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North Carolina Central University School of Law

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Title: North Carolina Central University School of Law  
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North Carolina Central University School of Law

North Carolina Central University
School of Law
Motto Truth and Service
Established 1939
Type Public, HBCU
Dean Phyliss Craig-Taylor
Location Durham, North Carolina,
United States
Colors Maroon and Gray

The North Carolina Central University School of Law (also known as NCCU School of Law or NCCU Law) is the law school associated with North Carolina Central University. The school is fully accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) [1] and the North Carolina State Bar Council, and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).[2] According to NC Central's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 14.8% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[3]

The mission of the school is to provide a challenging and broad-based educational program designed to stimulate intellectual inquiry of the highest order, and to foster in each student a deep sense of professional responsibility and personal integrity so as to produce competent and socially responsible members of the legal profession.[4]


The school offers a full-time day program and a part-time evening program. Full-time professors and clinical instructors, including 28 women and 28 minorities, work with a number of adjunct and visiting professors to teach approximately 576 students in both programs.[5]

The school offers the Juris Doctor as well as two joint degrees—the Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration (J.D./M.B.A.) and the Juris Doctor/Master of Library Science (J.D./M.L.S.).[6]

In 2007, the law school launched a Civil Rights and Constitutional Law Concentration for students interested in developing a deeper understanding of civil rights law and history.[5] There are four additional certificate programs available: Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Law, Dispute Resolution, Tax Law, and Justice in the Practice of Law.[7]

In 2012, the school launched its Maritime Law Summer program with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. The program offers students a unique opportunity to complete coursework in admiralty law and coastal policy from practitioners and experts in both fields.[8]


The North Carolina General Assembly enacted House Bill 18 on March 1, 1939, authorizing a law school at North Carolina College for Negroes (now known as North Carolina Central University). The only previous school open to blacks in the state had been at Shaw University, in Raleigh, which closed its law school in 1914, leaving no in-state option for blacks to receive a formal education in law. The legislation was intetended to create a separate-but-equal option for blacks who wanted to become lawyers, without integrating the law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Bill authorized the Board of Trustees to establish the North Carolina College for Negroes Law School and announced it would open in the fall of 1939. Due to the amount of time the college had to prepare and advertise the law school, only one student registered, resulting in the administration delaying the opening to the following year.[9]


The school is located in Durham, North Carolina on the campus of NCCU in the Albert L. Turner Building. The Turner Building is an 87,672 sq. ft. four-story brick structure that contains moot courtrooms, a model law office, classrooms, and an administrative wing. The Turner Building has 6 high-tech smart classrooms, two distance learning classrooms, and two high tech smart seminar rooms.[10]

The NCCU Law Library contains over 400,000 volumes and volume equivalents, and provides am environment for study and research. The ground floor of the building contains individual offices for student organizations, a student lounge, and canteen/vending area. There is a fully equipped computer lab and wireless internet throughout the building. The Great Hall, an atrium located on the first floor, allows the School of Law to comfortably host workshops, other seminars and special events.[10]

NCCU's School of Law is one of only 2 schools of law with in the University of North Carolina system, the other being UNC Chapel Hill.


In the fall of 2010, the school received approximately $2 million in funding from the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to expand broadband infrastructure and deliver legal services throughout the state.[11]

Technology Assisted Legal Instruction and Services, (also known as TALIAS), expands access to the School’s legal education and clinical programs. TALIAS employs a fully immersive telepresence environment for both undergraduate courses and legal assistance at four Historically Black Colleges and Universities -- Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and Winston-Salem State University.[12]


NCCU School of Law supports the following:


Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Law Institute

The Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Law Institute has been established as a center of excellence in the field of biotechnology and pharmaceutical law, with a multidisciplinary approach in teaching, research and publications. Its mission is to make substantial contributions to the development of global biotechnology and pharmaceutical law and to the investigation and examination of contemporary issues in U.S. regulatory affairs issues.[13]

Dispute Resolution Institute

The Dispute Resolution Institute is intended to provide training in alternative dispute resolution.[14]


North Carolina Central Law Review

Established in 1967, the North Carolina Central Law Journal, changed its name to the North Carolina Central Law Review in the spring of 2007. The Law Review contains articles written by legal scholars, judges, practitioners and academics.[15]

Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Law Review

Established in 2006, the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Law Review seeks to publish a professional periodical devoted to these areas that are useful to judges, practitioners, teachers, legislators, students and others interested in these practice areas.[16]


Phyliss Craig-Taylor is the current dean; she became dean in the Summer of 2012. Dean Craig-Taylor was previously a professor at NCCU Law from 2000-2006.[17]

The former deans of NCCU School of Law are:[18]

  • Maurice T. Van Hecke, 1939-1942
  • Albert L. Turner, 1942-1965
  • Daniel G. Sampson, 1965-1969
  • LeMarquis DeJarmon, 1969-1976
  • Harry E. Groves, 1976-1981
  • Charles E. Daye, 1981-1985
  • Thomas M. Ringer, 1985-1986
  • Louis Westerfield, 1986-1990
  • Mary E. Wright, 1990-1994
  • Percy R. Luney, Jr., 1994-1998
  • Janice L. Mills, 1998-2005
  • Raymond C. Pierce, 2005-2012

Notable Alumni

By national standards, North Carolina Central University School of Law is considered a small law school, yet it has produced more African-American graduates than North Carolina’s other law schools. Quite a few of these graduates—as well as graduates of other races—have gone on to earn widespread recognition.

