RALEIGH, N.C. — J. Rich Leonard was ceremonially installed as the dean of Campbell Law School before an audience of nearly 500 on Tuesday, Aug. 13, at First Baptist Church. Representatives from Campbell University, federal, state, and local government and judicial officials, members of numerous state and local bar organizations, and law school students attended and participated in the service.
Leonard officially began serving as Campbell Law dean on July 15. He stands as Campbell Law’s fifth dean, following Dean Melissa Essary (2006-12) and Interim Dean Keith Faulkner (2012-13).
Campbell University President Dr. Jerry M. Wallace presided over the service and offered the President’s Charge.
“Any feasible change of this law school, save our purpose, is an option. I charge you to value, enhance, and grow this great treasure — Campbell University Law School. The leadership and stewardship of the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law is now vested in you. I pray that you will fall in love with Campbell and its law school.
“Cherish the treasure of Campbell University and the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law way down deep in your good heart. As you do, your heart will be filled with the love necessary for this calling.”
Leonard used his installation address to touch on his personal journey from childhood to law school, and his transition from the bench to the dean’s office. Leonard also spoke at length on the rich history of the institution, the challenges facing legal education in today’s climate, and the actions that Campbell Law will take to ensure its continued success moving forward.
“To our students here, this is a demanding occupation you have chosen to enter,” said Leonard. “We carry in our hands peoples’ lives: who will get custody of children, whether the family business will survive, whether dad will go to jail, or whether the mega million dollar merger will actually come off.
“To meet these challenges, we owe you three things: an academic education that is substantively strong across subjects; a set of skills that allow you to enter our profession ready to contribute, and a culture, true to our Christian heritage, that instills in each of you values of integrity, trustworthiness, and commitment to justice.”
ABOUT CAMPBELL LAW:
Since its founding in 1976, the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. The school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 3,500 alumni, including more than 2,400 who reside and work in North Carolina. For 26 years, Campbell Law’s overall record of success on the North Carolina Bar Exam has been unsurpassed by any other North Carolina law school. In September 2009, Campbell Law relocated to a state-of-the-art building in downtown Raleigh. For more information, visit http://law.campbell.edu.