Posted: January 30th, 2015 | By: Elizabeth Dalrymple
The North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) Board of Governors has voted unanimously to award the H. Brent McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award to newly named Wake Forest Law Dean Suzanne Reynolds (’77). The award will be presented at the NCBA Annual Meeting on Friday, June 19, in Asheville, North Carolina. Catharine Arrowood (BA ’73, JD ’76), partner at Parker Poe and president of the NCBA, will present the award to Dean Reynolds. Arrowood received the award in 2011.
“I don’t feel deserving, but it does mean a lot to me,” said Dean Reynolds, who is the first woman to lead the law school. “It’s an award for professionalism as much as anything and for how you treat others, so I’m really honored.”
The award was established by the NCBA in honor of Judge McKnight’s contributions to professionalism and the practice of law in North Carolina. It recognizes attorneys who demonstrate the “Renaissance Lawyer” qualities embodied by Judge McKnight who died in 2004 while serving on the U.S. District Court.
According to the NCBA, the award seeks those North Carolina attorneys whose trustworthiness, respectful and courteous treatment of all people, enthusiasm for intellectual achievement and commitment to excellence in work, and service to the profession and community during a multifaceted, accomplished life, inspire others.
Reynolds will officially become the next dean of the Wake Forest University School of Law on July 1. Reynolds, who joined the Wake Forest law faculty in 1981, has served as interim dean for the past year.
Widely respected for her scholarship, teaching and public service, Reynolds served as executive associate dean for academic affairs from 2010 to 2014.
Known nationally for her expertise in family law, she was a principal drafter of statutes that modernized the laws regarding both alimony and adoption. She authored a three-volume treatise on North Carolina family law that has become the authoritative source for law students, lawyers and judges.