Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Bar Innovators

NC Bar Association logoA program of the N.C. Bar Association that helps lawyers ease into retirement has been recognized as a Bar Innovator.

The Transitioning Lawyers Commission – or TLC as it is better known – assists attorneys with cognitive impairments move out of full-time practice and into a less stressful life. LexisNexis gave the program one of its Community and Educational Outreach Awards, citing the innovative and compassionate way TLC serves lawyers, their families and the public at large.

The NCBA is not alone in trying new ways to do good deeds. Here are some other Bar Innovators honored by LexisNexis:

Legal Help for Seniors

In Tennessee, the bar association took a look at the state’s demographics and noticed two things: the population is rapidly aging, and many seniors have legal needs that aren’t being met.

Their response was to revamp the Legal Handbook for Tennessee Seniors. The new 330-page guide might at first glance appear daunting. But the authors took care to present the information in plain, user-friendly language. Topics include finances, estate planning, family law and long-term health care. New sections cover online security and changes in healthcare.

And to make sure the handbook is used for something other than a doorstop, bar members offer summaries, outlines, training videos and a power point presentation.

Journey for Justice

This collaboration of the Birmingham Bar Association, the Birmingham Bar Association, the Birmingham Bar Foundation and the Magic City Bar Association highlights the role lawyers played in the 1963 civil rights movement. The project was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the historic Birmingham march.

Volunteer lawyers helped produce a “Preserving Justice” documentary that features individual attorneys and judges who were in the trenches fighting the good fight. The video – which aired on Alabama Public Television - is available to civic groups and local bars nationwide.

Volunteers sometimes accompany the film to high schools and colleges for post-screening discussions on the role of lawyers in promoting justice and equality.

Thinking About Law School?

The Volusia (Florida) County Bar Association created a presentation aimed at college students and graduates who are considering applying for law school. Since its launch in 2010, volunteer lawyers have traveled across the state to places like Bethune-Cookman University, Central Florida-Daytona, Daytona State College, Stetson University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offering first-hand testimony about what Torts 101 is really like. The result: 1Ls who know what they’re getting into.

Vote for ME!

The State Bar of Texas developed an interactive program to educate students about historic figures in U.S. and Texas history. It also helps them brush up in reading and math at the same time. The curriculum uses animation to bring prominent figures from history into the classroom, where they tell students about themselves and their accomplishments (think Disney’s Hall of Presidents). The students get to vote for their favorite history-maker (thus the Vote for Me! aspect) and the results are tallied in a graph.

Maybe these efforts will spark an idea for your district or county bar group, so you too can be a Bar Innovator.


Jay Reeves a/k/a The Risk Man is an attorney who has practiced North Carolina and South Carolina. Formerly he was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. Contact him at

About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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