Dean Rich Leonard Receives McKnight Award
J. Rich Leonard, dean of Campbell Law School, was honored on Thursday, June 21, as the 2018 recipient of the North Carolina Bar Association’s H. Brent McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award.
The award was presented at the NCBA Annual Meeting Awards Dinner in Wilmington.
Leonard has served as dean of Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law since July 15, 2013. A native of Davidson County, he is a 1971 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He earned a master’s degree in education from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1973, and then earned a law degree from Yale Law School in 1976.
Leonard served as a U.S. Bankruptcy judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina from 1992 to 2013, including service as chief judge from 1999 through 2006. He also served the Eastern District of North Carolina as a magistrate judge from 1981 to 1992 and as clerk of court from 1979 to 1992. Leonard began his legal career in 1976 as a law clerk for Judge Franklin T. Dupree Jr. and practiced from 1978 to 1979 with Sanford, Adams, McCullough & Beard.
Dean Leonard is married to Dr. Whitney Jenkins Cain. He is the proud father of three sons (Matthew, Justin, and Cain) and two daughters (Louise Gray and Libba), and a grandfather to seven.
The H. Brent McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award recognizes attorneys who demonstrate the “Renaissance Lawyer” qualities embodied by Judge McKnight, former chair of the Professionalism Committee who died in 2004 while serving on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of N.C. The award seeks to recognize those North Carolina attorneys whose trustworthiness, respectful and courteous treatment of all people, enthusiasm for intellectual achievement and commitment to excellence in work, and service to the profession and community, inspire others.