The Durham Bar Foundation's Adam Lischer Memorial Scholarship Awards 

The 2015 application deadline is Friday March 27, 2015 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 18 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 2014 is either $1000 or $1500 depending on the number of candidates who apply. The deadline for applications for the 2013 scholarship is Friday, March 28, 2014. We anticipate announcing the awards in mid-April. The students who are awarded the 2014 scholarship(s) will be invited to attend the May luncheon meeting of the Durham Bar and will be introduced at the luncheon.

 CLICK HERE to download the application in Word doc format. Click Here for a PDF file.  The deadline for 2015 is March 27. Completed applications can be emailed in PDF for DOC format, to, 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 contact Bonnie Biggs, Executive Director, at

2013 Recipient

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. 

2012 Recipient

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.

2011 Recipient

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.

2010 Recipients

Raina Haque and Johanna Jennings are the 2010 recipients of the Durham Bar Foundation’s Adam Lischer Memorial Scholarships.

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.
Johanna Jennings has completed her second year at Duke Law School, has a GPA of 3.44, and graduated from Rice, Phi Beta Kappa, in 2007. She volunteers with a youth home here in Durham and is involved with the Children's Law Clinic. She has volunteered with the ACLU Cap. Punishment Project and the Texas Innocence Project. She has lived in Durham for 13 years and was recommended to the Bar by Duke Law Professors Stella Boswell and Jane Wettach.
2009 Recipients

Catherine McLean and Carolyn Willer are the 2009 recipients of the Durham Bar Foundation’s Adam Lischer Memorial Scholarships.

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.
Ms. Willer and Ms. McClean both attended the May 13th DCBA Luncheon.
Where are they now?

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.

powered by MemberClicks