November Happenings




This month, give thanks for living in such a vibrant and dynamic city. There’s a bounty of fun for everyone to enjoy!

Seasonal Events: Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade

Volunteer to serve Thanksgiving dinner at the Charlotte Rescue Mission here.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, Southern Christmas ShowCeltic Thunder: Christmas Voices Symphony Tour, The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical

Music: Ray LaMontagne, Buddy GuyThe Drive by Truckers, Straight No Chaser, KEM, Justin Townes Earle, An Evening with Dirty Loops, Home Free, The Dan Band, Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam, Say Anything & Saves the Day with Reggie and the Full Effect, Grateful Dead Tribute Thanksgiving Bash, Corey Smith

Performing Arts: Cinderella, So you think you can Dance, She Stoops to Conquer, From the Depths, Vanya and Sonia Masha and Spike, To Kill a Mockingbird, Evil Dead: The Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Marvel Universe Live

Chews&Booze: Sycamore Brewing Grand Opening, Charlotte’s High Gravity Beer Festival, The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show, Biking&Beer, Chili Cook Off at Dolce Vita, Dilworth South End Chili Cook off3rd Annual Sausage Fest, Zipline and Dine at USNWCBeaujoulais Festival and Wine Tasting, Taste of the Mint, Green Drinks Charlotte, YAM 25th Anniversary Homecoming Weekend: Fall Ball and Oyster Roast, Triple C Brewery Harvest Fest

Sports: Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte Panthers, Charlotte Checkers, Charlotte 49ers

For the kids: Field Day 2014, Step Afrika!, Yo Gabba Gabba Live!, Sunday Fun Day: Cranes, Trains and Boats, Suessical Jr., The Emperor’s New Clothes

For the “furry” kids: Pawsitively Matthews

Races: Thunder Road, The Color Run, Quest:Urban Adventure Race, Fight the Flame 5k, Charlotte Checkers 5k and Fun Run, Great Amazing Race

For laughs: Dave Chappelle, Pablo Francisco, Christopher Titus

Other fun events:  Carolina Renaissance Festival, Brief: a Fashion Show, Mythbusters: Behind the Myths Tour, Disco for Diabetes, Movember, Charlotte International Auto Show, Day of the Dead Festival of Souls, Explore History! Eye witnesses to WWII, Queens University Friends of the Library presents Holiday Books&Coffee, Charlotte Tweed Ride, UCarnival Indian Ethnic Wear Fest, Small Business Saturday, 100 Words Film Festival, Buff Faye’s “Day of the Dead” Sunday Halloween Drag Brunch

         ~Jamie Sunnycalb~

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So, What Can You Do with Your Law Degree?


By Ann Skalaski

Not everyone who earns a law degree chooses to practice law.  Recent law school graduates who are not yet admitted to the Bar, or do not plan to take the Bar exam, are often unsure about how to approach their job search.   As a legal recruiter, I am often asked, “Does a law degree have value outside of the practice of law?”   And, “if so, how do I market myself?”  There are general skills acquired during law school such as research and writing, fact-finding, and analytical skills; however, identifying jobs that you should pursue, and knowing how to market yourself, will depend on your unique background, skills and personal career goals.  So, it is helpful to begin by reflecting on why you went to law school, what you learned in law school, what you do well, what you enjoy doing and even those things that capture your interest.  Asking yourself these questions—and writing down your answers— will help you come up with some broad ideas of settings and fields where you might enjoy working.  These insights will help you identify and evaluate opportunities that could be a good fit for you, while also enabling you see and communicate how you would add value.

Any job that was available to you before law school, based on your undergraduate degree or past work experience, is still an option.  Often employers will value your legal education even if it is not a requirement for the job.  However, if you want to blend your background, interests and legal education, there are plenty of options to consider.  Some are legal positions, quasi-legal positions or even non-traditional jobs —but there are countless opportunities that intersect with the law and do not require Bar admission.  Some positions will require specific undergraduate degrees or skills, so you will need to take your background in to consideration.  Here is a selection of fields and/or settings where you could make use of your legal education:

  • Teaching – Undergraduate, Community College, Legal Assistant program, High School or substitute.
  • Court Administration – docket clerk, case manager, staff attorney, etc.
  • State Government – Department of Insurance, Department of Business Oversight, etc.
  • Law Firm – Recruiting, HR, marketing, library services, document review/Records Manager.
  • Law Enforcement – FBI, CIA, hearing office, investigator.
  • Journalism – legal correspondent, free-lance writer for any publication.
  • Risk Management – Healthcare provider, law firm litigation support, insurance company.
  • Corporate Human Resources – recruiting, corporate training, EEOC compliance, etc.
  • Staffing – Legal Recruiter/Headhunter, or non-legal staffing specialist.
  • Real estate – Title examiner, Escrow Officer, Realtor.
  • Banking – Legal Specialist, Fraud Investigator, Fraud Risk Manager, Loan Officer, Financial Services Specialist, etc.
  • Corporate In-House – law clerk, staff attorney.

