MCB Announcements

Ayscue Professionalism Award Nominations Now Open

The Mecklenburg Bar Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2020-21 Ayscue Professionalism Award. Entries should include a letter of nomination as well as the nominee's bio and/or resume. Nominations are due on or before Wednesday, October 21, 2020, to The award will be presented at this year's virtual Law & Society Luncheon.

The Mecklenburg Bar Foundation's Ayscue Professionalism Award is presented each year to a present or former member(s) of the Mecklenburg County Bar. The award may be given to more than one Bar member in a year for outstanding work done together on a specific project or if the work they do is inextricably linked. Its purpose is to recognize exemplary professionalism, as broadly defined.

Criteria may include one or more of the following:

  • Outstanding service through or on behalf of the Mecklenburg County Bar or the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation for the benefit of the legal community or the community at large.
  • Substantial and significant service to the community, to the Bar, or to the justice system, whether on the basis of lifetime contributions or a specific project.
  • Embodiment of the traits to which all attorneys should aspire: high ethical standards, model conduct, unquestioned integrity, and consistent competence.

Nominations Sought for Julius L. Chambers Diversity Champion Award

The Julius L. Chambers Diversity Champion Award is presented each year by the Mecklenburg County Bar through its Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Its purpose is to recognize an attorney who champions diversity and inclusion in Mecklenburg County while embodying high ethical standards, unquestioned integrity and consistent competence. Nominations are due on or before Friday, November 6, 2020, and should be addressed to members of the MCB Diversity & Inclusion Committee, sent to or 2850 Zebulon Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28208. The award will be presented to the selected recipient at the McMillan Fund Fellowship Dinner.

Nominees must be attorneys based in Mecklenburg County who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and impact in the following areas:

  • Diversity within the Bar - through facilitation of recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion of diverse individuals in the legal profession.
  • Community Service - through provision of outstanding service and education to the community about diversity and inclusion.
  • Ambassador for Diversity and Inclusion Programs - through promotion of behaviors and initiatives associated with diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and through the Mecklenburg County Bar  
  • Advancement in Law - through legal work that had embraced and propelled the ideal of diversity and inclusion.  

The Award is fittingly named after its first honoree, the distinguished civil rights attorney Julius L. Chambers. Mr. Chambers represented the plaintiffs in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school desegregation case Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.

Help the YLD Education Committee!

The YLD Education Committee is creating a "day in the life" video series as a way to increase awareness, understanding and knowledge of what being an attorney is actually like. To that end, the Committee is seeking volunteers to be featured in the video. In particular, we are looking for attorneys who practice in the following environments:

  • Private practice
  • Government (including prosecutors and public defenders)
  • In-House Counsel
  • Non-profit

The people featured in the videos will give brief explanations of their day-to-day lives as attorneys and speak generally about what its like to practice law in their work environment. More detailed questions will be provided before shooting the video.

If this is something you are interested in, please reach out to Austin Backus ( for further information.

Mental Health Resources

Greetings Colleagues,

After more than five months of dealing with the changes, disappointments, limitations, and uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, all of us are experiencing more stress and anxiety in our professional and personal lives than perhaps ever before. Practicing law is a difficult and demanding occupation in its own right; when the complexities of living through a pandemic are added to the mix, there is a real potential for ourselves and our colleagues at the bar to suffer more from anxiety, depression, alcohol or drug problems, and burnout. Left unaddressed, these troubles will detrimentally impact our personal lives, our families, and our ability to represent clients and serve the justice system.

There are resources available to help you weather the storm and build resilience in the process. The State Bar’s Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) is a place to start. The program maintains a comprehensive list of resources on topics from “Stress, Anxiety, Grief & Resilience During the Public Health Crisis” to “Staying Busy and Healthy while Social Distancing.” Check out the Resource Guide and the Mental and Emotional Well-Being Toolkit

Sidebar is the e-newsletter of the LAP. The most frequently visited Sidebar articles on coping during COVID-19 have been compiled. Take a break from your commitments to read an article.

The LAP also has licensed counselors who provide counseling, crisis management, intervention assistance, assessments, referrals to outside resources (such as therapists and treatment centers), long-term aftercare case management and follow up, on-going support, or just a safe space to discuss your issues. Contact the LAP today.

Self-care is critical to our well-being and to our competency as lawyers. We must also remember our responsibilities to our colleagues at the bar. If you know a lawyer who is struggling, please direct the lawyer to the resources mentioned above and, if appropriate, contact the LAP to give an anonymous and confidential referral. 

Our excellent North Carolina professional associations, including the NC Bar Association and the NC Advocates for Justice, also have resources to help their members during this uniquely challenging time. Check out the Bar Association’s resource page and its BarCARES program; and the Advocates’ resource page. Laura Mahr’s website, Conscious Legal Minds, also has resources available. Finally, the CDC’s website page on coping with job stress and building resilience during COVID-19 is also helpful.

Stay safe and take care of your health, including your mental health.

Alice Neece Mine
Executive Director

MCB President Heath Gilbert Announces Justice Access Initiative

At the May 21, 2020, MCB Annual Meeting, now MCB President Heath Gilbert announced the creation of the Justice Access Initiative to prepare recommendations on how to move the legal profession forward and provide meaningful access to justice in a post-pandemic world. Click here for more information.