AREAS of LEGAL PRACTICE
Sharon Lee Parker is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1981) and an Honors graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law (J.D. with Honors, 1987).
Sharon has been ‘AV-Preeminent’ rated by Martindale-Hubble since 1998, a peer review rating that attests to a lawyer’s legal ability and professional ethics, and reflects the confidential opinions of the Bar and the Judiciary. She started her own firm after having practiced law in in Marion for 24 years at Dameron and Burgin [and successor firms] and in Winston-Salem at Petree Stockton. Before Law School, she was a Consumer Protection Specialist with the Consumer Protection Division of the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.
Sharon works to understand her clients’ interests and needs and strives to find creative and cost effective ways to solve problems and conflicts. She draws upon more than 27 years of experience with contracts, health policy and planning, medical malpractice defense, criminal and capital litigation and alternative dispute resolution processes to assist her clients. She is also certified as a Civil Superior Court Mediator.
She currently concentrates her practice now in the areas of Business Law, Estate Planning [especially wills, trusts, and health care planning], Estate Administration, Health Care Law and Non-Profit Corporations.
In addition to numerous small businesses, health care practices, and individuals, she represents the Rutherford-Polk-McDowell District Board of Health and McDowell Technical Community College. Over the past 27 years, she has served as legal counsel for the City of Marion, the McDowell County Board of Education, Hospice of McDowell County, several hospitals and medical professional liability insurance carriers.
Long active in serving her community, Sharon received the 2012 McDowell County Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award for her work supporting and finding resources for non-profits and service agencies serving McDowell County. In November of 2010, she was recognized with the Governors’ Medallion for Volunteer Service in her daughter’s school and with the McDowell Endowment. At UNC-Chapel Hill, she was recognized for Service to the University with a Chancellor's Award and was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece, the university's highest honorary society. In 1980, She was also honored with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for outstanding service to the State of North Carolina.
In November of 2014, Sharon was recognized for Outstanding Service to the McDowell County Health Coalition for her assistance and leadership in converting the Coalition from an unincorporated association to a tax exempt non-profit corporation working with individuals and organizations to improve health in McDowell County.
For the past three years, Sharon has worked as Chair of the Non-profit Support Committee of The McDowell Endowment (an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina) to increase financial resources available to non-profits and service organization in McDowell County and provided programs to allow non-profits to increase their capacity to serve others. She teaches Board Best Practices, Fundraising and Grant Writing and works to link non-profits with Funders and programs that provide specialized capacity building services. This past year, Sharon has been hosting two pilot programs providing free local access to regional and national database search programs for rural funding sources.
Sharon has served on the McDowell Endowment Board since 2000 and was Chairperson from 2007 to 2011. Sharon coordinates the McDowell Endowment’s local Small Grants Spring program in addition to advising other giving circles and Funders.
Appreciative of the challenges and needs that rural non-profits face in recruiting engaged and knowledgeable Board members, Sharon is leading efforts by the Board Recruitment and Development Committee of the McDowell County Non-Profit and Service Organization [NPO] Group to increase the diversity and pool of volunteers and potential Board members for non-profits within the county.
This Fall, Sharon worked with leaders from the School System, the Volunteer Center and the Health Coalition to hold the first ever Volunteer Fair for McDowell County High School Students, which introduced 1880 students to volunteer needs at more than 30 non-profits and governmental agencies. She encourages and assists non-profits that want to add youth representatives to their Board with by-law changes and advice on mentoring programs. In the Spring of 2015, the NPO group is planning a Community wide Volunteer Fair to highlight opportunities for Board Service and to encourage volunteer service.
Sharon currently serves as Secretary to the McDowell County Health Coalition, and on the First United Methodist Church Board of Trustees and Leadership and Nominations Committee. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Marion, the Carson House Society, the McDowell Chamber of Commerce, the Marion Downtown Business Association, and the McDowell Trails Association.
Also recognized as a leader in her profession, Sharon serves on the Board of Directors of Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina, Inc. and on the Board of Directors of Lawyers Insurance Agency, Inc. In 1995, she was elected to the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Bar Association [NCBA] and has served on several Section Councils and Committees. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys and Catawba Valley Legal Services [before it merged with Legal Aid of North Carolina]. She Co-Chaired the NCBA Commission on the Status of Women in the Legal Profession and also chaired several NCBA Committees.
Sharon has held long-term memberships in the American Bar Association, in the NCBA Sections on Litigation, Health Care Law, Dispute Resolution, Estate Planning and Administration and Corporate Law, the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, the North Carolina Association of Hospital Attorneys, the McDowell Bar Association, the North Carolina and the National Association of College and University Attorneys. She has been a member of the Society of Healthcare Attorneys, the North Carolina Council of School Attorneys and the North Carolina School Boards Association.
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