R. Michael Wells Sr. (’74) installed as president of North Carolina Bar Association

R. Michael Wells Sr. (’74), senior partner of Wells Jenkins Lucas & Jenkins in Winston-Salem, was installed on Saturday, June 23, as the 118th president of the North Carolina Bar Association.

The ceremony highlighted the 2012 NCBA Annual Meeting at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside.
R. Michael Wells Sr. ('74)

R. Michael Wells Sr. ('74)

William Z. Wood Jr., senior resident Superior Court judge of Forsyth County and president of the North Carolina Conference of Superior Court Judges, administered the oath of office while Wells’ wife, Janet, held the family Bible.

“We have challenges over which we have no control,” Wells stated during his installation address. “But on those challenges over which we do have some control, challenges which will define us, and challenges on which our leadership can bring about real positive change, we have a responsibility to lead. We should not be held captive by our fear to attempt the hard thing.
“I hope, as we look back on this time, this time in which we are entrusted with the arc of this place for awhile, that when people speak of us, they will say: when it mattered most of all, on the issues that mattered most of all, we aimed as high as we possibly could aim, we really tried to do the hard things, the very good things, and we did our very best, in our own imperfect way, to become the leaders we could have been.”
A native of Charleston, W.Va., Wells is a 1971 graduate of the University of Virginia and a 1974 graduate of the Wake Forest University School of Law. He served as a law clerk to the N.C. Supreme Court from 1974-75.

Wells was honored in 2007 as a recipient of the NCBA’s Citizen Lawyer Award, and is also a former recipient of the Duke Energy Citizenship & Community Service Award and the Paul Fulton Tocqueville Leadership Society Award.

Throughout his career, Wells has devoted volunteer leadership to numerous local causes, including the United Way of Forsyth County, where he has served as a board member and board chair, and in 2006 chaired the Forsyth County Community Campaign. In 2004, he served as chairman of the board of the Greater Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.

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. In 2010 he was elected to the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center Research Park Board, and in 2012, while serving as president-elect of the NCBA, he was elected to the Winston-Salem Foundation Committee, the primary governing body of the Winston-Salem Foundation.

Within the bar, Wells served from 1994-2000 on the Ethics Committee of the N.C. State Bar, and from 2004-06 chaired the NCBA’s Communications Committee. He served on the NCBA Board of Governors from 2007-11.

Wells writes a monthly column on legal issues for the Winston-Salem Journal and hosts a weekly call-in public service program, “You and the Law,” on WSJS 600-1200.

Mike and Janet Wells have three grown children: Laura, Christopher and Michael Wells Jr. (’04), who practices in the Wells Jenkins firm.