Anything on that list catch your eye?  Try doing some easy on-line research to see what current opportunities in that field or setting look interesting.  Then, evaluate positions based on how they relate to your career goals.  For example, if you are ultimately interested in real estate law and want to get some valuable experience while waiting to take the Bar exam, you may want learn more about working as a title examiner.  Title examiners are generally employed by title companies and banks, and are used by real estate agents and developers.  So, who do you know that could introduce you to a title examiner so that you could learn more about what they do, and maybe even get some job leads?  Try to arrange as many informal meetings or “informational interviews” as you can.  Always asking if there are other jobs or opportunities that you should be considering within the field that interests you.  While you may be tempted to skip the informational interviews and begin applying for positions, this step is an important part of the process.  Those who you talk to have a broader view of their industry and may see options that are an even better fit for you than those you have identified.  Furthermore, these discussions also prepare you for future interviews.

In summary, if you take the time to identify your strengths and career goals, research positions in the areas that interest you, network with those who can provide additional information and referrals, you will position yourself to find a job that could be the beginning of a very rewarding career…with or without Bar admission.

~Center for Professional Development~

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ALR Student’s Corner: Douglas’ Forms

Douglas’ Forms is an indispensable, five volume set of hundreds of forms covering the following areas of North Carolina civil practice: Business Transactions; Civil Litigation; Wills, Trusts, and Estate Administration; and Domestic Relations and Guardians.


Whether you are a new attorney starting in a large firm or a seasoned attorney managing your own practice, Douglas’ Forms will save you valuable time drafting documents, which is now more important than ever, as attorneys shift their billing structures, away from hourly billing and to such things as fee-for-service solutions, to satisfy and retain clients who have become savvier at negotiating attorneys’ fees.


Douglas’ Forms can be accessed electronically via the Charlotte School of Law library catalog or Lexis Advance.    For those who prefer print, Douglas’ Forms can also be accessed at CSL’s Library on the fifth floor in the “Reference: Carolinas” section.  But, if you get lost in the stacks, even with the call number (KFN7468.D622) in hand, there is always a reference librarian to assist (by the way, CSL has the best reference librarians ever).

Researching electronically on Lexis Advance for the correct Douglas’ form should begin the same way as any other research project, with an effective search string.  For example, my client, a hospital, would like to enter into a joint venture with a medical practice.  Therefore, I need to draft a joint venture agreement. To access Douglas’ Forms on Lexis Advance, I can either type the title in the universal search box or use the “Browse Sources” feature.  Once I’ve pulled up the resource, the most efficient starting point is to search “joint venture” from the Table of Contents tab. Then, from the result list, click the link for “Form 8-5 Joint Venture Agreement.”


Once the document is open, click the save icon to import into your word processing platform.


The last step before downloading is to choose the document format, format options, and content-specific options.


After you click download, retrieve the form by clicking the .docx link from the pop-up window.


Finally, the form will require minor formatting adjustments depending on the word processing platform being used. Now all that is left is to tweak the contract according to the agreed upon terms and make sure the contract does not violate either federal Stark law or Anti-Kickback laws.

Douglas’ Forms is an excellent resource for essential forms related to every aspect of North Carolina civil practice, designed for attorneys to adapt the relevant form to their client’s particular situation.  So, why recreate the wheel – save yourself some time with Douglas’ Forms.

~ Kriss Anne Carlstrom, L’14 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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Top Five Tips for Appropriate Email Etiquette from CSL’s Center for Professional Development

By Aithyni K. Rucker, Esq.

In this digital age, communication has become more informal and we communicate in 140 characters or less.  However, even electronic communication must remain professional, timely, and audience appropriate.

Everyone has received an email where you really want to just throw your keyboard, pick up your laptop and call it a day.  To cut down on those visceral responses, here are five quick tips toward effective digital communication.

