The Champ Camp hosted its final 2016 meetup on December 1 at the Longview Country Club. Bringing together students from Marvin, Ardrey Kell, and Porter Ridge, this month’s event explored the legal profession as well as entrepreneurship.
Steven Hockfield, Elizabeth Goodwin, and David Seroy were the keynote speakers for the evening. Mr. Hockfield spoke about his journey as an attorney, and provided guidance for those considering the legal profession. A North Carolina native, Mr. Hockfield earned both his BS in accounting and JD degrees from UNC Chapel Hill. From 1972 to 1986, he served as a tax attorney. In 1986, he switched his focus to corporate law and business litigation, handling cases involving mergers, acquisitions, contracts, severance agreements, and the like. Mr. Hockfield established his own law firm in 1992 with David Erdman, where he serves as a partner and continues his practice today. Mr. Hockfield underscored that he is “paid to be an adversary but also to be an advocate,” and highlighted the importance of being able to identify the pros and cons for everything, understanding that most things are negotiable, and learning to be flexible and do things the right thing. At the end of his presentation, Mr. Hockfield emphasized that participants should learn how to analyze problems, enhance communication skills, and critical thinking skills to be successful not only as a lawyer, but as any professional.
Elizabeth Goodwin, the Employer Outreach Coordinator at Wake Forest University School of Law, followed Mr. Hockfield’s presentation. A Charlotte native and a graduate of Myers Park High School, Ms. Goodwin earned her bachelor’s in Public Policy and her law degree from Wake Forest University. She worked as an attorney in business litigation for five years after graduation, but had the desire to work more closely with people and pursue social justice. “Bitten by the political bug,” Ms. Goodwin left her practice and for 3 years, professionally worked for a number of political campaigns. She highlighted that politics and law are the same in that both require problem solving, and require one to identify the best way to do so. After serving as political consultant, Ms. Goodwin had developed invaluable skills and improved her experience working with lawyers. Given her unique set of skills, Wake Forest School of law hired Mr. Goodwin as their first employment coordinator. Ms. Goodwin builds a network for her law students for them to find their passion and build their careers once they graduate law school. Concluding her presentation, Ms. Goodwin emphasized the importance of networking, reminding students that 70% of all jobs are found via networking, while only a very small percentage found through the application process.
The final speaker of the evening, David Seroy spoke about his experiences as a San Francisco native and moving across the country to North Carolina. In 2012, Mr. Seroy graduated from the University of Arizona and received a degree in Management Information Systems. Directly out of college, Mr. Seroy joined the largest consulting firm in the world, Deloitte & Touché. At Deloitte, David spent several years performing an assortment of consulting projects, which took him to over fifteen countries across the world. Through Deloitte, Mr. Seroy gained extensive international experience and direct exposure to some of the most pressing issues facing the largest companies in the world. After his time at Deloitte, Mr. Seroy decided to pursue his dreams as an entrepreneur. Currently, Mr. Seroy is the Founder and & CEO of Old North Capital Fund, LLC. Old North Capital is an investment fund that focuses on providing private loans for real estate investors within North Carolina. Ultimately, Mr. Seroy hopes to leverage his business to create win-win relationships, that not only create tremendous value for those involved, but can also be parlayed into further value through philanthropy.
Participants ended the evening with an activity that helped them identify the best ways to follow up in a business professional setting. The high schoolers broke up into teams headed by the speakers and identified ten adjectives to describe good follow up traits.