Robert E. Harrington Named 2015 Julius L. Chambers Diversity Champion



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Feb. 4, 2015

The Mecklenburg County Bar named Robert E. Harrington, a litigation partner at Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A., the recipient of the eighth annual Julius L. Chambers Diversity Champion Award. The distinguished award is presented to an individual who embodies high ethical standards, unquestioned integrity, consistent competence and who champions diversity in the legal profession. The award will be presented March 3 at the Hon. James B. McMillan Fellowship Fund Dinner.

Harrington served as president of the Mecklenburg County Bar from 2012-2013. During his tenure, he focused on expanding the bar’s indigent legal services, improving mentoring and networking opportunities, and selecting the new Bar and Foundation Center site in west Charlotte. Prior to serving as president, Harrington served as one of the founding co-chairs of the Mecklenburg County Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and as treasurer of the Bar. He has served on the Grievance and Authorized Practice committees of the North Carolina State Bar.

With a passion for social justice and indigent services, Harrington’s service extends beyond the bar. From 2005-2007, he co-chaired the board of directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law. The Lawyers’ Committee was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar’s leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination. Harrington also serves on the boards of the Federal Defenders of Western North Carolina, Inc. and Legal Aid of North Carolina.

An active member of the Charlotte civic community, Harrington serves on the boards of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, the Arts & Science Council, the Greater Charlotte Cultural Trust and TreesCharlotte. He previously chaired the board of the Levine Museum of the New South and the Equity and Privatization committees of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. He also served on the board of Seigle Avenue Partners, now known as Freedom School Partners.

Harrington has received recognition including the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Award of Excellence (2013), the Duke Law Alumni Association’s Charles S. Murphy Award for Achievement in Public Service (2012), the Charlotte Catalyst Award from Uptown Magazine (2012), the Citizen Lawyer Award from the North Carolina Bar Association (2009), the Diversity in Business Catalyst Award from the Charlotte Business Journal (2004) and the NAACP-National Office Pro Bono Legal Services Award (1999).

Harrington graduated magna cum laude from Duke University, where he was an Angier B. Duke Memorial Scholar. He also attended Duke Law School and graduated with high honors. He is a member of the Duke Law School board of visitors.

The Award is named after its first honoree, the distinguished civil rights attorney Julius L. Chambers. Chambers represented the plaintiffs in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school desegregation case Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education.

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