UNC School of Law announces its annual distinguished alumni award winners for 2014. The school will honor three exceptional alumni at the annual Law Alumni Weekend Leadership and Awards Dinner, Thursday, April 10, 2014. The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Irvin W. "Hank" Hankins ’75, partner and general counsel at Parker Poe in Charlotte, N.C. The Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to Barbara Weyher ’77, founding partner at Yates, McLamb and Weyher in Raleigh, N.C. The school will also present its Outstanding Recent Graduate Award to Lindsey Roberson ’07, assistant district attorney in New Hanover County, N.C.
"We have many distinguished alumni, and it is a delight to recognize a selection of them during Law Alumni Weekend," says John Charles "Jack" Boger ’74, dean and Wade Edwards Distinguished Professor of Law. “These three remarkable individuals represent the work and dedication of our more than ten thousand living alumni nationwide.”
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Irvin W. “Hank” Hankins III ’75
Hank Hankins has been with Parker Poe in Charlotte since finishing law school in 1975. He served as Parker Poe’s managing partner from 1986 to 2002. Since 2002, he has been the firm’s general counsel. Hankins has experience in both state and federal courts, representing a wide variety of clients, including public utilities, insurance companies, equipment manufacturing companies, chemical and textile companies, accounting firms and attorneys. Hankins has advised professional organizations regarding management issues, partnership structures, partnership disputes, and legal ethics. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America®, 2003-2014.
Hankins has held numerous leadership positions in the Bar and the community, including North Carolina State Bar president, 2007-2008; chairman, Ethics Committee, 2003-2004; chairman, Authorized Practice Committee, 1999-2001; and council member, 1997-2005. He served as president of the UNC Law Alumni Association, 2004-2005, and as general counsel to the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, 2002-2003. He served as an ABA House of Delegates member, 2008-2013; chairman of the North Carolina IOLTA Board of Trustees, 2011-2012; Queens University of Charlotte Trustee, 2004-2012; and is now a Queens Trustee Emeriti. Hankins is an ABA Foundation Fellow and a member of the Disciplinary Hearing Commission of the North Carolina State Bar. He is an Elder at Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian Church in Charlotte; moderator of the Administrative Group of the Church Session; and is a member of the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Visitors.
“Hank Hankins is a very worthy nominee for UNC School of Law's [Lifetime Achievement] Award,” reads the nominating letter for Hankins. “He has been an outstanding representative of Carolina Law throughout his decorated career. He has held numerous leadership positions in the Bar and the community.”
Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient
Barbara B. “Bonnie” Weyher ’77
After beginning her career in a New York City law firm, Bonnie Weyher returned to North Carolina in 1979 to join the firm of Young, Moore, Henderson & Alvis in Raleigh, N.C. In 1983, she became one of the founding partners of Yates, McLamb & Weyher. Weyher’s practice is primarily in the area of insurance coverage and professional liability. She has been a certified mediator since 1995 and has mediated or arbitrated hundreds of cases including commercial and consumer claims, business disputes, products liability claims, medical malpractice claims, and general liability/auto liability claims.
She is a member of the North Carolina Academy of Superior Court Mediators. Weyher is listed in Best Lawyers in America® (2009-2013). She is also listed as one of the top 50 women lawyers in North Carolina Super Lawyers (2009-2013). She is a Fellow in the American Bar Foundation.
Weyher is a past president of the North Carolina State Bar (2009-2010). She currently serves on North Carolina State Bar’s Disciplinary Hearing Commission. She served as a councilor on the North Carolina State Bar (1998-2006) and is a member of the ABA House of Delegates. She chaired the Grievance Committee, Ethics Committee and the Authorized Practice of Law Committee and also served on the Executive Committee, Issues Committee and Publications Committee. Weyher served as chair of the Litigation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association (2005-2006). She is a past president of the Wake County Bar Association (1997).
Outstanding Recent Graduate Award Recipient
Lindsey Roberson ’07
Upon graduation from UNC School of Law, Lindsey Roberson clerked for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina for three years and then worked at New York law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Since 2012 Roberson has served as assistant district attorney in the Office of the District Attorney of New Hanover County, in Wilmington, N.C.
Roberson has become “a passionate advocate for victims of sex trafficking,” according to the nominating letter for her award. Roberson helped draft and promote two pieces of legislation in North Carolina, including a law giving safe harbor to teenagers forced into prostitution and mandating tough penalties for traffickers.
In addition to her work in the New Hanover County court, Roberson teaches paralegals at Cape Fear Community College and trains volunteers who work with young female victims of human trafficking. In January she was named by the Wilmington Star-News one of “12 to Watch” in 2014.
-February 12, 2014