Mecklenburg Bar Foundation

McMillan Fellowship Fund Committee


The 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. 




John W. Gresham













E. Osborne Ayscue Jr.

Faith A. Fickling


Gretchen L. Caldwell

Kathrine S. Holliday 


Marion A. Cowell Jr.

Erik A. Lindahl


George Daly

Maria Long


L. Max Diaz II 

Raymond E. Owens Jr.


Randel Phillips            Sonya Pfeiffer  


Staff Liason

Leah R. Campbell





Interested in joining this committee?  E-mail the chair(s) and staff liaison.




Another Successful McMillan Fellowship Fund Dinner

By J. Melissa Woods, Chair


The Mecklenburg Bar Foundation’s McMillan Fellowship Committee administers and raises money for the McMillan Fellowships, which are awarded 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 Mecklenburg Bar Foundation, the 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, 73 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.


The Committee is pleased to announce that this year’s McMillan Fellowship program was able to award $17,000 in Fellowships to the following six agencies in support of eight McMillan Fellows: Council for Children’s Rights, International House, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office, the U. S. Attorney’s Office and the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The 2014 Fellows and the projects on which they worked will be featured in the Mecklenburg Bar News later this summer.


These Fellowships are primarily funded through the annual McMillan Fellowship Fund Dinner, which was held on February 27 at Byron’s South End. This Dinner marked the seventh year of our Committee’s successful collaboration with the Mecklenburg County Bar’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. The McMillan Fellowship Committee and the Diversity & Inclusion Committee would like to thank Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft; Charlotte School of Law; K & L Gates; McGuireWoods; Moore & Van Allen; Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson; Tin Fulton Walker & Owen; and Wells Fargo Legal Department for their generous support of the 2014 McMillan Fellowship Fund Dinner.


The Dinner featured a keynote address from Gene R. Nichol and was the setting for the seventh 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 Elisa Chinn-Gary. You may learn more about the 2014 Diversity Champion in the April edition of the Mecklenburg Bar News.


Thanks to the 2014 McMillan Committee for their efforts in making this year’s Dinner a success: E. Osborne Ayscue Jr., Gretchen L. Caldwell, Marion A. Cowell Jr., George S. Daly Jr., Faith A. Fickling, John W. Gresham, Katherine S. Holliday, Erik A. Lindahl, Maria G. B. Long, Lawana J. McAllister, Spencer B. Merriweather III, Raymond E. Owens Jr., Randel E. Phillips and J. Melissa Woods. The Committee thanks MBF Director of Development Leah Reed Campbell for her able administrative support for the Dinner and this year’s activities.