The North Carolina Bar Association selected McGuireWoods partner Mary Nash Rusher and associate Jocelyn Mitnaul Mallette as recipients of the organization’s Citizen Lawyer Award, an honor reserved for outstanding lawyers who volunteer time to causes that improve quality of life in their communities. Only eight lawyers were selected for this year’s awards, which will be presented at the NCBA’s annual meeting on June 24, 2022, in Winston-Salem.
Rusher, managing partner of the firm’s Raleigh office, practices in the area of public finance, working with both local governments and nonprofits to finance capital projects. She and the firm’s public finance team have been involved in nearly all of North Carolina’s affordable housing bond issues over the past decade that involve 4% tax credits.
In 2021, Rusher received the North Carolina Housing Coalition’s Robert Kucab Professional of the Year Award for her longstanding dedication to North Carolina’s tax-exempt bond programs, which have increased the state’s supply of affordable multifamily housing.
Rusher serves on the governing boards of the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar Foundation. She is a past chair of the board of directors of the YMCA of the Triangle Area and is currently the chair of the Board of Trustees. She also serves on the board of directors of WakeMed hospital and health system.
“It is gratifying to be recognized by our peers and to be part of a firm that values civic engagement and community service,” Rusher said. “I am especially proud to be honored with Jocelyn, who embodies all the qualities of a citizen lawyer.”
Mallette, also based on Raleigh, represents businesses in complex commercial litigation. She is a past president of the Capital City Lawyers Association, a voluntary bar group comprised largely of minority lawyers, judges and elected officials, and she served for three years as second vice president of the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers.
A former U.S. Air Force captain and former attorney in the Air Force JAG Corps, Mallette is a council member on the NCBA’s Military and Veterans Law Section. She is a member of the Junior League of Raleigh and sits on the Southeast Raleigh YMCA advisory board.
“It is a tremendous honor to be selected for this award and to share this recognition with an outstanding leader like Mary Nash,” Mallette said. “It is rewarding to have the opportunity to serve in organizations that make our communities and the legal profession stronger.”
Among her many honors, Mallette received a Triangle Business Journal Leader in Diversity Award and a Women in Business Award. In addition, the National Bar Association named her to its 40 Under 40: Nation’s Best Advocates list.