Mecklenburg Bar Foundation
McMillan Fellowship Fund Committee


The Hon. 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



2019-20 Chair
Erik A. Lindahl
2019-20 Vice Chair
Erin Taylor

2019-20 Members

E. Osborne Ayscue Jr. Heryka Knoespel
Natalia M. Botella Maria G. B. Long
Marion A. Cowell Jr. Spencer B. Merriweather III
George Daly Raymond E. Owens Jr.
Marc S. Gentile Sonya Pfeiffer
John W. Gresham Randel E. Phillips
Lambert Guinn Thomas Powers
Katherine S. Holliday Ty Shaffer
Sarah F. Hutchins Mandana Vidwan


Interim Staff Liaison
Leah Campbell, Interim Executive Director -

Volunteer Need / Commitment

Members of this committee coordinates the annual McMillan Fellowship Fund Dinner and select and support summer fellowships to law students interested in pursuing a career with nonprofit or government agencies in Mecklenburg County.  Interested in joining this committee?  Please contact the staff liaison, Leah Campbell, via email at


2018 Brings Another Successful McMillan Dinner

The Mecklenburg Bar Foundation’s (MBF’s) McMillan Fellowship Committee administers and raises money for the McMillan Fellowship program, which awards stipends 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 MBF, 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, some 112 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.

These Fellowships are primarily funded through the annual McMillan Dinner, which was held this year on February 27 at The Terrace at Cedar Hill. This Dinner marked the eleventh year of the McMillan Committee’s fruitful collaboration with the Mecklenburg County Bar’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. The McMillan Fellowship Committee and the Diversity & Inclusion Committee would like to thank Bank of America; Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft; Duke Energy Corporation; James, McElroy & Diehl; K&L Gates; Lincoln Derr; McGuireWoods; Moore & Van Allen; Robinson Bradshaw; Tin Fulton Walker & Owen; Troutman Sanders; U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina; and Wells Fargo & Company for their generous support of the 2018 McMillan Dinner.

The evening featured a keynote address from Glenda Gilmore, the Peter V. and C. Vann Woodward Professor of History, African American Studies, and American Studies at Yale University and award-winning author of many publications, including Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920 and Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950. Glenda’s remarks provided a fascinating history of Judge McMillan’s life and put into context North Carolina’s education system at the time of his landmark ruling in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.

The Dinner was also the setting for the eleventh 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 Judge Albert Diaz.

Thanks to the 2017-18 McMillan Committee for their efforts in making this year’s dinner a success: Katie Holliday, Chair, Faith Fickling, Vice Chair, Ozzie Ayscue, Marion Cowell, George Daly, John Gresham, Erik Lindahl, Maria Long, Spencer Merriweather, Ray Owens, Sonya Pfeiffer, Randy Phillips, Erin Taylor and Mandana Vidwan.