On January 1, 2016, Betty Temple will become Womble Carlyle’s new Chair, succeeding Keith Vaughan, who has been in the firm’s top leadership spot since 2000.

As she prepares to assume the helm of the 550-attorney, 14-office firm, Temple recently sat down with North Carolina/South Carolina Lawyers Weekly for an in-depth interview on her career, her life outside of work and her goals for Womble Carlyle’s future.

Temple, who has been with Womble Carlyle since starting her legal career in 1989, says, “It’s not like a company where they’ll hire a CEO from the outside who has to come in and learn the company and learn the people — I know the company really well and I know our business really well, so it’s been really exciting.”

On the future: “I think our firm is well-positioned in the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic. We’re in markets that are largely predicted to grow pretty dramatically in the next couple of decades, but even with that growth there are challenges ahead. I think clients really want value out of their outside service providers, and lawyers fit right in there. They want to make sure that at the end of the day they’re receiving value for the significant cost of outside legal assistance.”