Michael Wells Sr. (’74) Named President-​Elect of the N.C. Bar Association

R. Michael Wells Sr. (’74) of Winston-Salem is the new president-elect of the North Carolina Bar Association. He was elected on June 25 at the NCBA Annual Meeting in Asheville.

Wells, senior partner of Wells Jenkins Lucas & Jenkins where he has practiced since 1993, will serve as the 118th president of the NCBA in 2012-13. His installation will take place in Wilmington on Saturday, June 23, at the 2012 NCBA Annual Meeting.

Wells is a 1971 graduate of the University of Virginia and 1974 graduate of the Wake Forest University School of Law. Wells is originally from Charleston, W.Va. He served as a law clerk in the N.C. Supreme Court from 1974-75 before moving back to Winston-Salem where he has practiced ever since.

His service as president-elect in 2011-12 follows four years as a member of the NCBA Board of Governors. Wells previously chaired the Communications Committee, a natural fit in that he hosts a weekly public service show, “You and the Law,” on WSJS 600/1200 and writes a monthly legal column for the Winston-Salem Journal.

“It is a very humbling thing,” Wells said, “particularly when you see the talent level of the lawyers and realize how many wonderful people could serve and serve very capably. It is a profound opportunity to serve, what I would see as the opportunity from the venues of service that I’ve had writing my column and doing the radio show, literally talking to thousands and thousands of people.

“As any lawyer who has ever taken a call on our 4ALL Statewide Service Day comes to know, there aren’t many forces for good quite like good old-fashioned North Carolina lawyer common sense.”

The consummate citizen lawyer, Wells was honored in 2007 with such an award when the NCBA selected its first class of Citizen Lawyer Award recipients. He has provided volunteer leadership to a multitude of local causes, including the United Way of Forsyth County Board of Directors which he chairs. He has served on the local United Way board since 2003 and chaired the 2006 Forsyth County Community Campaign.

In addition, Wells has provided board leadership to the Department of Social Services,  Winston-Salem Alliance, Winston-Salem Business, Inc., North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Forsyth Technical Community College and the Reynolda Rotary Club, serving as its president in 1989-90. Most recently he was elected to the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center Research Park Board in 2010.

Wells and his wife, Janet, have three grown children: Laura, Christopher and Michael Wells Jr. who practices in the Wells Jenkins firm.

Wake Forest School of Law has a long history leading the North Carolina Bar Association. Over the past 62 years, 11 N.C. Bar Presidents have been Wake Forest law school alumni. The following alumni have served as North Carolina Bar presidents:

  •  R. Michael Wells, ‘74 (President-Elect)
  • Eugene C. Pridgen, ‘78
  • D. Clark Smith, Jr., ‘75
  • Larry B. Sitton, ‘64
  • J. Donald Cowan, ‘68
  • Rhoda B. Billings, ‘66
  • George B. Mast, ‘60
  • James E. Walker, ‘51
  • Dewey W. Wells, ‘54
  • A. Pilston Godwin, Jr., ‘37
  • Fitzhugh E. Wallace, ‘49