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2014 - 15 Law & Society Committee


The Law & Society Committee arranges a speaker of interest to the public and the legal profession for the annual Law & Society Luncheon, including presentation of the Ayscue Professionalism Award that recognizes a current or former MCB member for exemplary professionalism through outstanding service to the MCB and the community. Event proceeds benefit the MBF.



2014-15 Chair

2014-15 Vice-Chair

Alice C. Richey

Stacey C. Cordes



Class of 2015

Class of 2016

 Class of 2017

Hon. Kimberly Best-Staton

 Brian E. Koontz

Ann M. Allen

Leslie A. Pedernales

Tanisha Locke

Cary B. Davis

Melissa A. Romanzo

Pax Sinsangkeo

Kenneth I. Helfing

Noell P. Tin

Michelle S. Spak

W. Grayson Lambert

Staff Liaison

Leah Campbell, Director of Foundation Development -  


Interested in joining this committee? Complete the committee interest form.



Committee Documents/Links

Law & Society

Ayscue Professionalism Award

2013-14 Law & Society Committee Report

Bryan Stevenson Addresses Challenges of Equal Justice at Law & Society Luncheon

Brad Kutrow, Chair & Alice Richey,Vice-Chair


Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama and a nationally-recognized advocate for juveniles, death row prisoners and the mentally ill and disabled, presented the 2013-14 Law & Society Lecture on November 13, 2013. He offered a compelling and personal perspective on issues of justice and injustice for the disadvantaged in our society. 


Addressing the second-largest audience in Law & Society history, Mr. Stevenson reflected on how the collective identity of the legal profession is implicated in the ways in which the poor and disadvantaged access the court system in one of the richest, most prosperous nations in the world. One of the goals of the EJI is to eradicate the current system of mass incarceration. Stevenson reported that in 1972, the United States had 300,000 people in the prison system. By 2012, that number had jumped to 2.3 million, the highest incarceration rate in the world. Stevenson reflected that this type of system leads to a permeating sense of hopelessness and despair in communities around the country, citing that in some parts of the country, one in three black men between the ages of 18 and 30 is either in jail, in prison, on probation or on parole. Mr. Stevenson said that it is his belief that “…injustice persists where hopelessness resides.”  He also discussed the role that wealth plays in the legal system, noting that in many instances “wealth, not culpability, shapes outcomes.” He went on to say that “the opposite of poverty is not wealth—in many places, the opposite of poverty is justice.”  Mr. Stevenson concluded his lecture by challenging those in attendance to be more courageous and to be willing to face the difficult issues of suffering, poverty and injustice in our society, saying he believes that ultimately the character of the legal profession and our society will not be judged by its wealth, but rather by its treatment of the poor.


Proceeds of the annual Law & Society Luncheon go to support the good works of the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation, including grants to support local nonprofit organizations and the charitable and educational initiatives of the Bar. This year’s luncheon raised over $44,000 to support projects and organizations with a legal nexus in our community.


In addition to the compelling keynote address, this year’s luncheon also featured the presentation of the Ayscue Professionalism Award, given this year to Robert C. Sink of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson.

The Mecklenburg County Bar and Mecklenburg Bar Foundation would like to thank our sponsors for their generous support of the 2013-14 Law & Society Luncheon and all who attended. This year’s sponsors were:

Platinum Sponsor ($5,000)

Charlotte School of Law

Moore & Van Allen PLLC

Gold Sponsors ($2,500)

Alston & Bird LLP

Compass Group USA Legal Department

Duke Energy

Hunton & Williams

King & Spalding LLP

McGuireWoods LLP

Nexsen Pruet, PLLC

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP

Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A.

UTC Aerospace Systems

Wells Fargo & Co. Legal Department

Winston & Strawn LLP

Wishart Norris Henninger & Pittman, PA

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC


Silver Sponsors ($1,000)

Association of Corporate Counsel-Charlotte Chapter

Hamilton Stephens Steele & Martin, PLLC

Horack Talley PA

James, McElroy & Diehl, P.A.

Johnston, Allison & Hord, P.A.

K&L Gates

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP


Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, PLLC

The Van Winkle Law Firm


Contributor Sponsors ($500)

Alexander Ricks PLLC

C. DeWitt Foard & Company, PA

Carolina Legal Staffing

Essex Richards, P.A.

Paragon Bank 

Special thanks goes to the 2013-14 Law & Society Committee for making this year’s Luncheon one of the most successful ever: Brad Kutrow, Chair; Alice Richey, Vice Chair; Hon. Kimberly Best-Staton; Debbie Edney; Ken Helfing; Brian Koontz; Brandon Lofton; Tin Nguyen; Leslie Pedernales; Claire Rauscher; Melissa Romanzo; Pax Sinsangkeo; Michelle Spak; and Noell Tin.



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Upcoming MCB Events

5-29-15 YLD Spring Social
Join the MCB YLD for drinks and networking at Sugar Creek Brewing Company.

6-4-15 Swearing-In Ceremony
All MCB members are invited to attend the Ceremony, RSVP required.

6-5-15 YLD Working Mothers Luncheon
Informal networking luncheon for working attorney mothers to discuss relevant topics in an unstructured atmosphere.


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