Young Lawyers Division
Leadership 2020-21


YLD Chair

YLD Vice Chair

Courtney L. Ballard


YLD Secretary/Treasurer

Stephen Guardipee


YLD Community Service Committee Chair
Taylor Goodnight

YLD Connectivity Committee Chair
Shantia Coley


YLD Education Committee Chair
Austin Backus


YLD Legal Assistance Committee Chair
Andrew Vining

YLD Membership Committee Chair
Patrick D. Finn Jr.

YLD Social Committee Chair
Kevin Sweat





P. Barrett Morris, Chair


As the MCB fiscal year draws to a close, so is my time as the Chair of the MCB Young Lawyers Division. I am incredibly proud of the members of the YLD as they continue to make the YLD one of the most successful and hardest working pieces of the Mecklenburg County Bar.  The YLD promotes the MCB’s goals everyday through the hard work and professionalism of our members. 
This year, YLD members built houses and drafted wills for Habitat for Humanity, worked the food pantry and answered legal questions at the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, served food and answered legal questions for residents at the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, provided Christmas gifts and necessities to local families through the Salvation Army, answered legal questions for women at the Salvation Army Center for Hope, donated pet food to the Charlotte Humane Society and answered legal questions for pet owners at the Charlotte Humane Society.  YLD members were so willing to volunteer and serve the community this year that we were overwhelmed with support on occasion and had to close our requests for volunteers.  In my six years with the YLD, I cannot recall a similar instance.
YLD members also enjoyed networking at new locations around Charlotte and we were fortunate enough to offer members a joint networking social with the North Carolina Bar Association’s YLD section at the Charlotte Knights home-opener.  YLD members also stepped-up to develop and coordinate two CLEs, which were offered to members at no additional charge or at discounted rates.  Because of our members, we were able to offer one hour of mental health/substance abuse credit and one hour of CLE learning from legal leaders on the bench as part of their YLD membership.  Both of these CLEs would not have been possible but for YLD members reaching out to the YLD Council and offering ideas of new ways to serve our members. 
I would also like to express my deep gratitude to the MCB staff and members of the YLD Council who volunteered countless hours to provide YLD members with value, opportunities for public service and a little bit of networking and fun.  It is important to note that all of this was achieved while YLD Council members welcomed three new babies and celebrated two marriages.  However, apologies to the YLD Council for forcing them out of bed early to attend our monthly meetings, but think of all the money we saved on lunches!
I am aware that, despite increasing the YLD’s membership this year, only one-third of eligible YLD members are active members.  I hope that folks who have decided not to join the YLD will reach out to the YLD Council, other YLD members and/or the MCB staff to continue sharing ways the YLD can earn your membership.  The MCB YLD provides an excellent opportunity for new attorneys to grow into leaders, and all members should have that opportunity. 
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting folks for early morning coffee or for happy hour to discuss how the YLD can continue to improve.  I know that the new group of leaders on the YLD Council will continue the tradition of being open and responsive to YLD members and non-members’ thoughts and ideas.
The state of the MCB YLD is very strong.  It continues to grow, provide public service and champion professionalism for new attorneys to the Mecklenburg County Bar.  It was an absolute pleasure and a humbling honor to serve as your Chair.
If you have any questions about the YLD or this article, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at


Young Lawyers Division