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WFU Law School dean elected as N.C. Bar Association vice president

Wake Forest University School of Law Dean Blake Morant has been elected to serve a one-year term as vice president of the North Carolina Bar Association and Charlotte attorney Eugene Pridgen (’78) has been chosen as the next president-elect. Pridgen will lead the bar association in 2010-11.

Also elected to serve one-year terms as vice presidents of the NCBA are Judge A. Thomas Small of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of N.C. in Raleigh; Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith of Yanceyville; and District Court Judge Nancy E. Gordon of Durham.

The formal vote took place at the 111th NCBA Annual Meeting June 25-28 at the Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in Asheville.

Seven outstanding lawyers were inducted into the North Carolina Bar Association’s General Practice Hall of Fame including Meyressa Schoonmaker (’68) of Winston-Salem.

The Hall of Fame, sponsored by the NCBA’s GP, Small Firm and Solo Section, was established in 1989. Membership is granted in recognition of a lifetime of exemplary service and high ethical and professional standards and for serving as a role model for all lawyers in North Carolina. To be eligible, lawyers must have practiced law for at least 25 years, a significant portion of that time having been devoted to the general practice of law, and be members in good standing of the N.C. State Bar.

Inductees have exhibited throughout their practice the highest standards of ethics and professional competency, and have rendered a high level of service to the legal profession and their communities.

Schoonmaker, born and raised in Guilford County,  began practicing law over 40 years ago in Winston-Salem, when only a handful of bright and talented women were admitted to the bar and less than 5 percent of lawyers were female, according to the NCBA web site. She is the wife of John Carroll, mother of Kirsten and Trevor, and grandmother of three granddaughters.

U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan (’78) spoke during Saturday morning’s NCBA general session for “The View from Capitol Hill: Issues and Answers.” Hagan attended a Wake Forest School of Law Alumni reception, sponsored by Jones Byrd (’71), Barry Kempson and the Van Winkle Law Firm, on Friday evening.