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Becton Receives Lake Public Service Award

Becton Receives Lake Public Service Award

Charles Becton

Charles L. Becton of Durham received the Lake Family Public Service Award at the 118th Annual Meeting of the North Carolina Bar Association in Charlotte.

The 12th recipient of the award, Becton is a past president of the NCBA who has served as interim chancellor at North Carolina Central University and Elizabeth City State University.

NCBA President Shelby Benton presented the award.

“I, of course, am humbled,” Becton said, “by an internal sense of gratitude to my former law partners and to the many others whose help, sacrifice, and encouragement allowed me to do a lot of different things and placed me in a position to even be considered for this honor.

“I have been blessed with an amazing and supportive family.  A special thanks goes to the smartest, the most supportive, and most beautiful Becton -- my wife of 45 years, Brenda.”

Becton served as the 114th president of the NCBA in 2008-09. He practiced law in Raleigh with Becton, Slifkin & Bell from 1990-2008 and served on the N.C. Court of Appeals from 1981-90. He is also a past president of the N.C. Association of Black Lawyer and the N.C. Advocates for Justice.

Throughout his career Becton has been a teacher, serving as the John Scott Cansler Lecturer at UNC School of Law, Senior Lecturer in Law and Professor of the Practice at the Duke University School of Law, and as the Charles Hamilton Houston Chair at North Carolina Central University School of Law.

Becton is a 1969 graduate of the Duke University School of Law. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Howard University (1966) and received an LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law (1986).

Becton designated Habitat for Humanity of Durham and the Boys and Girls Club of Durham to receive checks in the amount of $2,500 each from the proceeds of the endowment fund.

The Lake Family Public Service Award honors an outstanding lawyer in North Carolina who has performed exemplary public service in his or her community. The voluntary service of the recipient may have occurred with a nonprofit organization or with a number of groups in the community as well as through elective or appointive office. 

Nominations are sought each year from the legal community, including judicial district and voluntary bars, but the award is not necessarily given every year. All nominations are referred to the Past Presidents’ Council as the selection committee, and are subject to approval by the NCBA Board of Governors. The recipient is recognized at the NCBA Annual Meeting in June.

The honoree’s name is added to the Lake Family Public Service Award plaque at the North Carolina Bar Center, and the honoree also receives a plaque. In addition, thanks to a Justice Fund established by the Lake family, the NCBA Foundation Endowment provides a financial contribution in the honoree’s name to one or more nonprofit organizations chosen by the honoree.