Brooks Pierce Announces Diversity Fellowship Honoring Former Chief Justice Henry Frye


Brooks Pierce is pleased to announce the Chief Justice Henry E. Frye – Brooks Pierce Diversity Summer Fellowship, created to increase opportunities for underrepresented minorities in the practice of the law.

The fellowship is open to a student from an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority enrolled in a full-time law program at an American Bar Association accredited law school, expecting to graduate in 2020, with plans to practice in North Carolina. It includes a salaried summer associate position in one of Brooks Pierce’s three offices during the summer of 2018 and a $10,000 scholarship.

“Brooks Pierce is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment within the firm, the communities we serve and the practice of law as a whole,” said Reid Phillips, the firm’s managing partner. “The creation of the Frye Fellowship allows us to focus more comprehensively on our efforts to increase diversity, while also honoring one of our colleagues and one of North Carolina’s most noted jurists.”

Frye, who retired from Brooks Pierce in 2016, broke many racial barriers during his long and storied career. In 1963, he was appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, one of the first African-Americans to be appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney in the South. In 1968, Frye became the first African-American to be elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in the 20th century. He served in the state House for 12 years and was then elected to a two-year term in the North Carolina Senate. In 1983, Frye became the first African-American appointed to the Supreme Court of North Carolina, and in 1999 he was appointed Chief Justice, another first. When he left the bench in 2001, Frye returned to private practice, joining Brooks Pierce, where he focused on appellate advocacy, mediation and commercial arbitration.

For more information on the fellowship click here.

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