertaken for clients;· practicing law motivated by service rather than inspired solely by profit or financial considerations;· representing clients zealously and as a vigorous advocate but also honorably and with respect and consideration of others, such as: *dealing with opposing parties and counsel honestly, fairly and courteously; *seeking to resolve disputes between clients and lawyers in a dignified manner; *pursuing the most efficient and least costly solutions to problems and avoiding unnecessary delay;· a willingness to share learning and experience and act informally or formally as a mentor to less experienced lawyers;· selflessly assisting fellow lawyers in times of need;· Significant efforts to improve the judicial process, such as encouraging respect for the law and avoiding the abuse or misuse of the law, its procedures, participants and process;· considerable efforts to make the legal system more accessible, responsive, and effective for all;· contributing significant time and resources to the organized bar, public service, community and civic activities;