Among them are:[19]

  • Rossie D. Alston, Jr.(1982)was the first African-American to serve on the Circuit Court of Prince William County upon his appointment by Governor James Gilmore in January 2001. Alston was unanimously elected by the Virginia legislature to the same position in April 2001. Alston became Chief Judge of the 31st Judicial Circuit in 2007. In 2009 Alston was elected as the thirty second judge to serve on the Court of Appeals of Virginia where he currently serves.
  • (1974) is the U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 1st congressional district, serving since 2004.
  • Brenda G. Branch (2001) was the first African-American woman to be appointed to Chief District judge in Halifax County, North Carolina in 2003.
  • Wanda G. Bryant (1982) was the first African-American woman to be an Assistant District Attorney in the 13th prosecutorial district of North Carolina. She is currently an Associate judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
  • Sammie Chess Jr (1958) became the first African-American Special Superior Court judge in North Carolina.
  • Michael F. Easley graduated in 1976 and became the first NCCU Law alumnus to serve as Attorney General and Governor of the State of North Carolina.
  • Willie E. Gary (1974) opened the first black law firm in Martin County, Florida. In 1995, he won a verdict of $500 million, one of the largest jury verdicts in U.S. history.
  • 'Robert Glass (1951) was the first African-American Assistant United States Attorney in Connecticut. He also served as a judge for juvenile court, superior court and an administrative law judge. In 1987, he became the first NCCU Law alumnus to sit on a state supreme court and the first African-American justice to sit on the Connecticut Supreme Court.
  • Maynard Jackson (1963) was the first African-American mayor of Atlanta in 1974. At age 35, he was the youngest person to be elected to the office.
  • Clifton E. Johnson (1967) was the first African-American Assistant State Prosecutor for North Carolina since the 19th century (1969), the first African-American District Court judge in North Carolina, the first African-American Chief District Court judge, and the first African-American Resident Superior Court judge for North Carolina. He was the first African-American to be appointed to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. While serving on the appellate court he rose to the rank of Senior Associate judge and served as the state’s first African-American chairman of the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission.
  • Georgia General Assembly.
  • Carol A. Jones (1994) was the first woman to be elected as a District Court judge for the Fourth District, in North Carolina in 2000.
  • Ola Lewis (1990) was the first woman appointed to a Superior Court judge east of Greensboro, North Carolina in 2000.
  • Clarence C. “Buddy” Malone (1959) started the first African-American law firm in Durham, North Carolina.
  • Floyd B. McKissick, Sr. (1951) became National executive director of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). In 1972, he launched Soul City, North Carolina, the first new town sponsored primarily by African-American enterprise.
  • H.M. “Mickey” Michaux, Jr. (1964) was the first African-American in the 20th Century to serve as a United States Attorney in the South. The NCCU School of Education building was named after Representative Michaux on June 15, 2007.
  • Henry W. Oxendine (1973) was the first Native-American to graduate from law school in North Carolina. He was sworn in as the eighth judge of the Supreme Court of the Lumbee Tribe in 2006.
  • Marshall Pitts Jr. (1990), Mayor of Fayetteville, North Carolina (2001-2005).[20]
  • Frank S.Turner (1973) was the first African-American judge to serve on the Orphan's Court or any other court in Howard County, Maryland. In 1995, he was the first African-American elected to the legislature in Howard County.


  • 7th, Best Schools for Bar Exam Preparation, 2012[21]
  • 4th, Top Law Schools for Clinical Opportunities, 2011[22]
  • 25th, Best Public Interest Law Schools, 2011[23]
  • 4th, Most Diverse Law Schools, 2011[24]
  • 9th, Most Popular Law Schools, 2010[25]
  • 1st, Best Value Law Schools, 2009[26] & 2007[27]
  • 7th, Most Diverse Faculty, 2009[28]
  • 20th, Best Law Schools in Practical Training, 2008[29]


According to NC Central's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 22.5% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[3] NCCU's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 29%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[30]

ABA Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates[31]
Employment Status Percentage
Employed - Bar Passage Required (Full-Time, Long-Term)
Employed - Bar Passage Required (Part-Time and/or Short-Term)
Employed - J.D. Advantage
Employed - Professional Position
Employed - Non-Professional Position
Employed - Undeterminable
Pursuing Graduate Degree Full Time
Unemployed - Start Date Deferred
Unemployed - Not Seeking
Unemployed - Seeking
Employment Status Unknown
Total of 169 Graduates


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at North Carolina Central for the 2013-2014 academic year is $43,915.[32] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $116,984 for residents and $169,249 for non-residents.[33]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Employment Statistics". 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ Williams, Mike (2001-12-06). "Two alumni win mayoral elections". Campus Echo. Retrieved 2014-06-13. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ "North Carolina Central University Profile". 
  31. ^ "Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates". 
  32. ^ "Tuition and Expenses". 
  33. ^ "North Carolina Central University Profile". 

External links

  • Official NCCU Law Website
  • Official NCCU Website

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