Greensboro, N.C. – The North Carolina Board of Legal Specialization recently established the Jeri L. Whitfield Legal Specialty Certification Scholarship Fund, in recognition of her long service to the specialization program. The Board has responsibility for operating the program which certifies lawyers as specialists in specific fields of practice in North Carolina.
Whitfield has been a member of the board for eight years, having recently retired as board chair. She previously served on the Workers' Compensation specialty committee. In honor of her long service to the board, both the Board of Legal Specialization and Smith Moore Leatherwood are making initial donations to the fund which will enable the board to begin granting scholarships as soon as the 2014 application cycle.
The fund will provide scholarships that will pay the application fees for prosecutors, public defenders, and non-profit public interest lawyers who wish to become certified specialists. Application fees can be a barrier to applying for certification for attorneys who work in the public sector. The fund will be administered by the North Carolina Legal Education Assistance Foundation (NC LEAF). This collaboration with NC LEAF furthers the mission of both NC LEAF and the specialization program. Assisting public interest lawyers to seek board certification recognizes commitment to service and will encourage these lawyers to continue to serve underrepresented citizens and the public and to improve their knowledge and skills in their practice areas.
Whitfield has considerable experience in litigating complex occupational disease claims before the North Carolina Industrial Commission and appellate courts. Her civil practice includes handling toxic tort and asbestos-related litigation and premises liability claims before the trial and appellate courts. She has been a speaker at various continuing legal education seminars and for various industry groups regarding workers' compensation topics.
Whitfield received her bachelor's degree, with honors, from Cornell University in 1972. She attended Duke University School of Law and George Washington University School of Law, receiving her Juris Doctor, with honors, in 1977.
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Heather Olson (firstname.lastname@example.org)