Rhoda Bryan Billings (’66) receives John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award
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September 14, 2012
Rhoda Bryan Billings (’66), former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, is a recipient of the John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award.
A native of Wilkesboro, Billings earned her undergraduate degree from Berea College, and was the only woman in the Class of 1966 at Wake Forest School.
She started her legal career practicing with her husband, Don, from 1966-1968. Billings was elected to serve as district court judge in 1968, and served in that capacity for five years. She joined the faculty of Wake Forest law school in 1973, where she was a professor until 2003. While on leave from the faculty, Billings chaired the N.C. Parole Commission, was the second woman to serve on the N.C. Supreme Court, and also the second woman to serve as chief justice.
Throughout her legal career, Billings was a devoted educator and tireless advocate for equal access to our justice system. She is a life member of the Uniform Laws Commission, and most recently served the bar as the chair of the North Carolina judicial evaluation process. Billings is revered by her past students, her peers in the 21st Judicial District, and by all of the members of the North Carolina legal community.