1. Everyone is a Professional and Deserves a Professional Greeting -Every email communication should begin with a formal greeting, i.e. “Dear Ms. or Dear Mr.”  Avoid the Twitter/Facebook trap of addressing your email without a salutation.  Keep in mind you are not friends with your addressee until they say so. Follow the below email trail as an example:

Email 1(you) Dear Ms. Jones: Email 2(employer response) Dear Jim:  Email 3( your reply) Dear Lisa:

In the above example, I changed the tone of our correspondence and allowed for the use of first names.  Never start an email with “Hey, Wassup, Good Morning, (or worst of all, no salutation whatsoever)”. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and keep your salutations formal.  A good Mr. or Ms. can take you a long way.

2. Your Tone Dictates the Effectiveness of Your Message -we all know the clear email rule of never write in all caps.  However, everyone forgets the age old rule about polite correspondence.  We’ve all sent an email when upset, in a hurry, or in need of a quick response.  But remember, “Your Fire is not someone else’s emergency.” Be courteous with your key strokes.  Take a minute, walk away, and read your message back before you hit send.  If it sounds snarky, it likely is.  I can’t think of anyone who wants to be on the receiving end of a snarky message.  Also, remember that emails last forever, and you can’t take you message back once you hit send.

3. Check Punctuation and Message Length - Please remember emails are letters.  They aren’t text messages and they deserve good punctuation.  Make sure to use appropriate periods, commas, and the like within your communication.  Also, email isn’t the time to write a novel.  Keep your message brief, direct, and to the point.

4. Give the Recipient Time to Respond - Proper turnaround time for email response runs about 48-72 hours. More than likely, your message isn’t the only one requiring a response.  Give your recipient time to handle your request and respond timely.  Jumping the gun might offend your recipient and ruin your repoire. If you deem your email urgent and you don’t receive a timely response, consider placing a telephone call. Remember to always be gracious when following up with an unresponsive recipient.

5.  Check Your Own Email and Respond – Remember, what goes around comes around! (Don’t live in  a glass house, see rule 4)  As a lawyer in training, it is important to get used to receiving and managing numerous emails in one day. When you begin practicing, the commonly-heard refrain “I receive too many emails!” will not suffice.  An unanswered email can lead to malpractice, a lost client, or a missed opportunity.  Get in the habit of answering emails timely, checking your email regularly and cleaning out any unread messages.  An easy rule of thumb is to mark any message unread where a response is pending.

Any questions?

 ~Center for Professional Development~

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

On Friday, October 31st, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will hold an argument session at Charlotte School of Law. Three arguments will be heard by the court, with each case taking about 40 minutes. After the final case, the panel will entertain questions from the audience (other than about the cases). Case summaries will be posted after October 23th. Case briefs can be accessed in WestLaw or below.

We welcome students, staff, faculty, and the community to register for and attend this session. Due to limited space, we are asking all attendees to register and access to the courtroom will be first-come, first-served. The argument session will be broadcast to additional rooms within Charlotte School of Law, as needed based on registration. We ask that anyone who cannot attend the entire session, please view the proceedings from one of the overflow rooms, so as not to disturb the court. Entering or exiting during an argument session will not be permitted.

Attire should be consistent with what would be worn to an official proceeding at the courthouse, cell phones are not permitted in the courtroom and audio/video recording is not permitted in the courtroom.

Charlotte School of Law is located in the Charlotte Plaza building at 201 South College Street. Parking is available in the lot adjacent to Charlotte Plaza or you can search for nearby parking lots with

Please submit your registration through the following: Registration link

Case Summaries completed by writing competition winner CSL 2L Stacey Cargile:
13-2219 Case Summary; Case Brief
14-4288 Case Summary; Case Brief
13-4803 Case Summary; Case Brief

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where is Charlotte School of Law located?

CSL is located in the Charlotte Plaza building at 201 South College Street. You can park in the lot adjacent to the building (accessible from 3rd or 4th street). From the 6th floor of the adjacent parking garage, you’ll enter the Mall level of the Charlotte Plaza building. If you park elsewhere, you’ll want to enter the building at the ground level and take the escalators to the Mall level. Next to the Sundries shop on the Mall level, you’ll find the CSL Welcome Center where Student Ambassadors will be waiting to assist you and where you can get tickets for courtroom viewing.

Can I get my parking ticket validated?

Parking validation is only being provided for Court Staff (Judges, Deputy, law clerks)

Where can I find a case summary or case brief?

Links to Case summaries (written by Stacey Cargile) and Case briefs are located above

I have to leave early or come late to the proceedings, is that ok?

Exiting and entering during one of the three argument sessions is not permitted in the courtroom nor one of the viewing rooms. Although you may exit and enter during the break between sessions, we ask that you watch the proceedings from a viewing room, rather than the courtroom if you cannot stay the entire time.

Is there WiFi access at CSL?

Since use of electronic devices is not permitted in the courtroom or the viewing rooms, guest WiFi access will not be provided.

