NCAWA News and Info

April 5, 2016: Women Judges Panel at UNC Law




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Dear 2015 Annual Conference Attendee,

Please find below some essential information for the upcoming NCAWA Annual Conference. If you have any questions or need additional information, please don't hesitate to let me know: 919.957.0707 or .


Thank you,

Alicia L. Young

NCAWA Executive Director

Four NCAWA Board Members were recognized for their achievements with a Women of Justice Award at the November 13, 2014, Lawyers Weekly Awards Ceremony.

From time to time the NCAWA Judicial Division recognizes an Outstanding Judge who has contributed to the judiciary, NCAWA, and the community.  This year, it is awarded to Judge Wanda Bryant

Judge Bryant has served on the N.C. Court of Appeals since 2001.  She has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Court. She was recently named Chair of the Judicial Standards Commission and is the first woman to hold that position. 

Judge Bryant has led the Judicial Division of NCAWA for the past two years.  She has planned Women Judges’ Forum events in all seven law schools in North Carolina.  These Forums bring together law students and women judges to help encourage these young law students in future service as judges and to also give women judges more opportunities to get to know one another through this special program.

Other boards and commissions on which Judge Bryant has recently served include: vice president of the N.C. Bar Association, former president of the Braxton-Craven Inn of Court, chair of the NCBA Law School Liaison Committee, N.C. Center for Public Policy Research board of directors, N.C. Museum of Natural History board of directors, and N.C. Center for Voter Education board of directors.  Her community activities list of service to others is extensive and diverse, with a longtime emphasis on protection of women and children.

Among the many other awards Judge Bryant has received are: the GFWC Woman of Achievement Award, Outstanding Service in the Law Award by Top Ladies of Distinction Raleigh Chapter, William C. Lassiter First Amendment Award by the N.C. Press Association, and Fayetteville State University Chancellor’s Medallion Award.

We take great pride in announcing the winners of the 2014 Gwyneth B. Davis Public Service Awardare Associate Justice Cheri Beasley and Asheville attorney Leah Broker.  Please join us in Asheville, Friday October 17th at our Conference Banquet as we recognize these two outstanding women for their tireless contribution to North Carolina women attorneys and all the women of this state.


Associate Justice Cheri Beasley has served on the Supreme Court of North Carolina since 2012. Previously, Justice Beasley served as a District Court Judge for the 12th Judicial District and served as an Associate Judge for the North Carolina Court of Appeals prior to her election to the Supreme Court. Justice Beasley began her law career as an assistant public defender in the 12th Judicial District in following her graduation from The University of Tennessee College of Law.


Justice Beasley has been a member of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys since 1995 and was a 2013 recipient of the Women of Justice Public Official Award given by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly and a 2013 recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award for Justice given by the Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials and Advocates.


Justice Beasley has been a lecturer for Appellate Advocacy and Trial Advocacy Classes at North Carolina Central University School of Law and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law since 2009. Justice Beasley remains very active with the North Carolina Bar Association as a member of its Appellate Rules Committee and Appellate Rules Section and is also a member of its Litigation Council and Women in the Profession.


In addition to her numerous professional activities, Justice Beasley is active in The Women’s Forum of North Carolina and serves on its Board of Directors. She is active with the Junior League of Raleigh and has previously served on the Fayetteville Zoning Commission and on the Fayetteville State University Advisory Council.


In gratitude for Justice Beasley’s tireless work on behalf of North Carolina women attorneys, all the women of this state, and people in need in many places and walks of life, the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys awards Justice Beasley the 2014 Gwyneth B. Davis Award.

         LEAH M. BROKER 

Leah M. Broker began the private practice of law in Asheville following her graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law in 1992 initially working as an associate attorney focusing on workers’ compensation, social security disability, SSI, Medicaid, personal injury, civil litigation, private and court-appointed state and federal criminal defense. In 2002, she formed the firm of Broker & Hamrick, PA, focusing in social security disability, SSI, Medicaid and workers’ compensation.


Since beginning her practice, Leah has maintained membership in numerous voluntary bar associations as well as been active in leadership roles within the legal profession and in the community. She served as President of the N.C. Association of Women Attorneys, was a board member and President of the Western Carolinians for Criminal Justice, was a board member of Pisgah Legal Services, and is a participant in the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer program at Pisgah Legal Services. She recently completed her term as a member of the Board of Directors of the YWCA of Asheville.  She is currently serving on the Call4ALL Task Force of the N.C. Bar Association.  She is a member of the Women for Women giving circle and served on its membership committee.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation.


Leah has received the Soroptimist International of Asheville “A Woman of Distinction- Human Rights/Advancing the Status of Women”, Runner-up Certificate of Recognition, April 1995, and the 28th Judicial Bar Pro Bono Service Award for service as Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer for Pisgah Legal Services, 1994.


Her firm, Broker & Hamrick, PA, has been the firm recipient of the Outstanding Service Award from Pisgah Legal Services and the 28th Judicial District Bar, and nominee for the NCBA Smaller Law Firm Pro Bono Service Award (April 2010).  Broker & Hamrick, PA also received the NCAWA Balanced Life Workplace Award, 2006, in the Small Firm category.


In gratitude for Leah’s tireless work on behalf of North Carolina women attorneys, all the women of this state, and people in need in many places and walks of life, the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys awards Leah Broker the 2014 Gwyneth B. Davis Award. 

Wake Forest University School of Law Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Suzanne Reynolds (’77) has been named interim dean of the law school effective Sept. 1 following the announcement that Dean Blake D. Morant has accepted an offer to become dean at George Washington Law School.

Reynolds has served as Wake Forest Law’s Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the past four years. She is the first woman to serve as dean of Wake Forest Law.

Reynolds is widely respected for her scholarship and teaching about family law and for her public service. She was a principal drafter of statutes that modernized the law of both alimony and of adoption, and she co-founded a domestic violence program that received national recognition by the American Bar Association for providing legal assistance to the poor. Reynolds authored a three-volume treatise on North Carolina family law that has become the authoritative source for law students, lawyers, and judges. Her empirical work has focused on outcomes in high-conflict custody disputes. She was the recipient of a Distinguished Woman of the Year award presented by Governor Hunt in 1998 and of the Gwyneth B. Davis Award for Public Service presented by N.C. Association of Women Attorneys in 1996. Reynolds was a candidate for the North Carolina Supreme Court in November 2008, narrowly losing her bid for that seat. Before teaching, she practiced civil litigation in private practice in North Carolina.

Please REGISTER your profile on our new website, pay your 2015 membership dues, and explore the features our new website has to offer!

At our Annual Conference this year we are honoring three valuable members of the North Carolina legal community as winners of the 2016 Gwyneth B. Davis Award: Christopher Brook, Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina; Beth S. Posner, Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at UNC; and Julie Klipp Nicholson, coordinator of the Buncombe County Family Justice Center. We hope you join us at the PNC Awards Banquet.

Registration is open and the conference brochure is now available online!

Please join us in celebrating and congratulating the 2016 NCAWA Sarah Parker Scholarship winners!

NCAWA’s Annual Conference will be September 22-24, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza in beautiful Asheville! Click HERE to register and take advange of Early Bird Specials! 


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The North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys (NCAWA) is the organization where women lawyers in North Carolina come together to build important personal and professional relationships. The NCAWA is about women helping women. When you join the NCAWA, you can expect leadership opportunities, rewarding work on our committees, a networking forum for business development, and more.  

Mission Statement

NCAWA's mission is to promote the participation of women in the legal profession and advance the rights and welfare of women under the law.