Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Luke Skywalker and the Birth of Lawyers Mutual

40th AnniversaryLawyers Mutual is not the only one celebrating its 40th birthday this year.

Star Wars – arguably the most influential movie ever made – also debuted in 1977.

It is hard to overstate the impact the film had on pop culture, science, business – even politics. In the 80s President Reagan called the Soviet Union the Evil Empire, and his defense initiative was dubbed Star Wars. In the 90s, close to half a million people identified their religion as Jedi. And in the 2000s, Pepsi paid more than $2 billion for merchandising rights to the prequel.

Meanwhile, as people were lining up to see the George Lucas blockbuster when it first came out, a different group of pioneers was hard at work in downtown Raleigh attempting to do something that had never been done before.

This small band of visionaries – led by officials at the N.C. Bar Association – wanted to create a mutual liability insurance company that would be owned by North Carolina lawyers and exist solely to protect them and their clients.

Support was overwhelming. Attorneys from across the state – mostly solo and small firm practitioners – put up their own hard-earned money (typically $1,000) to make the dream a reality. Some used their credit cards. The required capital was raised quicker than anyone had anticipated, and the company was chartered in September 1977. Shortly thereafter, the first policies were issued.

And so Lawyers Mutual was born.

Here are some other success stories from 1977:

Most Popular Television Shows

  1. Laverne & Shirley
  2. Happy Days
  3. Three’s Company
  4. 60 Minutes
  5. Charlie’s Angels
  6. All in the Family
  7. Little House on the Prairie
  8. Alice
  9. MASH
  10. One Day at a Time

Most Popular Movies

  1. Star Wars
  2. Rocky
  3. Smokey and the Bandit
  4. A Star Is Born
  5. King Kong
  6. The Deep
  7. Silver Streak
  8. The Enforcer
  9. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  10. In Search of Noah’s Ark

Most Popular Songs

  1. “You Don’t Have to Be a Star” – Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.
  2. “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” – Leo Sayer
  3. “I Wish” – Stevie Wonder
  4. “Car Wash” – Rose Royce
  5. “Torn Between Two Lovers” – Mary MacGregor
  6. “Blinded By the Light” – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
  7. “New Kid in Town” – Eagles
  8. “Love Theme from A Star is Born” – Barbra Streisand
  9. “Rich Girl” – Daryl Hall and John Oates
  10. “Dancing Queen” – ABBA

Most Popular Fiction

  1. “The Silmarillion” by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. “The Thorn Birds” by Colleen McCullough
  3. “Illusions” by Richard Bach
  4. “The Honourable Schoolboy” by John Le Carre
  5. Oliver’s Story” by Erich Segal

Most Popular Nonfiction

  1. “Roots” by Alex Haley
  2. “Looking Out for #1” by Robert Ringer
  3. “All Things Wise and Wonderful” by James Herriot
  4. “Your Erroneous Zones” by Dr. Wayne Dyer
  5. “The Book of Lists” by David Wallechinsky

Forty years later, the popularity of Star Wars has soared to even greater celestial heights.

And Lawyers Mutual is stronger than ever as well. In fact, it is the only carrier that has provided continuous coverage to North Carolina lawyers over the past four decades. During that time, the company’s mission – serving the state’s attorneys – has never wavered.

Since 1977, Lawyers Mutual has been a force that is always with you.


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.

Read More by Jay >

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