Mission Statement

At Brooks Pierce, the words diversity and inclusion reflect a commitment to respect and engage lawyers and staff with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. We feel that celebrating our differences not only makes for a more collaborative team, but also informs our ability to relate to our clients and communities. Our clients have complex, multi-faceted challenges and we view our breadth of experiences and talents as a source of insight and innovation in finding solutions. As a dynamic firm, we are committed to actively promoting and increasing diversity internally, as well as supporting, with our time and resources, organizations that seek to augment diversity and inclusion in the communities we call home.

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee is focused on dedicating the Firm’s energy, effort and resources toward fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for all lawyers and staff. The Committee seeks to evaluate, plan and implement initiatives that will promote diversity within the Firm, as well as in our local and state-wide communities. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee is comprised of members of Firm leadership, partners, associates and executive staff.


Jim Phillips Jr., Committee Chair; Chair, Management Committee

Daniel D. Adams

Colina Barnett

John M. Cross Jr., Chair, Recruiting Committee

Mark Davidson

Shana L. Fulton

Monique Grant

Alison Hart

Stephen Hartzell

Jayant Joshi

Kimberly M. Marston

Timothy G. Nelson

Shepard D. O’Connell

Justin N. Outling, Director of Diversity & Inclusion

Sarah M. Saint

Women’s Success Initiative

Brooks Pierce proudly supports the career development of its women lawyers through a wide array of programs and initiatives designed by the Women’s Success Initiative. The Women’s Success Initiative seeks to foster a positive professional environment for women lawyers through the identification and creation of development opportunities to facilitate goal achievement and relationship building.


Elizabeth E. Spainhour, Chair

Melissa W. Bailey

Jennifer Griffin Scotton

Shepard D. O’Connell

Kasi Wahlers Robinson

Craig D. Schauer

Adam P.M. Tarleton

Jennifer K. Van Zant 

Chief Justice Henry E. Frye Brooks Pierce Diversity Summer Fellowship

The Justice Henry E. Frye Diversity Fellowship honors Henry Frye, former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and Brooks Pierce attorney. Awarded each year to a Student of Color enrolled in a full-time JD program at an ABA-accredited law school, the fellowship provides the recipient with a $10,000 scholarship following the completion of the Firm’s Summer Program.

Pictured: The Honorable Henry E. Frye and James Kendall (Duke University School of Law Class of 2022), the recipient of the 2020 Frye Fellowship.

Firm-Sponsored Programs & Firm Memberships

Brooks Pierce supports diversity and inclusion efforts in our communities by sponsoring and participating in events, programs and organizations that encourage equal access to justice and advocacy across racial, gender and socioeconomic lines, along with law school programs that are helping to increase the pipeline of diversity into the legal profession. These events and programs include those hosted by the National Conference for Community and Justice, the Guilford County Black Lawyers Association, the Capital City Lawyers Association and the NC Lawyer Assistance Program-Minority Outreach Conference.

Brooks Pierce proudly supports our lawyers in efforts to foster diversity and inclusion in our communities. Our lawyers are active members and leaders in organizations that promote diversity and inclusion, including the NCBA Young Lawyers Division Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Women’s White-Collar Defense Association, the North Star LGBTQ+ Community Center, the Capital City Lawyers Association, the Guilford Green Foundation and the North Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Non-Discrimination Statement

As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity, our firm adheres to a policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment on the basis of legally protected characteristics, including sex, actual or perceived gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, pregnancy, medical condition (including genetic characteristics), military or veteran status.