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Exciting News Amid A Pandemic

by Rania Combs

I have some exciting news to share: Last month, I was sworn in as a member of the North Carolina Bar! That means that in addition to working with clients in Texas, I also will be able to serve clients in North Carolina.

It was a long process…

When my family first moved to North Carolina, I didn’t know whether the move would be temporary or for the long term. So rather than sitting for the bar exam in North Carolina, I decided to simply continue working with clients in Texas.

To accomplish this goal, I founded one of the first fully web-based law firms in the country. It was a leap of faith. As very few people had heard of a web-based firm, my plans were frequently met with skepticism. What a difference ten years makes!

Over the past decade, my firm has been featured in the Texas Bar Journal, the Texas Lawyer, the American Bar Journal’s Law Practice, the International Legal Technology Association’s journal, Peer to PeerForbes.com and a book called: Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online.

It’s been overwhelming, all in a good way! And I’m delighted to now be a resource to other lawyers trying to adopt a web-based model in the midst of a pandemic.

Serving as a resource is important to me. But when my North Carolina friends and neighbors started asking me for legal advice, I could not ethically help them because I was licensed only in Texas.

So in January 2019, I began gathering all the information the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners required to consider my application. It was extensive. I had to provide 21 character references, track down my law school application (from 1991!), provide years of tax returns, get fingerprinted at the local police station…the list of documentation needed seemed endless. I submitted my application in July 2019, and in February of this year, was admitted to the Bar.

Unfortunately, with the pandemic-related court closings, I was unable to get sworn in until last Friday. Ironically, I was the first person in my county to be sworn in virtually (quite fitting, I thought!).

I look forward to both continuing my work with clients in Texas and building a client base in North Carolina. Many thanks to all of you for trusting me with your estate planning needs and referring your family and friends. None of this could have been possible without you!


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