Students from across the state gathered in Raleigh on Friday, May 3, as the North Carolina Bar Association observed Law Day 2019. The culminating awards luncheon and all of the Law Week events were conducted by the NCBA Young Lawyers Division and supported financially by the North Carolina Bar Foundation Endowment.
(Click here to view Facebook photo album; photos by Amber Nimocks)
Middle and high school students were recognized for their efforts in essay writing, moot court and speech writing. The finals of the moot court competition were conducted in the morning at the N.C. Supreme Court and the speeches by finalists in the McIntyre Youth Challenge were presented in the Old Senate Chambers of the State Capitol.
Mark Martin, former chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court who now serves as dean of Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, was recognized as the 2019 recipient of NCBA’s Liberty Bell Award, presented annually by the YLD to an individual “who has strengthened the American System of freedom under law.”
Due to a previous commitment, Martin was unable to attend the ceremony. His acceptance remarks were prerecorded at the N.C. Bar Center and presented at the event.
This year’s student winners are:
Junior High (Grades: 6-8)
1st Place: Sophia Johnson, Wilmington Academy of Arts and Sciences
2nd Place: Max Wang, Wilmington Academy of Arts and Sciences
3rd Place: Samin Bhan, Wilmington Academy of Arts and Sciences
High School (Grades: 9-12)
1st Place: Aman Kapoor, Enloe Magnet High School, Raleigh
Moot Court (Grades: 9-12)
Champion: Emma Bass and Monique Ward, Wayne School of Engineering, Goldsboro
Runner-up: Araceli Cooper and Carter Rains, J.H. Rose High School, Greenville
The Moot Court Finals were judged by:
Senior Associate Justice Paul M. Newby, N.C. Supreme Court
Associate Justice Robin E. Hudson, N.C. Supreme Court
Judge John Arrowood, N.C. Court of Appeals
Judge Allegra Collins, N.C. Court of Appeals
Judge Chris Dillon, N.C. Court of Appeals
Judge Toby Hampson, N.C. Court of Appeals
McIntyre Youth Leadership Challenge (Grades 9-12)
Champion: Chantel Gillus, Roanoke Valley Early College High School, Weldon
Runner-up: Aprie’la Warren, Roanoke Valley Early College High School, Weldon
The McIntyre Youth Leadership Challenge strives to inspire and encourage high school youth to demonstrate the qualities of good citizenship by developing the skills required to seek solutions to the various problems within their local communities through research, public speaking and community action.
The McIntyre Youth Leadership Challenge is organized by NCBF staff, with financial support from the Douglas Carmichael McIntyre II Justice Fund. Donations in the amount of $1,000 will be made in honor of the champion and $500 in honor of the runner-up to organizations that address the issues identified in their speeches.
The McIntyre Youth Leadership Challenge was judged by:
N.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Linda McGee
N.C. Court of Appeals Judge Chris Brook
N.C. Court of Appeals Judge Hunter Murphy
N.C. Court of Appeals Judge Reuben Young
Liberty Bell Award:
Mark Martin became the youngest person to ever serve on the Supreme Court of North Carolina in 1999 and was named chief justice in 2014. He previously served on the Superior Court and N.C. Court of Appeals, and is a past chair of the ABA Judicial Division and a former NCBA vice president.
Martin is a graduate of Western Carolina University and the UNC School of Law. He retired from the N.C. Supreme Court on Feb. 28, completing 26 years of service as a North Carolina jurist. He assumed his new duties at Regent University School of Law on March 1.
Previous winners of the Liberty Bell Award are Judge James A. Wynn Jr., Judge Chief Judge Linda McGee, Judge Beth Keever, Judge Sammie Chess Jr., Maj. Gen. (retired) James B. Mallory III, Patricia Timmons-Goodson, Earl Britt, Burley Mitchell, Harry C. Martin, Janice McKenzie Cole, Stacy C. Eggers Jr., E. Maurice Braswell, Herbert L. Richardson, William Joslin, Henry Frye, Robert R. Browning, Lacy Thornburg, James B. Hunt Jr., William C. Friday, Sam J. Ervin III, Terry Sanford, Herbert H. Taylor Jr., James Dickson Phillips Jr., Wade E. Brown, Hiram H. Ward, Kathrine Everett, L. Richardson Preyer, J. Frank Huskins, McNeill Smith, Franklin T. Dupree Jr., Thad Eure, Joseph Branch, Dr. Robert E. Lee, William B. Aycock, Susie Sharp and Sam Ervin Jr.
Program participants included Jacqueline Grant of Asheville, president of the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar Foundation; Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, Senior Associate Justice Paul Newby and Associate Justice Mark Davis of the N.C. Supreme Court; Judge John Arrowood of the N.C. Court of Appeals; Mike McIntyre of Poyner Spruill, LLP; Rachel Blunk, chair of the NCBA Young Lawyers Division; Andrew Atkins and Kimberly Murrell, co-chairs of the YLD Law Week Committee; and Jane Paksoy, Liberty Bell Award subcommittee chair.
Music was provided by the Dillard Drive Middle School Chamber Orchestra.
Law Week Committee:
YLD members comprising this year’s Law Week Committee were:
Kimberly S. Murrell, Law Week Committee Co-Chair
Andrew Atkins, Law Week Committee Co-Chair
Tabitha Bryant, Luncheon Subcommittee Chair
Leila Hicks, McIntyre Youth Leadership Challenge Chair
Marissa Meredith, Moot Court Contest Subcommittee Co-Chair
Sidney Thomas, Moot Court Contest Subcommittee Co-Chair
Jane Paksoy, Liberty Bell Award Subcommittee Chair
Vinston Walton, Essay Contest Subcommittee Chair
William Walton, Poster Art Contest Subcommittee Chair
Mariah Street, Outreach Subcommittee