Smith Anderson Pledges $100,000 to North Carolina Bar Foundation’s Open Door Fund

Press Release

Smith Anderson is pleased to announce that it is a founding donor at the $100,000 “Champions for Change” level to the North Carolina Bar Foundation’s (NCBF) Open Door Fund, a restricted endowment fund to support diversity and inclusion initiatives within the North Carolina legal community in perpetuity.

The first of these initiatives is the NCBF Open Door Fellowship, a unique, competitive opportunity for first-year law students at North Carolina law schools. Open Door Fellows participate in a paid 10-week summer program providing an opportunity to gain experience in a legal work setting while widening their professional networks to “open doors” and prepare them for the next steps in their legal careers.

Over the past year, a small group of dedicated volunteers, led by Smith Anderson partner Caryn McNeill and co-chair Mark Holt, has worked diligently to lay the groundwork for the Open Door Fund. On June 21st, at the 2024 North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) Annual Meeting in Charlotte, McNeill and Holt announced that, thanks to the generosity of the founding donors, over $700,000 in gifts and pledges have already been raised toward the campaign’s $1 million goal.

In addition, current and past NCBA/NCBF presidents have collaborated and announced that they will raise and present a "Presidents’ Challenge Gift" as a demonstration of their commitment to the successful launch of the public phase of the Open Door Fund campaign. This challenge gift will match all new gifts and pledges to the NCBF Open Door Fund, up to $100,000.

The NCBA and NCBF invite the legal community to join them in supporting the Open Door Fund and its mission to foster a more diverse, equitable and inclusive legal profession in North Carolina. Please click here for more information or to contribute to the Open Door Fund. 


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