The Durham Bar Foundation's Adam Lischer Memorial Scholarship Awards
The 2017 application deadline is FridayApril 28, 2017 via email, fax, mail or delivery. See below for contact information. CLICK HERE to download the application in Word doc format. Click Here for a PDF file.
In December 2002, the Durham County Bar Association created a scholarship fund to honor two attorneys who were retiring from public office. This effort then developed into a way to honor the service and history of recently departed members of the Durham Bar. In 2003, the non-profit organization, the Durham Bar Foundation, Inc., was formally established to raise funds each year, to award and administer the scholarship program and to fund other charitable endeavors. In 2006, the scholarship was permanently named in memory of Adam Lischer, who died on July 17, 2005, after a brief struggle with cancer.
Adam Lischer was a member of the Fourteenth Judicial District Bar. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Washington College of Law at American University. The scholarship honors his career as a public service lawyer: following graduation he served as a judicial clerk to the honorable Linda M. McGee on the North Carolina Court of Appeals; he was awarded the Clifton W. Everett Community Lawyer Fellowship, which he discharged with Easter Carolina legal Services; for four years he served as Assistant District Attorney for Nash, Edgecombe, and Wilson Counties; as a Durham attorney he received cases from the Office of the Capital Defender.
The purpose of the scholarship fund is to provide assistance to residents and/or natives of Durham County who are attending law school, who can demonstrate a significant connection to the Durham community. Since its inception the scholarship program has enjoyed strong support from the Bar as a way of both recognizing and supporting such students. To date 19 scholarships have been awarded.
Tax-deductible donations can be made by check payable to Durham Bar Foundation, Inc, PO Box 593, Durham, NC 27702.
The Foundation’s scholarships are awarded based on three criteria: connection to Durham County, financial need, and professional or academic achievement. The award amount for 2017 is either $1000 or $1500 depending on the number of candidates who apply.
Emailed submissions are highly encouraged and requested. Completed applications can be emailed in PDF for DOC format, to email@example.com, while mailed documents should be sent to on of the following addresses:
The Durham Bar Foundation, PO Box 593, Durham, NC 27702, for US Mail
The Durham Bar Foundation, 115 E, Main Street, Durham, NC 27701, for UPS and Fed Ex
Should you have any questions regarding this program, please feel free to contact the Bar's Executive Director, Bonnie Biggs, at 919-682-2012 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Holland earned her undergraduate degree in Public Policy from Duke University in 2009. She was #2 in her law school class, graduating Summa Cum Laude from North Carolina Central University School of Law in May of this year. She was an officer or leader in a number of service and honorary societies, and was Notes and Comments Editor of the NCCU Law Review. She was a Legal Writing scholar, received the Property Book Award, and was on the Dean's List five out of six semesters. She is a member of two honor societies, Phi Alpha Theta, History Honors Society and Phi Delta Phi International Honors Society. She is also an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, which conducts frequent community sevice events here in Durham. Her legal industry community service is equally stellar. She volunteered with Legal Aid, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and the Durham Senior Center. Quite a bit of this time was focused on combating collateral consequences of a criminal record. She has also worked for the legal department at GlaxoSmithKline.
Tenika Neely graduated from North Carolina Central University summa cum laude in 2014 with degrees in Political Science and Psychology and an impressive GPA of 3.9. She is currently enrolled at Wake Forest University School of Law, where she maintains a strong GPA and has been elected to several leadership positions. In addition she is a 1L trial bar and Walker Moot Court competitor.
This summer, she will intern with The Southern Coalition for Social Justice. The Coalition, located here in Durham, employs eight attorneys who focus their efforts on voting rights, criminal justice, environmental justice, and human rights. Ms. Neely joins Ian Mance, the 2013 recipient of the Adam Lischer Memorial Scholarship Award, who is a staff attorney at the Coalition.
While she is not a Durham native, the degree to which Ms. Neely is connected to our community is considerable. While playing varsity women's basketball for NCCU she began volunteering in the community, but she extended her volunteer efforts far past those designed for the sports team. She has served at the Durham Rescue Mission, John Avery Boys' and Girls' Club and Genesis Home. She founded a documentary series called, "You're One Choice Away," which shed light on homelessness in Durham. Seeing another area of need, she also served as President of EMERGE, an organization dedicated to spreading domestic violence awareness and support to the North Carolina Central University campus and Durham community at large. She intends to stay in the community and practice criminal defense law.
She comes to us recommended by Kendra J. Eaton, Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach, North Carolina Central, and Abigail Perdue, Associate Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing and Research at Wake Forest University School of Law.
Jasmina Nogo graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009, with degrees in Journalism and Creative Writing with Honors. She currently attends North Carolina Central University School of Law, from which she will graduate in 2015, and at which she is presently in the top 5% of her class. She has received a number of academic awards as well as earning Dean’s List honors every semester. She is also a staff editor on the school’s Law Review. Concurrent with her education, she contributes 7-10 hours per week in pro-bono service. She has worked for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Advocates for Children’s Services, and the Latino Community Credit Union, and has served as a Guardian ad Litem. These are just a few of the local agencies with which she has already forged work and volunteer relationships. She will intern this summer with the Legal Aid office in Durham. Ms. Nogo’s personal story is just as compelling as her academic record. Her family moved to Durham in 1994 from Sarajevo, Bosnia, as civil war refugees. She considers Durham home, and is most interested in the intersection of education law and immigration law.
