Diversity & Inclusion Committee

 

The Diversity & Inclusion Committee examines the extent to which MCB and legal entities have successfully incorporated lawyers from traditionally underrepresented groups in their organization. The committee provides recommendations for addressing matters related to diversity and inclusion; and proposes methods for measuring the success of efforts to address these issues. The committee also implements programming for members, the community as well as pipelining opportunities.

 


 

 Members

 

 

2013-14 Chair

2013-14 Vice-Chair

William P. Farthing, Jr.

Corie Pauling

704/335-9014 

704/988-3197

billfarthing@parkerpoe.com 

cpauling@tiaa-cref.org 

 

 

Class of 2014

Class of 2015

Class of 2016

Terrie V. Hagler-Gray

Tania N. Archer

Amanda L. Groves

Hon. Ty M. Hands

Carol A. Hitselberger

Tin Nguyen

M. Janelle Lyons

Jose M. Luis

Kenneth L. Miller

Chara M. O'Neale

Reggie McKnight

Faith A. Fickling

Cecilia Oseguera

Andrew L. Nesbitt

Hon. Louis A. Trosch

Anna F. Schleunes

Shalanna L. Pirtle

Gregory R. Kilpatrick

Felicia A. Washington

D. Blaine Sanders

Mica Nguyen Worthy

Laurie A. Watts

 

Staff Liaison

Amina DeBurst, Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator - adeburst@meckbar.org or 704/375-8624

 

Meeting schedule


Subcommittees

 

Bench, Bar and Community Subcommittee

Charlotte Legal Diversity Clerkship Subcommittee

Law Firm/Legal Department Subcommittee

Outreach Subcommittee


Volunteer Need / Commitment

Members of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee attend bi-monthly committee meetings, write newsletter articles, implement programming in accordance with the Call to Action plan, evaluate diversity initiative effectiveness and discuss ways to better serve MCB.  Interested in joining this committee or one of its subcommittees? Complete the committee interest form.

 

 

MCB Diversity and Inclusion Committee, 2012-2013 Report

By Felicia A. Washington, Chair & William P. Farthing Jr., Vice-Chair

The Mecklenburg County Bar Diversity and Inclusion Committee had an active and productive 2012-13 year. Thanks to the efforts of the dedicated Committee members, the Committee continued to sustain the diversity pipeline and become more focused and intentional about shaping future efforts, including changing the name of the committee:

Adopted at the August 2012 MCB Board of Directors Meeting

Formerly:          Special Committee on Diversity

Currently:          Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The committee's meetings were focused on honing in on the statement of purpose to understand its relevance. The committee dissected each bullet to ensure that the committee's actions were aligned to its purpose.

The Committee's work is executed through its four active subcommittees:

Bench, Bar, and Community Subcommittee

The Bench and Bar Subcommittee, led by the Hon. Rickye McKoy-Mitchell, made great strides in collaboration this year through the following innovative programming:

1. Created a new and unique collaborative Continuing Legal Education program known as "Lets Talk". This four part series worked closely with the MCB sections, divisions and affinity bars. The CLE provided greater access to the bench for members by providing a smaller, yet intimate environment to effectively communicate with Judges and attorneys within their practice area. Additionally, the series provided valuable educational perspectives from District, Superior and Federal Court Judges and court personnel.

2. The Lunch with a Lawyer program -- an award winning pipeline program of the Bench, Bar and Community Subcommittee -- showed a 28% participation increase, rising from 54 students to 75 students. The program afforded 8th grade students monthly one-on-one meetings with attorney mentors, and a tour of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse with the Hon. Albert Diaz at the close of the school year held on Thursday, June 6, 2013. 

3. The subcommittee organized collaborative, community engagement project known as the Tom Hunter Park clean-up and legal clinic on Saturday, April 13, 2013. This effort was held in collaboration with the MCB's YLD, MCB's Community Service Committee, Affinity Bars, Parks and Recreation, and the Hidden Valley community association. The event was sponsored by Charlotte School of Law and yielded over 50 volunteers and clients. The park clean-up cleared overgrown brush and re-mulched a wooded area. The legal clinic occurred simultaneously with park clean up and covered four areas of law: Civil, Criminal, Employment and Family.

4. In February, the subcommittee presented the 2013 Julius L. Chambers Diversity Champion Award to Georgia J. Lewis.  The Award celebrates individuals who have advanced the cause of diversity and equal opportunity in our community.

Charlotte Legal Diversity Clerkship Subcommittee

Six stellar first-year law students joined the ranks of Charlotte law firms and legal departments this summer through the Charlotte Legal Diversity Clerkship (CLDC) program.  The program received more than 90 applications from more than 40 law schools across the country for the highly competitive positions. During the students' 12-week stay, the CLDC clerks will participate in professional and social activities highlighting the benefits of working and living in Charlotte.  The 2013 CLDC program features luncheons with members of our judiciary, local and state government, a theatrical performance and a trip to the U.S. National Whitewater Center. The participating law firms and legal departments include: Alston & Bird, LLP; Bank of America Legal; Compass USA, Inc.; Duke Energy Progress Legal Department; K&L Gates; Mayer Brown LLP; McGuireWoods; Moore & Van Allen; Parker, Poe, Adams & Bernstein; Piedmont Natural Gas; Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson; TIAA-CREF; Time Warner Cable; and Wells Fargo & Company Legal

Community Outreach Subcommittee

On February 15 2013, the Community Outreach Subcommittee hosted its eighth annual Diversity Day conference at Johnson C. Smith University, Grimes Lounge.  The program provided students from a wide range of age groups the opportunity to learn about the roles lawyers have in society.  Keynote speaker Reginald L. Shuford, executive director at the American Civil Liberties Union in Pennsylvania, encouraged attending students to give careful consideration to a career in the law, as it can be challenging, exciting, and fulfilling. He stated, "I always enjoy speaking with young people, particularly students of color contemplating legal careers.  If my speech inspired even one person to pursue a career in the law, then it will have been a success."

Representatives from all nine law schools were present to provide perspectives and information to inquiring students. MCB volunteer attorneys attended the conference to talk about their professional experiences with students during lunch.

Law Firm and Legal Department Subcommittee

The Law Firm and Legal Department Subcommittee continued its second year of Apex-- a formal mentoring curriculum designed to advance minority mid-level associates within signatory organizations.  The program matched eligible signatory associate mentees with senior in-house counsel mentors.  APEX participants met quarterly for either a reception or luncheon at a host law firm to network and gain insight on successful business development tips.

The Annual Meeting of Signatories was held on November 12, 2012 at Foundation for the Carolinas. It hosted a dynamic "roundtable-style" panel, including Dr. Ronald Carter of Johnson C. Smith University, Brett Carter of Duke Energy Corporation and Jane Lewis-Raymond of Piedmont Natural Gas.

The Law Firm and Legal Department launched its first in a potential series of conversations as a follow-up to the annual meeting of signatories known as the Signatory Diversity Leaders' Roundtable. Managing Partners and Associate/Deputy General Counsels were fully present to discuss the next level of diversity. Topics discussed included current needs or trends within their respective workplaces, effective mentoring, and diversity fatigue.

The committee anticipates another successful year ahead.  We wish to thank our Committee volunteers and local affinity bars their continued support of the MCB's efforts to continue the work towards a more diverse and inclusive legal community.