‘Field Trips’ Bring Students and Alumni Together

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Strata Solar alumni student meeting 2014
Students and alumni at Strata Solar, Feb. 20, 2014.

In February a group of Carolina Law students spent an hour with Latham Grimes ’99, general counsel of Strata Solar, a Chapel Hill-based company that ranks among the top five solar providers in America. With a background in real estate and construction law, Grimes heads the company's team of four in-house attorneys. Grimes discussed legal aspects of the solar business, including project finance, utilities regulation and zoning, along with real estate, construction and energy law. He answered questions and provided insight as to what is involved in a fast growing and fast paced business. Afterward, the students joined Grimes and his team members, Clint Lloyd ’08, Stephanie Murr ’12 and Liz Ferrell (BA '01), for a more casual gathering at a local restaurant.

This visit was part of a new program, developed and managed by Chris Bagley 1L and the SBA alumni affairs committee, which is designed to connect small groups of students with practicing alumni in their fields of interest. The students visit the alumni in their place of business, have the opportunity to learn more about their practice, ask questions, and complete the visit with a casual gathering over food or drinks following the session.

Additional programs Bagley organized in the 2013-24 academic year include:

  • Private Practice in a Changing Economy, with Gene Jones ’97, partner, Morningstar Law Group
  • Trucking Injury Defense, with Kevin Chignell ’95, managing partner, trucking litigator, and personal injury defense attorney, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein L.L.P.
  • Practicing in Energy and Regulatory Fields, with Michael Youth ’00, general counsel, N.C. Sustainable Energy Association. (Youth, who practices mainly before the N.C. Utilities Commission on the association's behalf, also arranged for N.C. Utilities Commission chairman Ed Finley ’74 to join him and the students for the afternoon.)

It would appear Bagley’s efforts paid off for all students and alumni involved. Among other benefits, Bagley says that one of the students involved in the field trip lined up an internship at Strata Solar for this summer. “I like to think that our meeting helped facilitate that,” Bagley said.

For more information or to share ideas for future sessions, contact crbagley@live.unc.edu.

-April 22, 2014

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