How can I participate in the Judges Q&A if I’m in a viewing room rather than the courtroom?

Student Ambassadors or CSL Staff will be stationed in each viewing room to solicit questions and communicate those questions to CSL Staff in the courtroom.

Upcoming Events 

Title Organization Date/Time
Arguments Session: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Dean’s Office 10/31/14

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Filed under Events, General Charlotte School of Law Information, Local Points of Interest and Events, Of Interest to Law Students, Student Information

Free Online Resources: Freedom of Information Act “FOIA” Electronic Reading Rooms: Civil Rights Division of DOJ


Charlotte Law Library is beginning a series of blogs about FOIA Electronic Reading Rooms available for free on the web.

Before you make that FOIA request, check if the information is available in the FOIA Reading Rooms on the internet.  According to the FOIA Guide, “The Electronic FOIA amendments embodied a strong statutory preference that electronic availability be provided by agencies in the form of online, Internet access — which is most efficient for both agencies and the public alike — and this expectation has been met by the development of agency FOIA sites on the World Wide Web.

Under the Electronic FOIA amendments, all federal agencies have FOIA sites on the World Wide Web to serve this “electronic reading room” function, as well as for other FOIA-related purposes.  This is a matter of great and growing importance to the processes of FOIA administration.  Agencies of such size that they contain sub-agencies or major agency components that administer the FOIA on a decentralized basis and have their own Web sites may maintain multiple “electronic reading rooms,” so long as they are linked together clearly and efficiently for Web site users.”

Today we will look at the FOIA Electronic Reading Room for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.



Frequently Requested FOIA-process Records

Frequently Requested Documents and Records Likely to Become the Subject of FOIA Requests

Policy Statements and Other Significant Guidance and Technical Assistance Letters

Enjoy exploring this FOIA Electronic Reading Room and look for this symbol for future blogs on free online resources:


Come see us in the library for more resources in print and online.

~Mary Susan Lucas~

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — October 27, 2014


Three Surprising Ways to Feel More Confident at Work

Confidence is what gives us the courage to act on our competent thoughts. So I thought I’d share three interesting – and even surprising – strategies to feel more confident at what you do. The first two come from research that has received a great deal of media attention lately. The last is from my own, non-research-based experience and is reflected in this very post.

Five Song Parodies Just for Lawyers

Just kidding. It’s six. But who’s counting? Not lawyers. That’s why you go to law school right? No math classes.  Anywho, we here at Bitter Lawyer love us some song parodies. And this week we countdown six of the best from around the web… or at least YouTube.

Free Public Access to Federal Materials on Guide to Law Online

Through an agreement with the Library of Congress, the publisher William S. Hein & Co., Inc. has generously allowed the Law Library of Congress to offer free online access to historical U.S. legal materials from HeinOnline.  These titles are available through the Library’s web portal, Guide to Law Online: U.S. Federal.

Finding Balance: How Being a Law Student and Functional Human Don’t Always Have to be Mutually Exclusive

This is the latest installment in a series of posts from the ATL Career Center’s team of expert contributors. Today, Ariel Salzer offers advice to overwhelmed law students

Friedrich Nietzsche on Why a Fulfilling Life Requires Embracing Rather than Running from Difficulty

A century and a half before our modern fetishism of failure, a seminal philosophical case for its value.

Legal Podcasts Now Broadcast on Twitter

Twitter announced last week that we can now listen to podcasts directly on Twitter.

How a Charlotte Boy and a Librarian Rescued a Lost Parrot

One of the reasons I am a school nurse is because I love children and their stories. This story about a parrot, two boys and a librarian is one of hope, courage, friendship and love. And it begins at Billingsville Elementary during recess the Thursday before last.

Bookish DIY: Bookends

The classic bookend shape – the “L”.  It’s as simple as nailing together two pieces of wood (scraps work nicely in this case), doing a little painting, and spending some quality time with your hot glue gun.  Here are couple of more specific suggestions.

UNC Libraries to Open Three Research Hubs

After months of renovations, the second floor of Davis Library is open for research.  Davis Library is one of three University libraries that hosts a research hub, which Judy Panitch, director of library communications, said will be the ideal place for students to perform cutting-edge research.

Pushing Past the Terrifying Dip in Motivation

How do we know if we’re in a slump or if we should just quit? We don’t. There’s no way to know the future. There are times when there are a bunch of good indicators that you should quit — customers aren’t responding, the market doesn’t support your work, there are better opportunities. But the feeling you have when you’re in a dip is not a good indicator that it’s time to quit.

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