June 27, 2016

A Great Honor And A Greater Responsibility

Matt Cordell is the best lawyer in this picture North Carolina Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill Charlotte Asheville Wilmington Greenville New Bern

Matt Cordell is the best lawyer in a tuxedo North Carolina Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill Charlotte Asheville Wilmington Greenville New Bern
Going to the NC Bar Association Gala










One of the best pieces of advice I have received in my professional life was when Knox Proctor took me to lunch during my first week as a lawyer and suggested (okay, insisted) that I become actively involved in the North Carolina Bar Association "because it's the right thing to do."  I promptly signed a volunteer form and was placed on a committee of the Young Lawyers Division.

Nine years (and hundreds of volunteer hours) later, I find myself leading the more than 6,400 members of the Young Lawyers Division of the North Carolina Bar Association.

What an honor and a tremendous responsibility it is to lead such an incredible group of people. The young lawyers who make up the YLD's leadership team and active volunteer committee members truly represent the best of our profession. They are smart, hardworking, selfless people who are giving of their time and talents, and are leading our members--thousands of lawyers and law students--to achieve some remarkable things.  They are giving their scarce time (and abundant talents) to provide wills to first responders, scholarships to the children of fallen law enforcement officers, assisting veterans, helping victims of natural disasters, amassing 300,000 lbs of food for the hungry...and the list goes on and on.

I am the 62nd chair of the Young Lawyers Division, which was established in 1954 by Charles Blanchard.  Although we have grown from five to 6,400, our mission has changed very little.  We continue to serve the public, serve the legal profession, and provide leadership opportunities and training to young lawyers. 

A group of youn lawyers with leader Matt Cordell of Raleigh a best lawyer
L-R: Deyaska Spencer Sweatman, Jason Walters, Matt Cordell, Cabell Clay, Rachel Blunk, Martha Bradley, Kristen Kirby, Brooks Jaffa, Harrison Lord, and Bryan Norris.


The YLD is where the future leaders of the NC Bar Association, the state, and the nation gain valuable leadership experience. This is evident from a quick look at the accomplishments of the prior YLD chairs: Seven have become presidents of the NCBA, and an eighth is the president-elect.  One became president of the American Bar Association.  Two became president of the State Bar.  Two more took the helm of Legal Aid.  A significant number went on to hold public office.  Again, that's just the prior Chairs. Scores of other YLD officers, directors and committee chairs honed leadership skills in the YLD that propelled them on to great things later in life.  I am absolutely confident that our current leaders will be the future leaders of the state of North Carolina.  Many of them will quickly eclipse my own accomplishments--of that I am certain.

I look forward to working this year, for the tenth year, with some of the finest young lawyers in the world.




Collage of candid photos of young lawyers and elite lawyer Matt Cordell privacy law corporate law business law software law data security law


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