Mecklenburg Bar Foundation
McMillan Fellowship Fund Committee


The Hon. James B. McMillan Fellowship Fund was established in 1995 to honor the memory and example of U.S. District Court Judge James B. McMillan. The Fund annually supports summer fellowships to law students who are chosen to work with nonprofit or government agencies that promote justice and innovation within the legal system in Mecklenburg County. The primary source of financial support for these Fellowships is the annual McMillan Fund Dinner, featuring a keynote speaker and the presentation of the Julius L. Chambers Diversity Champion Award



2020-21 Chair
Erin Taylor
2020-21 Vice Chair
Sarah Hutchins

2020-21 Members

Ozzie Ayscue Maria Long
Natalia Botella Spencer Merriweather
Marion Cowell Ray Owens
Marc Gentile Sonya Pfeiffer
John Gresham Randel Phillips
Lambert Guinn Thomas Powers
Caline Hou Mandana Vidwan
Heryka Knoespel  
Erik Lindahl  


Staff Liaison
Chastity Gamble-Julg, Event & Sponsorship Coordinator -

Volunteer Need / Commitment

Members of this committee coordinates the annual McMillan Fellowship Fund Dinner and select and support summer fellowships to law students interested in pursuing a career with nonprofit or government agencies in Mecklenburg County.  Interested in joining this committee?  Please contact the staff liaison, Chastity Gamble-Julg, via email at


2020 Brings Another Successful McMillan Dinner

The Mecklenburg Bar Foundation’s (MBF’s) McMillan Fellowship Committee administers and raises money for the McMillan Fellowship program, which awards stipends each year to promising law school students pursuing careers in public service work for nonprofit and government agencies in Mecklenburg County.

Established in 1995 as a separate fund of the MBF, the Hon. James B. McMillan Fellowship Fund seeks to support justice and innovation within our local legal system and to encourage law students who might be interested in a career in public interest law in Mecklenburg County. To date, some 129 Fellows have worked at such agencies as Council for Children’s Rights, International House, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. District Court, the Mecklenburg County Public Defender’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office, the Mecklenburg Trial Court Administrator’s Office and Federal Defenders of Western North Carolina.

These Fellowships are primarily funded through the annual McMillan Dinner, which was held this year on Thursday, February 27 at Byron’s South End. This Dinner marked the 13th year of the McMillan Committee’s fruitful collaboration with the Mecklenburg County Bar’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. The McMillan Fellowship Committee and the Diversity & Inclusion Committee would like to thank the Table Sponsors Alston & Bird, Atrium Health, Bank of America, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, Essex Richards, Gardner Skelton, Johnston, Allison & Hord, Katten Muchin Rosenman, McGuireWoods, Moore & Van Allen, North Carolina Bar Foundation, Robinson Bradshaw, Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, Troutman Sanders, West Charlotte Alumni and Womble Bond Dickinson for their generous support of the 2020 McMillan Dinner. In addition to the Table Sponsors, they’d also like to thank the Individual Sponsors for their generous support Linda & Fred Hicks, Katie Holliday & De Kirkpatrick, Tammie & Lou Lesesne, Becky & Erik Lindahl, Lucy & Anthony Martinez, Nelson Mullins Riley &

Scarborough, Martha & Tommy Odom, Sally Higgins & Ray Owens, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, Emily & Randy Phillips, Rudolf Widenhouse, Maria Long & Rob Smith and John R. Wester.

The evening featured a distinguished panel of experts discussing the topic, “A Conversation on School Integration in Mecklenburg County.” The panel provided a fascinating discussion on school integration in Mecklenburg County and how it was affected by the three historic cases: Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education in 1971, Leandro v. State of North Carolina in 1997 and Capacchione v Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education in 1999.

The dinner was also the setting for the 13th annual presentation of the Julius L. Chambers Diversity Champion Award, which celebrates persons who have advanced the cause of diversity and equal opportunity in our community. The Award was presented this year to Judge Jane V. Harper.

Thanks to the 2019-20 McMillan Committee for their efforts in making this year’s dinner a success: Erik Lindahl, Chair, Erin Taylor, Vice Chair, Ozzie Ayscue, Natalia Botella, Marion Cowell, George Daly, Marc Gentile, John Gresham, Lambert Guinn, Katherine Holliday, Sarah Hutchins, Heryka Knoespel, Maria Long, Spencer Merriweather, Raymond Owens, Sonya Pfeiffer, Randel Phillips, Thomas Powers, Ty Shaffer and Mandana Vidwan.