2015 Citizen Lawyers: D. Linwood Bunce II
By Ben Snyder
LEXINGTON – For over 35 years, D. Linwood Bunce II has been an active citizen and leader in the community of Lexington. Lexington also just happens to be where he practices law. And that has been Bunce’s goal since returning to Lexington in 1979—to be an active citizen in the community where he happens to practice rather than to practice law in a town where he happens to live.
After graduating from the inaugural class of Campbell’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, Bunce joined the Lexington law practice of the late Beamer Barnes and his current partner, Jerry Grimes. Building on their successful practice, Barnes, Grimes, Bunce & Fraley, PLLC is now one of Lexington’s more prominent law firms. From the beginning, Barnes and Grimes instilled in Bunce the importance of being an active member of one’s community. Keenly aware of how all-consuming the practice of law can be, they encouraged Bunce to look for ways to contribute.
Within his first few year of practice, Bunce was already involved in his local chapter of the American Red Cross, the Kiwanis Club, and of the YMCA. Over time he has served as board president of each organization. Bunce has also been an active member of the Coggins Memorial Baptist Church, where his father was pastor and mother was choir director. Bunce has been a deacon, Sunday-school teacher, and choir member at Coggins, and his wife, Anita, is currently the church’s current choir director.
In addition to his service and leadership in non-profit and civic organizations, Bunce has been a distinguished leader in Lexington city government. He has served on the city’s School Board, Planning and Zoning Board, and currently represents the city’s Ward 3 on the City Council.
In government, Bunce has helped steer Lexington out of a tough economy and onto a path of redevelopment. The city has recently implemented innovative efforts such as purchasing 18 acres of vacant textile mill facilities in downtown Lexington, initiating plans to bring a rail stop to town, and creating the annual “BBQ Capital Cook Off” to complement the city’s nationally renowned annual Barbecue Festival. As Bunce observes, these efforts are already “starting to blossom” with exciting revitalization potential.
Former Lexington Mayor Harold Bowen, who worked with Bunce in Lexington city government as well as the Kiwanis Club, can attest to Bunce’s dedication to his community from personal experience. “He has been an outstanding member serving on many local boards. Three words to describe Linwood: Faith, Family and Service.”
Bunce acknowledges that a lawyer’s life can be a balancing act. When asked what advice he has for young lawyers, Bunce’s message is clear and simple: “Don’t neglect your faith. Don’t neglect your family. Don’t neglect your community. Find a good balance and try to maintain it.”
For successfully balancing these commitments with his busy law practice for over 35 years, and for his many contributions to the community of Lexington, the North Carolina Bar Association names D. Linwood Bunce II a 2015 recipient of the Citizen Lawyer Award.
The Citizen Lawyer Committee of the NCBA Young Lawyers Division, in conjunction with the NCBA Citizen Lawyer Committee, provides expanded coverage of the 2015 Citizen Lawyer Awards in recognition of their volunteer service and leadership in their communities and beyond.
Ben Snyder is an attorney at the Charlotte Immigration Law Firm in Charlotte.