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Margaret Dudley, supervising attorney for the Emergency Legal Services Program, was recognized as an N.C. Legal Legend of Color in a ceremony that followed an Elon Law reception at the North Carolina Bar Association’s 2022 annual meeting.

Friends of the law school gathered in Winston-Salem for a networking event at the 2022 annual meeting of the North Carolina Bar Association, where four legal pioneers –  including Elon Law’s Margaret Dudley – were also formally honored for breaking barriers for lawyers of color.

Attorney Margaret Dudley is embraced by her brother, Benjamin, after receiving a 2022 North Carolina Legal Legend of Color Award from the North Carolina Bar Association’s Minorities in the Profession Committee.

Dudley, supervising attorney for Elon Law’s Emergency Legal Services Program inside the Family Justice Centers of Guilford and Alamance counties, was recognized on June 23, 2022, by the NCBA’s Minorities in the Profession Committee during its Legal Legends of Color Awards Ceremony.

Elon Law graduate Gwendolyn Lewis L’13, a leader on the committee’s Legal Legends of Color Award Subcommittee, presented Dudley with the recognition after introducing her to a ballroom filled with family, friends, colleagues, and attorneys from across the state.

“Tonight we recognize that her accolades and her resume are extensive,” Lewis said, “but it is the force that she carries in every room that she enters that makes her so memorable and impactful to the students, the clients, the people, the friends, the soon-to-be-friends, and all of the members of the bar that she encounters.”

Dudley was joined in the Class of 2022 honorees by Judge Ola M. Lewis (posthumously), attorney Arlinda Locklear, and attorney Georgia Lewis.

The Minorities in the Profession Committee established its Legal Legends of Color Award in 2016 to publicly recognize attorneys of color “who have had undeniable impacts on the legal profession and whose legacies represent ceilings broken for all attorneys who follow in their footsteps.”

The Legal Legends of Color Awards Ceremony followed an Elon Law welcome reception as part of the North Carolina Bar Association’s annual meeting. Guests enjoyed food, drink, and camaraderie as they reconnected at the Winston-Salem Marriott.

Elon Law Interim Dean Alan Woodlief

Elon Law Interim Dean Alan Woodlief shared updates with the dozens of students, alumni, faculty, and staff members who gathered in the room. Among the highlights:

  • Started and finished the academic year in-person without disruption after welcoming the largest class in Elon Law history
  • Reaccreditation by the American Bar Association
  • Career placement and ultimate bar passage rates near 90% reported to the ABA
  • A springtime visit by the North Carolina Court of Appeals for oral arguments in Elon Law’s Robert E. Long Courtroom
  • National recognition as a Top 25 School for Practical Training by PreLaw Magazine
  • Successful events including the largest ever Billings, Exum & Frye National Moot Court Competition and an Elon Law Review Symposium that explored the question of reparations
  • A faculty and staff ad hoc strategic planning committee on inclusive excellence has drafted a plan for the school to be implemented in the upcoming academic year
  • Elon Law hosted its largest ever Commencement in December with 122 graduates receiving law degrees
  • Elon Law Dean Luke Bierman, currently on sabbatical, was honored at the conclusion of his service as dean at the end of 2021
  • Oral arguments for first-year students in Legal Method & Communication were held in person in the spring, as was the Intramural Moot Court Competition
  • New staff have joined the Office of Career and Student Development and plans are taking shape to reconstitute the Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series presented by the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation
Elon Law’s Cynthia Hager L’22 (center) and Alex Rogers L’15 (right) converse with Professor Andy Haile during Elon Law’s welcome reception on June 23, 2022, at the NCBA’s annual meeting in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Woodlief led a round of applause after he noted that Dudley would be recognized later in the evening as a North Carolina Legal Legend of Color.

“We’re so glad that things are back so we could be here tonight,” he said. “After several years on hiatus, it’s really nice to take every opportunity we can to bring people together and build community again.”