Law & Society Committee


The Law & Society Committee arranges a speaker of interest to the public and the legal profession for the annual Law & Society Luncheon, including presentation of the Ayscue Professionalism Award that recognizes a current or former Mecklenburg County Bar (MCB) member for exemplary professionalism through outstanding service to the MCB and the community.  Event proceeds benefit the MBF.




2019-20 Chair 2019-20 Vice Chair
Erin J. Illman
Keith Atkinson


Class of 2020 Class of 2021 Class of 2022
Shantia J. Coley
Natalie S. Hilmandolar
Emma C. Merritt
David H. Jones
Lauren V. Lewis
Harrison A. Lord
Kathleen K. Lucchesi
James R. Cass
Alexandra S. Davidson
Matthew F. Tilley

Staff Liaison

Leah Campbell, Interim Executive Director -


Volunteer Need / Commitment

Members of the Law & Society Committee attend committee meetings as needed March - November. Primary responsibilities include selecting and securing a keynote speaker, soliciting firm sponsors, determining format and program of the event and promoting the Luncheon.


Committee Documents/Links

Ayscue Professionalism Award


2017-18 Law & Society Committee Report
Alice K. Moore, Chair & Ty E. Shaffer, Vice-Chair


Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, was the keynote speaker at the 28th Annual Law & Society Luncheon on November 9, 2017. Mr. Noorani gave a timely and insightful presentation on the people he met and the lessons he learned while doing research for his book There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration. Mr. Noorani interviewed nearly sixty local and national leaders across the nation, finding voices in faith, law enforcement, and business communities to paint a nuanced picture of America that looks beyond the blaring headlines to understand how communities across the country are confronting immigration and the changing nature of the American identity.        

Mr. Noorani grew up in California as the son of Pakistani immigrants and quickly learned how to forge alliances among people of wide-ranging backgrounds, a skill that has served him extraordinarily well as one of the nation’s most innovative coalition builders. In 2015, Mr. Noorani was named a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He holds a Master’s in Public Health from Boston University and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Noorani lives in Washington, D.C., serving in his role as Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, an advocacy organization promoting the value of immigrants and immigration.  

In addition to the compelling keynote address, this year’s luncheon also featured the presentation of the Ayscue Professionalism Award. This year’s award went to Edward G. Connette of Essex Richards.

Proceeds of the annual Law & Society Luncheon go to support the good works of the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation, including grants to support local nonprofit organizations and the charitable and educational initiatives of the Bar. This year’s luncheon was incredibly successful, with over $40,000 raised to support projects and organizations with a legal nexus in our community.

The Mecklenburg County Bar and Mecklenburg Bar Foundation would like to thank our sponsors for their generous support of the 2017-18 Law & Society Luncheon and all who attended. The 2017 sponsors were:


Gold Sponsors ($2,500)
Alan Gordon Immigration Law
Alston & Bird LLP
Bank of America
Essex Richards P.A.
Hunton & Williams
James, McElroy & Diehl, P.A.
Johnston, Allison & Hord, P.A.
K&L Gates
McGuireWoods LLP
Moore & Van Allen PLLC
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP
Poyner Spruill LLP
Robinson Bradshaw
Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP

Silver Sponsors ($1,000)
Compass Group USA, Inc.
Duke Energy Law Department
Gardner Skelton, PLLC
Hamilton Stephens Steele & Martin, PLLC
Horack Talley PA
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
King & Spalding LLP

Contributor Sponsors ($500)
C. DeWitt Foard & Company, PA
Carolina Legal Staffing LLC
Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm
McAngus, Goudelock & Courie, LLC