Nana Asante was born on July 27, 1990 in Accra, Ghana and lived there until immigrating to Madison, Wisconsin in 1997. She graduated from Duke University in 2012. . At Duke, she was the Undergraduate Student Leader of the Year for 2012 and was voted one of the Top Ten Most Powerful Students at Duke University as published in Dmix Magazine. She has served in a variety of leadership roles and has been consistently employed since fall 2012 with the Durham Crisis Response Center, where she is currently a Sexual Assault Advocate. She has just completed her first year at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Law. While in school, she has accumulated over 35 hours of pro bono service and is also an ongoing volunteer for the Butner Re-Entry Legal Assistance Project. In addition to a number of honoraria and leadership roles, she was a quarter finalist for her school’s Kilpatrick Townsend 1L Mock Trial Competition, and was selected to become a member of UNC’s Broun National Trial team. This summer Asante will clerk for the Honorable Lori J. Christian and the Honorable Carl R. Fox.
Asher Spiller is the 2013 recipient of the Durham Bar Foundation’s Adam Lischer Memorial Scholarship Award. Mr. Spiller was born in Durham in 1983. He graduated from Durham School of the Arts. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Haverford College in 2006, graduating with Honors in Philosophy. He earned his law degree from the UNC School of Law in Chapel Hill in 2013, with a class rank of 8th, and a GPA of 3.877.
He has been involved with the NC Museum of Life & Science, Habitat for Humanity, and Eno River Park. He has also completed 45 hours of pro bono work while in law school and served as Executive Articles Editor for the North Carolina Law Review, for which he also authored an article that was selected for publication. He will clerk for Judge James A. Wynn of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2014, before which he will work with Womble Carlyle in RTP.
Ian Andrew Mance has been called a "strong investment in the community." Mr. Mance earned a Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice from Appalachian State University in May of 2003, holding a GPA of 3.36. He continued there, earning a Master of Arts in Political Science/Justice Studies in May 2005 with the highest GPA in the program, 3.975. He is currently enrolled in the University of North Carolina School of Law, where his GPA is 3.607, and where he is currently Articles Editor for The North Carolina Law Review. His roots in Durham go back to Bartlett S. Durham, for whom our city was named, and he lives in the downtown "Golden Belt“ district. His work experience includes a full-time summer internship with local firm Brock, Payne & Meece, P.A. as well as four years with the American Civil Liberties Union. This summer he will work for the UNC Center for Civil Rights, after which, during his third year of law school, he will work in UNC Law's Civil Legal Assistance Clinic. He plans to remain in Durham after law school.
Jessalee Landfried is the 2011 recipient of the Durham Bar Foundation’s Adam Lischer Memorial Scholarship. Ms. Landfried is a Durham native, and attended Durham School of the Arts. She graduated from Wesleyan University in CT in 2007, Phi Beta Kappa, and has completed her first year at Duke University School of Law, carrying a 3.17. She is concurrently enrolled in the Nicholas School of the Environment, where her GPA is 3.79. She has lived in Durham since 1989, and was recommended to us by Duke Law School Asst. Dean Kimberly Ann Bart as well as Judith Kincaid, Executive Director of Clean Energy Durham, where Ms. Landfried has worked and volunteered.
Raina Haque has completed her first year at UNC School of Law, carrying a 3.65. She graduated from Wellesley in 2007. She worked for Merrill Lynch for two years before law school, participates in pro bono clinics -- 90 hours last year (low income wills, powers of attorney, etc.), and will work for BlueCross BlueShield of NC this summer. She will also serve on the Pro Bono Board at UNC, where she will act as a liaison between UNC Law Students and Attorneys who need assistance with their pro bono projects. She has lived in Durham for 25 years and was recommended to us by UNC Law Professors Maxine Eichner and Ruth Ann McKinney.
Catherine Lee McClean is a Durham native and a 2006 graduate, with Distinction, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She graduated this month from the Wake Forest University School of Law, where she maintained an 86 point average and was recommended to us by Professor Charles Rose. Her volunteer commitment has been demonstrated through her work with the homeless shelter and through tutoring and mentoring at Eastway Elementary school.
Carolyn Wade Willer was born in Durham. She graduated from Wake Forest University, Magna Cum Laude, in 2006, and is in her second year at Duke University School of Law, where she has earned a 3.53 average, and comes to us with a recommendation from Professor and Former Dean Kate Bartlett. Her commitment to the community is evident in her work as a Guardian Ad-Litem volunteer, and a Durham County Teen Court Advisor and Mentor.
2004: Suzanne Begnoche served as a staff attorney at Legal Aid-Durham and then opened her own practice serving Durham and Orange counties.
2006: LiBria Stephens opened her law office in Durham and continues to practice here.
2008: Ryan Connolly currently practices in Durham, with Pulley, Watson, King & Lischer, PA.
2010: Johanna Jennings will join the Fair Trial Initiative in Durham, as an Osborn Fellow, following her graduation from Duke Law.
2010: Raina Haque is currently in her second year at UNC Law. She is serving as the Spring Break Pro Bono coordinator, organizing a variety of pro bono opportunities for UNC law students in the Durham area.