2018 Citizen Lawyer Award Winner Don Vaughan
The Citizen Lawyer Committee of the NCBA Young Lawyers Division, in conjunction with the NCBA Citizen Lawyer Committee, provides expanded coverage of the 2018 Citizen Lawyer Award recipients in recognition of their volunteer service and leadership in their communities and beyond.
By Andrew Gordon
GREENSBORO – Don Vaughan has dedicated practically his entire legal career to exemplifying the characteristics of the Citizen Lawyer.
Prior to receiving his law degree from Wake Forest in 1979, Vaughan began his career as the Legislative Clerk to esteemed United States Senator from North Carolina, Robert Morgan, in Washington.
After getting a taste for political life, Vaughan was ready to serve his community. He was elected to seven terms as a member of the Greensboro City Council, two of those terms as Mayor Pro Tem. He was elected to two terms in the North Carolina Senate, one as Deputy Leader. He has also served on the Board of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, Greensboro Merchants Association, and numerous other civic organizations. Vaughan served on the North Carolina Courts Commission and continues to serve as a member of the State Banking Commission. He received the Distinguished Award from the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
Vaughan’s service to his community is not limited to just political office. He teaches State and Local Government as an Adjunct Professor at both Wake Forest Law School and Elon Law School. “I’m very pleased to be able to share my experience with law students,” Vaughan shared.
Vaughan has previously been recognized for his service to the State of North Carolina as well. He is a two-time recipient of the “Leaders in the Law” Award from North Carolina Lawyers Weekly for his outstanding contributions as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly, in drafting and passing The Founding Principles Act and Susie’s Law.
The Founding Principles Act requires that all students in North Carolina be taught the principles of the United States Constitution prior to graduation. The Founding Principles Act recently served as a model for several laws passed in South Carolina and Georgia, and is currently pending in several states.
Susie’s Law, which protects animal rights, was so compelling that it was picked up by Hollywood and was the subject of 2013 movie entitled, “Susie’s Hope”. (Vaughan was portrayed by former television star Jon Provost who starred in “Lassie”.) “He is a tireless advocate for animal rights”, noted attorney Richard Forrester who nominated Vaughan for this Award. Vaughan is proud of the fact that “Susie’s Law is regarded as one of the nation’s strongest laws on animal abuse.”
Vaughan’s lifetime commitment to serving his community has made him an ideal candidate for the Citizen Lawyer Award and a model of civic engagement for current and future generations of lawyers.
Andrew Gordon is an attorney with the Law Offices of Andrew L. Gordon, PLLC in Charlotte.