Alumni News

Alumni News: Thursday, February 23, 2017

Alumni Spotlights

2017 Law Alumni Association Award Recipients Named

The UNC Law Alumni Association is pleased to announce its 2017 alumni award recipients. The awards recognize members of the UNC School of Law community who embody the law school’s mission to serve the legal profession, the people and institutions of North Carolina, the nation and the world with ethics and dedication to the cause of justice.

This year the honorees include (top row) John B. McMillan '67, Lifetime Achievement Award; David F. Kirby '77, Douglas S. Sea '80 and (bottom row) The Honorable Patricia Timmons Goodson '79, Distinguished Alumni Award; Vivian R. Connell '13, Outstanding Recent Graduate Award (posthumously) and Professor Emeritus Charles E. Daye, Professor S. Elizabeth Gibson Award for Faculty Excellence.

The award presentation will take place at the annual Leadership and Awards Dinner on May 5, 2017 as part of Law Reunion Weekend.

Carolina Law Clubs Provide Local Support and Local Fun

Carolina Law Club

Carolina Law Club of Western North Carolina members meet up in Asheville to watch UNC v Duke game on Feb. 9.

As shared in the recent Carolina Law magazine, more than 20 Carolina Law Clubs are active throughout the U.S. An initiative of the Alumni Engagement Committee, Carolina Law Clubs are led by regional alumni volunteers who are active in various ways, including assisting other graduates moving to their area, developing programming for their group and helping the law school organize alumni events. Some clubs are large — about 3,000 members in the Triangle group — while others are much smaller, including the Kentucky club, which has about 25 members. All clubs have a presence on the UNC School of Law alumni website. Alumni interested in starting a new Carolina Law Club or volunteering as a representative for an existing club should contact Susan McLean, director of alumni and donor relations, at 919.445.0169 or

New Book Honors Chambers’ Legacy

Julius Chambers Book Cover

Julius Chambers: A Life in the Legal Struggle for Civil Rights was released December 2016 by UNC Press and has been met with strong acclaim. Written by Richard A. Rosen ’76, professor of law emeritus at UNC School of Law, and Joseph Mosiner, the book chronicles the life and achievements of Julius Chambers against the backdrop of the development of 20th-century civil rights law.

Chambers graduated from Carolina Law in 1962 at the top of his class. He was the first African-American editor of the North Carolina Law Review and began the first integrated law firm in the state of North Carolina. Among other landmark decisions, the firm of Ferguson, Chambers, and Stein, along with the NAACP, won Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education in 1971, the Supreme Court case that enacted busing to integrate schools. In addition to litigating landmark cases, he served in numerous roles over his career, including as director counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and as chancellor for North Carolina Central University, his undergraduate alma mater. In 2001, he helped found the Center for Civil Rights at Carolina Law and served as its director.

Rosen’s and Mosnier’s book has been featured locally in the Raleigh News & Observer and the Wilmington StarNews and has also been reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, garnering praise for spotlighting how “the civil rights struggle played out in less-heralded venues.”

Julius Chambers: A Life in the Legal Struggle for Civil Rights is available at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill and the Regulator Bookshop in Durham, as well as through online book retailers.

Faculty Spotlight

New Faculty Spotlight – Carissa Byrne Hessick

Carissa Byrne Hessick

Carissa Byrne Hessick is one of six new members to the Carolina Law faculty for the 2016-17 academic year. Professor Hessick comes to Chapel Hill from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. She has also taught at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and was a Climenko Fellow at Harvard Law School.

After graduating from Yale Law School in 2002, Professor Hessick practiced for several years. However, she found herself missing the classroom. “My law school experience taught me that even the most difficult questions have answers if you look hard enough. When I was practicing, I would find myself confronted by an interesting question, but I rarely had enough time to really grapple with it,” she says. She learned that there were programs designed to help lawyers transition from practicing to academia and was accepted to the fellowship program at Harvard. “Now, I get to spend hours every day thinking about and trying to solve hard questions.”

Professor Hessick’s teaching generally focuses on the criminal justice system. She notes that the different approaches states take to crime – being heavily punitive or focused on second chances, for instance – can impact how students think. “Teaching in these different places…has made me better able to push students to question their own assumptions, no matter what those assumptions might be.

When she’s not teaching, Professor Hessick enjoys traveling and good food, as well as yoga, knitting, and gardening. Her favorite non-academic activities, however, are reading and watching action, science fiction, and fantasy movies like the Star Wars and Harry Potter franchises.

While Professor Hessick may be new to the faculty, this isn’t her first experience with Carolina Law. She participated in a faculty workshop several years ago. “I gushed about the experience for years afterward,” she says. “And I’ll say that has been regularly reinforced since I joined the faculty last summer. The student and the faculty are some of the best in the country, and I regularly have fascinating conversations with them.”

Event Highlights

Law Reunion Weekend Set for May 5-6

2017 Reunion Weekend

Law Reunion Weekend, celebrating the classes of '67, '72, '77, '82, '87, '92, '97, '02, '07, '12 and Golden Tar Heels, is scheduled for May 5-6, 2017. Visit the website for a complete schedule of events, online registration and a list of class members.

  • May 4 & 5, 2018 ('68, '73, '78, '83, '88, '93, '98, '03, '08, '13)

  • May 3 & 4, 2019 ('69, '74, '79, '84, '89, '94, '99, '04, '09, '14)

  • May 1 & 2, 2020 ('70, '75, '80, '85, '90, '95, '00, '05, '10, '15)

  • April 30 & May 1, 2021 ('71, '76, '81, '86, '91, '96, '01, '06, '11, '16)

Alumni Calendar


School Calendar


Continuing Legal Education Calendar



Recruit Carolina Law Students

The Career Development Office invites you to participate in our Fall 2017 Recruiting Program. The Class of 2019 hails from 27 states, the District of Columbia and three foreign countries. Information about our current students can be found on our website. View our recruiting information.

Engage with Carolina Law Students

Let us help you develop and implement a student outreach and engagement strategy. View our list of signature programs and contact us for other ways in which we can connect you with our students. We look forward to hearing from you!

Spotted on campus: Signs of an early spring! Follow us on Instagram for more law school snapshots.

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