NCAJ NEXT Leadership Program


The NCAJ NEXT Program was founded in 2020 for the purpose of engaging NCAJ’s next generation of trial lawyer leaders in North Carolina.   

The NCAJ NEXT Class of 2024

Rosa Antunez Boatwright

Litigation Attorney, The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin

Daniel Bello Castro

Attorney at The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin

Maya Davis

Litigation Attorney, The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin

Misha Henley

Attorney, CR Legal Team LLP

Warren Hynson

Attorney, Hynson Law, PLLC

Lex-Jordan Ibegbu

Founding Partner, Ibegbu Law, PLLC

Zack Kaplan

Attorney, Zaytoun & Ballew

Madison Libby

Attorney, Deuterman Law Group

Ryan McCollum

Litigation Attorney, Whitley Law Firm

Telana Poe

Attorney, Whitley Law Firm

The program’s goals are to educate participants in the benefits and the expectations of NCAJ membership, to offer an environment for members to build strong relationships with fellow young trial lawyers from a variety of locales and practice areas and ultimately, to better prepare tomorrow’s trial lawyer leaders today.   

Regardless of how you decide to lead in the legal profession, the NCAJ NEXT Program better prepares participants for the day when they assume an important leadership role, not only within NCAJ but within the practice of law at large in our state.

There are many ways for attorneys to build their leadership skill set by engaging with NCAJ. During the various sessions of the NCAJ NEXT program, participants will learn more about and be empowered to: 

Meet Our NCAJ NEXT Facilitator

Jes Averhart is the founder of Jes & Co. specializing in stakeholder engagement and leadership development. Jes advises executive leadership on growth strategies and talent development.

Her cross-industry corporate engagement includes companies within Research Triangle Park and the American Underground, a Google for Startups Tech Hub (aka, the “Startup Capital of the South” by CNBC).

Learn More About Jes

Typical NCAJ NEXT Session Topics & Time Commitment

NCAJ NEXT meets monthly, beginning each January, for a full day of engagement with speakers, leaders and one another at various venues across the state. Sessions are usually held on Thursdays. See below for an example of the timeline and topics you might expect when you participate in NEXT.

Please note that this is a draft schedule only and is subject to change based on speaker and location availability.

How are candidates selected?  

Criteria for Admission   

Applicants must:  

Applicants should submit the following:  

Who should apply?

We encourage any new-to-the-practice (in the last 10 years) NCAJ members from diverse locales and practice areas who have a history of involvement and leadership in their communities, offices and/or profession to apply. You will likely be a great fit if you are an attorney who wants to become more involved in NCAJ and you have a genuine interest in empowering a strong community of trial lawyers in our state through volunteer leadership. 

What should I know before I apply?  

Participating in the NCAJ NEXT Program requires a commitment of time and resources. We guarantee that your experience in the program and the rewards of participation will greatly outweigh any sacrifice you will make to attend.  

Participants are selected through a competitive application process and are chosen from diverse geographic locations and areas of trial practice. Letter(s) of recommendation from at least one current NCAJ member, your employer, community leader, legislators, judges, etc. are strongly encouraged (although not required). 

Are there any costs related to the program?

The tuition for participation in the NCAJ NEXT Program is $750. This fee, combined with NCAJ’s support through partner firms, sponsors and the Allen A. Bailey Endowment, covers program costs and events associated with the NCAJ NEXT sessions. Any travel or lodging needs are the responsibility of the NCAJ member.