2015 - 16 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.
Class of 2017
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Heather W. Culp
Landon S. Eustache
Felicia M. Gardner
W. Clark Goodman
Michael R. Hoernlein
Hon. Donald R. Cureton Jr.
Douglas R. Edwards
J. Curtis Griner
Charles E. Johnson
David P. Mitchell
Dulce M. Plaza
Erin K. Taylor
Dexter G. Benoit
Brian S. Cromwell
Sara R. Lincoln
Richard M. McDermott
Mujtaba A. Mohammed
Connie J. Vetter
Lani R. Quarmby
Ann L. Warren
Nancy Roberson, MCB/MBF Executive Director - firstname.lastname@example.org or 704/375-8624
Communications Committee Liasion
Pipeline Programming Subcommittee
Charlotte Legal Diversity Clerkship Subcommittee
Best Practices on Diversity - Bank of America
Best Practices on Diversity - Duke Energy
Best Practices on Diversity - McGuireWoods
Best Practices on Diversity - Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson
Best Practices on Diversity - Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice
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.
2014-15 Diversity & Inclusion Committee Report
Corie Pauling, Chair & Blane Sanders, Vice-Chair
The Mecklenburg County Bar Diversity & Inclusion Committee had an active and productive 2014-15. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated Committee members, the Committee continued to sustain the diversity pipeline and become more focused and intentional about shaping future diversity efforts.
The Committee’s meetings incorporated subject matter experts in the areas of implicit bias, women in the workplace, the Emergence and Expansion of LGBT Civil Rights, and veteran’s rights. This component was instituted to educate committee members and inspire a renewed understanding of and commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. These reports are meant to enable a growing sophistication in diversity programs throughout our legal community.
In February, the committee presented the 2015 Julius L. Chambers Diversity Champion Award to Robert E. Harrington. The Award celebrates individuals who have advanced the cause of diversity and equal opportunity in our community.
The Committee also secured Ingersoll Rand as new corporate signatory.
The Committee’s historical and ongoing work was largely executed through four active subcommittees:
Bench, Bar, and Community Subcommittee
The Bench and Bar Subcommittee, led by the Hon. Louis Trosch and Shalanna Pirtle, made great strides in collaboration this year through the following innovative programming:
1. The Continuing Legal Education program known as the “Let’s Talk” series worked closely with the MCB sections and affinity bars. The CLE focused on implicit bias, providing attorneys with an interactive lecture on Heuristics followed by a panel of District, Superior and Federal Court Judges and court personnel.
2. The Lunch with a Lawyer program — an award winning pipeline program – matched 60 students with mentors. The program affords 8th grade students monthly one-on-one meetings with attorney mentors, a tour of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse and a mock trial on Fri., Jun. 5, with Hon. Albert Diaz.
3. The subcommittee organized a collaborative, community engagement program for the Smallwood/Biddleville community and surrounding neighborhoods. It involved a community celebration after the MCB Cares Post 5K Walk/Run on Sat., June 13th. This effort was hosted in conjunction with the MCB Cares 5K Taskforce, Smallwood/Biddleville Community Association, and the John S. Leary Bar of Black Attorneys.
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 100 applications from more than 30 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 2015 CLDC program features luncheons with members of our state and federal judiciary, breakfast with Mayor Daniel G. Clodfelter, the State of Diversity & Inclusion in the Legal Profession symposium at Bank of America, and a variety of social events that provide ample networking opportunities.
The participating law firms and legal departments include: Alston & Bird; Bank of America Legal; Compass USA, Inc.; Duke Energy Legal; Hunton & Williams; K&L Gates; Mayer Brown; McGuireWoods; Moore & Van Allen; Parker, Poe, Adams & Bernstein; Piedmont Natural Gas; Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson; TIAA-CREF; and Wells Fargo & Company.
Community Outreach Subcommittee
On Sat., Feb. 7, the Community Outreach Subcommittee hosted its tenth annual Increasing Diversity in the Legal Profession conference at the new Bar & Foundation Center. The program provided students from a wide range of age groups the opportunity to learn about the roles lawyers have in society. Keynote speaker Joe Pierce, Vice President and General Counsel of Hornets Sports & Entertainment encouraged attending students to consider a career in the law and elaborated on the qualities essential to success in the profession. Approximately 180 law school, college and high school students were in attendance.
Representatives from all nine law schools in North and South Carolina were present to provide perspectives and information to inquiring students. MCB volunteer attorneys attended the conference to talk about their professional experiences with students.
Law Firm and Legal Department Subcommittee
The Annual Meeting of Signatories was held on Dec. 3 at Bar & Foundation Center. It hosted a reception that included Yves Denize, Deputy General Counsel TIAA-CREF and Vernā Myers, D&I Consultant for Leaders in the Law, as the keynote speaker. The Law Firm and Legal Department is hosting its third annual Diversity Signatory Leaders’ Roundtable as a follow up to the annual meeting of signatories. Managing Partners and General Counsels will be present to discuss diversity topics, including the 2014 Benchmarking report compiled by the Committee, current issues or trends within their respective workplaces, and diversity recruitment and retention.
The Diversity & Inclusion Committee anticipates another successful year ahead. We wish to thank our Signatory Law Firms and Legal Departments for their continued support of the MCB’s efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive legal community.