Hon. James B. McMillan Legal Fellowships

The McMillan Committee of the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2019 McMillan Fellowship program was able to award $27,000 in Fellowships to 11 McMillan Fellows at the following seven agencies: Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Federal Public Defender for the Western District of NC Office, International House, Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office, Mecklenburg County Public Defender’s Office, the U. S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The 2019 Fellows and the projects on which they worked will be featured in the Bar newsletter later this summer. These Fellowships are primarily funded through the annual McMillan Dinner, which was held on February 28, 2019, at Bryon's South End.


James B. McMillan

The deadline for receiving applications for this year's Fellowships is March 2, 2020, at 5 p.m. Applications may be sent to the Mecklenburg County Bar & Foundation Center by mail (McMillan Fellowship, 2850 Zebulon Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28208) or by e-mail (cjulg@meckbar.org, subject line: McMillan Fellowship).

The Hon. James B. McMillan Fellowship Fund was established in 1995 to honor the memory and example of U.S. District Judge James B. McMillan. It is a separate fund of the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation, a non-profit corporation to which contributions are tax-deductible.

The Fund has a goal of promoting justice and innovation within the legal system in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, by awarding fellowships to law students desiring work experience with not-for-profit or governmental agencies. Typically, fellowships are awarded for summer positions, but the Fellowship Committee will consider applications for positions during a semester of the school year.

The committee will make a selection and notify all applicants by March 16, 2020, of the selection of fellows.


Guidelines for Law Students (View the list of participating Mecklenburg County agencies.)

  1. A law student must apply directly to the sponsoring agency that indicates an interest in employing the law student. The sponsoring agency is responsible for submitting the McMillan Fellowship application to the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation.
  2. Applications should include the student's resume, personal statement on student's desire to pursue a career in a nonprofit or government sector and why they want to me a McMillan Fellow; and any additional documents the student wishes the Committee to review. Applications without a resume AND personal statement will not be considered.
  3. A law student must show commitment to public interest service in the legal profession.
  4. The Fund Committee will look favorably on students:
    1. who have lived in Mecklenburg County;
    2. who intend to practice law in Mecklenburg County;
    3. who reflect the cultural diversity of North Carolina and Mecklenburg County;
    4. whose law school and life experiences reflect a desire to have a positive impact on the lives of others as their lives are affected by the legal system and its administration;
    5. who have demonstrated good character and suitable academic performance in law school;
    6. who have submitted a joint application with a nonprofit or governmental agency based in Mecklenburg County.

Guidelines for Agencies Seeking a Fellow (download an application form).

  1. Agencies may submit applications for one student per year.
  2. The Agency must be a not-for-profit or govermental agency.
  3. The Agency must submit a written plan for how it would use the services of the McMillan Fellow.
  4. The Agency must assure that the student's work experience will primarily occur in Mecklenburg County or for a satellite agency in one of the bordering counties that has its headquarters located in Mecklenburg County.
  5. The Fund will look favorably on plans which reflect the following:
    1. that the student could not be hired except for the student being named a McMillan Fellow;
    2. that the student's Fellowship term will be a minimum of eight weeks;
    3. that the student will address a need in the legal system that will otherwise go unmet, and that the student will be properly supervised;
    4. that the student's job will offer innovation to some aspect of the administration of justice in Mecklenburg County or for a satellite agency office in one of the bordering counties that has its headquarters located in Mecklenburg County;
    5. that the quality of the student's job will encourage the student and others to enter fields of law in the public interest;
    6. that the work being undertaken by the student will exemplify the life work and spirit of James B. McMillan by, for example, providing greater access to the justice system for all persons, preventing the use of governmental power in an arbitrary manner, and encouraging the resolution of legal issues through resolution of the larger human and social issues which give rise to them;
    7. that the majority of the work performed will be done in and for residents of Mecklenburg County or for a satellite agency in one of the bordering counties that has its headquarters in Mecklenburg County.
  6. Fellows are permitted to "split" the summer - e.g., working with a private firm for part of the summer and working in a Fellowship-funded public interest position in Mecklenburg County the rest of the summer. However, the length of a Fellow's term with the Agency many impact the award amount.  



The Committee anticipates making individual Fellowship awards of up to, but not to exceed, $3,500.00 per Fellow. A Fellow's term with the Agency must be a minimum of eight weeks to be considered for a full Fellowship amount. Terms of less than eight weeks will result in a pro-rated Fellowship amount.  


If you have any questions about the fellowship or the application process, please feel free to contact Chastity Gamble-Julg at cjulg@meckbar.org or 704/375-8624.