RALEIGH — Associate Professor Zachary Bolitho is the law school’s recipient of the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award for 2020, Dean J. Rich Leonard announced on March 27.
Professor Bolitho joined the Campbell Law faculty in 2013 after an outstanding career in private practice and later as an Assistant United States Attorney. He teaches courses such as Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Federal Courts, Federal Crimes and Trial Advocacy.
“With the exception of Federal Courts and Federal Crimes, all of these courses are required for our students,” Dean Leonard explained. “He is uniquely positioned to provide excellent instruction in these complex areas due to his experiences prior to joining the faculty.”
In the classroom, Professor Bolitho has been described by his colleagues as effective, clear, organized and motivating; these are all the qualities of a recipient for the Excellence in Teaching Award. Class instruction combines traditional legal education methods, such as the Socratic method,with practical, skills-based learning, through formal course work.
Course evaluations from Professor Bolitho’s students are almost uniform, according to Dean Leonard. “He is simply an engaging and energetic professor that prompts deep consideration of the material and a new passion in his students.”
Two comments in particular summarize the views of his students. When asked about the strongest features of the course, one student opined: “Professor Bolitho himself — he is a fantastic teacher, kind person and incredibly intelligent on the subject of criminal law.” Another student wrote: “Professor Bolitho inspired me every day in this course.”
The student body overall also has recognized the impact of Professor Bolitho’s outstanding pedagogy naming him Professor of the Year in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years.
Professor Bolitho’s passion for educating our future lawyers is not confined to the classroom, Dean Leonard added. “As part of our exemplary advocacy program, he regularly coaches law students in Mock Trial and Moot Court competitions,” he said. “His passion exhibited in the classroom is equaled by the passion exhibited in coaching.”
Since joining the Campbell Law School faculty, Professor Bolitho has been a prolific scholar. His publications have addressed growing issues in federal and state criminal law. Professor Bolitho’s articles are: “The Hearsay and Confrontation Clause Problems Caused by Admitting a Criminal Defendant’s Interpreted Statements Through a Witness Other Than the Interpreter,” 49 N.M. L. Rev. 193 (2019); “The U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Department of Justice, and State Efforts to Legalize Marijuana,” 4 Lincoln Memorial U. L. Rev. 42 (2017); and “Specifically Authorized by Binding Precedent Does Not Mean Suggested by Persuasive Precedent: Applying the Good Faith Exception after Davis v. United States,” 118 W. Va. L. Rev. 643 (2015). He has also authored two books in his time at Campbell Law. “Navigating the First Year of Law School; A Practical Guide to Studying Law “(Carolina Academic Press 2016) (co-authored with Professors Melissa Essary and G. Nicholas Herman) and “Plea Bargaining ” (Juris Publishing 2017) (co-authored 4th edition with Professor G. Nicholas Herman).
Professor Bolitho serves Campbell Law in myriad ways. He serves on the Academic Standards and Support Committee, the Honors and Awards Committee, on the Bar Success Committee and as the Vice Chair of the Technology Committee and the Chair of the Judicial Clerkship Task Force. He also facilitates student development as the Faculty Adviser for the Campbell Law Republicans student organization as well as the Campbell Law Observer.
During the 2017-2018 academic year, Professor Bolitho took a leave of absence to continue serving the United States legal system at the Department of Justice under the tutelage of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in Washington, D.C. He was eventually elevated to Chief of Staff, Associate Attorney General, and an ex officio member of the United States Sentencing Commission. Additionally, Professor Bolitho spent several weeks during the summer of 2019 in East Timor as a representative of the Department of Justice to promote the rule of law and establish a modern legal system.
Professor Bolitho earned a B.A., Summa Cum Laude, as the top graduating student from the University of Mount Union in 2004. He earned his J.D. degree, Summa Cum Laude, from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2007.
“Campbell Law School students, faculty, and staff are lucky to have such an exceptional professor,” Dean Leonard added. “Professor Bolitho will continue to shape the lives and careers of students at Campbell Law School and we are proud of his accomplishments in the classroom and legal community.”
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Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion, and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. Among its accolades, the school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 4,200 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2019, Campbell Law celebrated 40 years of graduating legal leaders and 10 years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.