Elon University / Today at Elon / Program director Elon Law honored at NCBA conference

Margaret Dudley, attorney in charge of the Emergency Legal Services Program, was recognized as an NC Color Legal Legend in a ceremony following a reception by Elon Law at the 2022 NC Annual Meeting. North Carolina Bar Association.

Law school friends gathered in Winston-Salem for a networking event during the 2022 North Carolina Bar Association Annual Meeting, where four legal pioneers — including Elon Law’s Margaret Dudley — were also officially honored for breaking down barriers for lawyers of color.

Attorney Margaret Dudley is embraced by her brother, Benjamin, after receiving a 2022 North Carolina Legal Legend Award from the North Carolina Bar Association’s Committee on Minorities in the Profession.

Dudley, a supervising attorney for Elon Law’s Emergency Legal Services Program at the Guilford and Alamance Counties Family Justice Centers, was recognized on June 23, 2022 by the NCBA’s Minority in Profession Committee during of its Legal Legends of Color awards ceremony.

Elon Law graduate Gwendolyn Lewis The 13, leader of the committee’s Legal Legends of Color Award subcommittee, bestowed Dudley the recognition after presenting her to a ballroom full of family, d friends, colleagues and attorneys from across the state.

“Tonight, we recognize that her accolades and her resume are many,” Lewis said, “but it’s the strength she carries into every room she walks into that makes her so memorable and impactful to students, the customers, the people, the friends, the future friends and all the members of the bar that she meets.

Dudley was joined in the Class of 2022 winners by Judge Ola M. Lewis (posthumously), Attorney Arlinda Locklear, and Attorney Georgia Lewis.

The Committee for Minorities in the Profession established its Legal Legends of Color Award in 2016 to publicly recognize lawyers of color “who have had undeniable impacts on the legal profession and whose legacies represent shattered ceilings for all lawyers who follow in their footsteps.”

The Legal Legends of Color awards ceremony followed a welcome reception from Elon Law as part of the North Carolina Bar Association annual meeting. Guests enjoyed food, drink and camaraderie as they reconnected at the Winston-Salem Marriott.

Alan Woodlief, Acting Dean of Elon Law

Acting Dean of Elon Law Alan Woodlief shared updates with the dozens of students, alumni, faculty and staff who gathered in the room. Among the highlights:

  • Started and ended the academic year in person without interruption after hosting the largest class in Elon Law’s history
  • Reaccreditation by the American Bar Association
  • Career placement and ultimate bar pass rate nearly 90% reported to ABA
  • A spring visit to the North Carolina Court of Appeals for oral arguments in Elon Law’s Robert E. Long Courtroom
  • National recognition as one of the top 25 schools for practical training by PreLaw Magazine
  • Successful events including the largest national Billings, Exum & Frye moot court competition ever and an Elon Law Review Symposium that explored the issue of reparations
  • An ad hoc Faculty and Staff Strategic Planning Committee on Inclusive Excellence has drafted a plan for the school to implement over the next academic year
  • Elon Law held its biggest ever launch in December with 122 law school graduates
  • Elon Law Dean Luke Bierman, currently on sabbatical, was honored at the end of his service as Dean in late 2021
  • Pleadings for first-year legal method and communication students took place in person in the spring, as did the intramural moot court competition
  • New staff have joined the Office of Career and Student Development and plans are taking shape to reenact the Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series presented by the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation
Elon Law’s Cynthia Hager L’22 (center) and Alex Rogers L’15 (right) talk to Professor Andy Haile at Elon Law’s Welcome Reception on June 23, 2022, at the meeting NCBA Annual Meeting in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Woodlief led a round of applause after noting that Dudley would be recognized later that evening as a North Carolina legal legend of color.

“We’re so happy things are back so we can be here tonight,” he said. “After several years of hiatus, it’s really nice to take every possible opportunity to bring people together and create a community again.”

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