The Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism (CJCP) was established on September 22, 1998, by order of the North Carolina State Supreme Court. The order established the Commission's membership and major responsibilities.
The North Carolina CJCP consists of a Chairperson, who is the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court or his/her designee; two judges serving on trial benches of the courts of the state or the United States; and one appellate court judge either from the state or United States. Other members include two law school faculty members from accredited North Carolina law schools, eight practicing lawyers, and three non-lawyer citizens who are active in public affairs. All members, with the exception of the Chairman, serve for a term of three years.
The major responsibilities of the Commission include its primary charge: to enhance professionalism among North Carolina's lawyers. In carrying out this charge, the CJCP is required to provide ongoing attention and assistance to ensure the practice of law remains a high calling, dedicated to the service of clients and the public good. Other major responsibilities include:
- Considering and encouraging efforts by lawyers and judges to improve the administration of justice;
- Examining ways of making the system of justice more accessible to the public;
- Monitoring and coordinating North Carolina's professionalism efforts in such institutional settings as the bar, the courts, the law schools and law firms;
- Monitoring professionalism efforts in jurisdictions outside North Carolina;
- Conducting a study and issue a report on the present state on lawyers professionalism within North Carolina;
- Planning and conducting Convocations on Professionalism;
- Providing guidance and support to the Board of Continuing Legal Education and to the various CLE providers accredited by the Board, in the implementation and execution of a CLE professionalism requirement of not less than one hour per year;
- Implementing a professionalism component in bridge-the-gap programs for new lawyers;
- Making recommendations to the Supreme Court, the State Bar, the voluntary bars, and the Board of Continuing Legal Education concerning additional means by which professionalism can be enhanced among North Carolina lawyers;
- Receiving and administering grants and making such expenditures therefrom as the Commission deems prudent in the discharge of its responsibilities.