Life of Senate Bill 254
North Carolina Senate Bill 254—which would have permitted non-attorneys to own up to 49% of the shares in a law firm’s professional corporation—was introduced to the North Carolina Senate during the North Carolina General Assembly’s long session on March 9, 2011. The North Carolina Bar Association’s (NCBA) Department of Governmental Affairs forwarded a copy of the bill to the North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (NCBA YLD) and the NCBA YLD’s Legislative Committee. The committee was co-chaired at the time by Clara Cottrell and Matt Calabria and the duo reviewed the proposed legislation. They then made a recommendation to the NCBA YLD Executive Committee that it oppose the bill.
On March 21, 2011, the NCBA YLD’s Executive Committee voted unanimously to oppose the legislation. At the NCBA Board of Governors meeting in April 2011, the NCBA YLD recommended that the NCBA officially oppose Senate Bill 254. The Board subsequently voted to accept the recommendation of the YLD and oppose the legislation. It took an official stance in opposition to the bill. The NCBA’s Director of Governmental Affairs was then given the go-ahead to lobby against Senate Bill 254 at the General Assembly. In a mass stance, the North Carolina State Bar joined in opposition to the bill. The end result was that Senate Bill 254 did not pass during the 2011 General Assembly session.