Volunteer Attorney Mentors Needed for 2015-16 School Year



The MCB Diversity & Inclusion committee is currently seeking volunteer attorneys who are interested in making a difference in the life of a young person by mentoring a student in the Lunch with a Lawyer program.


Through a partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), lawyers will serve as mentors to eighth graders throughout the 2015-16 school year.  Mentors will meet with their paired mentee at least once a month for lunch, serving as a positive role model and providing the student with a window into the legal profession. Participating students, who are recommended by their principals and represent a broad range of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, are considering a future legal career.



All new volunteer attorneys will need to attend a program orientation on Tues., September 22 from 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the Bar & Foundation Center to discuss program expectations and to review tips for establishing a beneficial mentoring relationship. Additionally, new volunteer attorneys will be required to submit to a background check before being matched with a CMS student. The program officially celebrates its kick-off with a luncheon on Tues., October 13 from 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. at Marie G. Davis Global and Military Academy at the beginning of the new school year. Here, students, their parents, and school administrators will meet their attorney mentors and listen to guest speakers from the community.  



Since 2006, when The Honorable Albert Diaz spearheaded Lunch with a Lawyer, the MCB has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from lawyers and students who have participated in this program in the past, many of whom have formed relationships that will endure for years to come.  If you or your colleagues are interested in serving in the 2015-16 Lunch with a Lawyer program, please contact Amina DeBurst at adeburst@meckbar.org or fill out the form below.



Lunch with a Lawyer Volunteer Form



Frequently Asked Questions


Q:  Who is eligible to be a LwL mentor?

A:  All Mecklenburg County Bar members.


Q:   How do I sign up?

A:   E-mail Amina DeBurst, adeburst@meckbar.organd indicate your interest in the Lunch with a Lawyer program. You will be asked to undergo a routine background check administered by CMS before you are allowed to enter your assigned school.


Q:   What does a LwL mentor do?

A:   LwL is designed to educate students from diverse backgrounds (racially, ethnically and socioeconomically) about the different aspects of the legal profession. Our mentors are extremely valuable and serve as a representative of our local legal community.


      Over the course of the school year we ask our mentors to foster and sustain meaningful relationships with their assigned mentee. Conversations and time spent together do not have to focus solely on discussing what it means to be a lawyer. Our mentor-mentee relationships are designed help CMS students learn about future opportunities they may not have considered.


Q:   What is the time commitment to be a mentor?

A:   LwL mentors usually donate between 10-15 hours of their time throughout the school year. The mentor time requirements are outlined below:





 Estimated Time

 Attend LwL New Mentor Orientation at the Bar
& Foundation Center

 Tues., Sept. 22
12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

 1.5 Hours

 Attend LwL Kickoff Luncheon at Marie
G. Davis Global and Military Leadership Academy 

 Tues., Oct. 13
12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

 1.5 Hours

 Meet with mentee once a month for lunch

 October - May

 8 Hours

 Accompany mentee for an end-of-year tour of the
Mecklenburg County Courthouse

 May or June 2016

 2 Hours





Q:   What do I talk to my mentee about?

A:   It's normal to be nervous. Fortunately, our CMS partners are well equipped to prepare you on how to interact with your student. CMS representatives cover tips and techniques on how to begin the relationship with your assigned mentee at our LwL Mentor Training.  In addition, our LwL alumni mentors are always available to provide advice and guidance. 


Q:   Will my student be from a school close to my work?

A:   We will attempt accommodate your location preferences, but cannot guarantee all requests will be met.


Q:   My days are fairly busy - can I meet my mentee for breakfast?

A:   The logistics of when and where you meet with your student are determined between you, your student and the school administration. Participating CMS middle schools are often willing to work with our mentors' schedules.


Q: Do we have to meet at my mentee's school for lunch?

A:   Mentors may take their mentees off campus for lunch if they have secured the appropriate transportation and parental paperwork. Please discuss this option with your student's administrator. They will be able to provide you with the appropriate required documents.


Q:   Will I be paired with a same-sex mentee?

A:   For both our mentors and mentees to truly benefit from the LwL relationship both must be comfortable with one another to engage in meaningful dialogue. Therefore, the LwL program attempts to match its attorney volunteers with mentees of the same sex. However, depending on our volunteer size and student participation we cannot always guarantee a same sex match. We will always seek permission from our mentors before matching him/her with a student of the opposite sex.


Q:   How are the students selected to participate in the program?

A:   Selected students, who are recommended by their principals, are considering a future legal career and exhibit outstanding scholastic achievement. Each CMS middle school is contacted by the office of CMS Global Studies, World Languages & Study Abroad Programs to recruit mentees to the program. Principals are asked to identify two outstanding students to participate.


Q:   How do I sign-up my rising eighth grade student to participate in LwL?

A:   CMS is responsible for the outreach and recruitment of LwL mentees from participating middle schools. To learn more about how your student can participate please contact  Ann Brown Friday, Global Studies Specialist, at ana.brown@cms.k12.nc.us. Two students from each middle school are recommended by the principal.