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North Carolina Bar Association Minorities in the Profession Committee Announces Legal Legends of Color Honorees

Each of these highly-respected individuals have made a significant impact to the North Carolina legal practice.

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The North Carolina Bar Association's (NCBA) Minorities in the Profession Committee has announced the winners of the annual Minorities in the Profession Award. Each year, at the NCBA's annual meeting, the Committee awards several well deserving minority members of the legal profession with the Legal Legends of Color Award. The awardees are nominated by their peers and this year's awardees each have over 15 years of experience in the legal profession. Each of these highly-respected individuals have made a significant impact to the North Carolina legal practice.

This year's awardees include Judge Yvonne Mims Evans, Anthony Fox, J. Kenneth Lee (posthumously), Senator Dan T. Blue Jr., and George R. Johnson Jr.

Judge Yvonne Mims Evans


Judge Yvonne Mims Evans Launched her practice in 1976 at the Chambers Law Firm in Charlotte, N.C., after graduating from Duke University School of Law. Her career is replete with firsts, including practicing as the first black female partner at a Charlotte law firm and first female Chief District Court Judge in the County. She served on the Mecklenburg County Superior Court bench for 15 years before retiring in 2018. Her dedication to community, justice for all, and the fair application of the rule of law inspired innumerable attorneys.

Anthony Fox



Anthony Fox began practicing law in 1983 and has had more than 30 years experience representing municipalities in various capacities, including private practice at a large regional firm. He is a partner at Parker Poe and the first African American to serve on its Board of Directors. He is a champion of education and has served on the Board of Visitors for his law school, North Carolina Central University School of Law, for many years. His dedication to service, leadership and excellence in practice, provide the framework for a lasting career from which all attorneys may benefit.

Kenneth Lee



J. Kenneth Lee founded the first black owned, federally-chartered savings and loan bank in North Carolina when he was denied loans by other banks for being African American. He established a private trade school that trained African American military veterans to become electricians. When he wanted to become an attorney, he was involved in litigation that led to the integration of UNC School of Law – becoming one of its first African American graduates. After graduating from law school, he became a prominent and highly regarded civil rights attorney in Greensboro, NC with a career that spanned over fifty years. Sadly, Lee passed away in 2018 at the age of 94 but his legacy will live on. *Photo courtesy Greensboro News & Record.

Senator Dan T. Blue Jr.



Senator Dan T. Blue Jr. earned his J.D. in 1973 from Duke University School of Law and in 1980 began his career in politics. His tenure with the General Assembly is extensive and his early representation was often on behalf of Robeson County related to community matters such as education and job development. His career bears many firsts, including service as the first black Speaker of the House, first black President of the National Conference of State Legislatures and first black Chairman of the Duke Board of Trustees. His career has broken political barriers. His impact on the State of North Carolina is continual and remains instrumental in the progression of our State and its citizens.

George Johnson



George R. Johnson Jr. graduated from Columbia University Law School in 1976 and now boasts a distinguished career, consisting of more than 30 years of experience. He has served in leadership positions in the executive office of the U.S. President, in Congress, as a college president at LeMoyne-Owen College, in private practice, and in law school leadership. As Elon Law’s first African American Dean, he led the law school to full accreditation and served as a crucial mentor to its African American law students. Now as Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at Elon, he continues providing legal instruction and guidance to hundreds of attorneys seeking to advance the law in North Carolina. His commitment to shaping the next great minds of our society evidences a legacy that will inevitably touch countless lives and has lasting nationwide impacts.