Blanchard Community Law Clinic namesake leaves lasting legacy

Portrait of Charles Blanchard

RALEIGH — Campbell Law School is saddened to announce the passing of Charles “Charlie” Fuller Blanchard.

In February 2018, the law school’s impactful Blanchard Community Law Clinic was named in honor of the legal pioneer and servant leader.

“The impact of Charlie’s support of the Blanchard Community Law Clinic, which carries his name, cannot be overstated,” explained Clinic Director Ashley Campbell.  “With his generous contribution, we have trained more than 100 lawyers, and have attempted to imbue them with the qualities that Charlie exemplified – character, intelligence, professionalism, kindness and leadership. With Charlie’s gift, we have changed the lives of hundreds of low-income people for the better. We have engaged volunteer lawyers in service to their community, as Charlie encouraged us to do.  We are honored to carry his name and will forever be grateful that he shared it with us. We send our love and support to his family especially his daughter Anna Neal.”

Services, which are pending, are being handled in care of the Brown-Wynne Funeral Home & Crematory.

Born in Hamlet, N.C., in 1923, Blanchard and his family moved to Raleigh when he was three years old and the city remained his home throughout his lifetime. He served his country as a Lieutenant J.G. in the U.S. Navy in World War II, and then returned home to graduate from Duke University School of Law. He opened his own law practice in 1949 in Raleigh and Fuquay-Varina. Blanchard was the senior partner at Blanchard, Miller & Lewis, P.A. until becoming of counsel in 2000.

Blanchard was a founding member of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers. He was a lecturer at the North Carolina Conference of Superior Court Judges, the UNC Medical School, the Duke University School of Engineering and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Extremely active in the bar, he served as chairman of the Litigation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, president of the Wake County Bar Association and the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, governor of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America for two terms, and a member of the Duke University Law School Council. He was a past-president of the International Society of Barristers and the Braxton Craven Inn of Court. He was also a fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He was a past recipient of the Chief Justice Walker Clark Award given by the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers and of the Joseph Branch Professionalism Award given by the Wake County Bar Association.

Outside of the legal profession, he was an active member of St. Michaels Episcopal Church for more than 60 years, where he served two terms as senior warden, Sunday school teacher and past president of the N.C. Episcopal Foundation. Throughout his adult life, Blanchard served on many community boards including the Raleigh Rescue Mission, Residential Support Services and St. Augustine’s College. In 2015 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Arc of Wake County for his work for those with disabilities.

His tireless professionalism, dedication to his community, and love for his family made him a pillar of the North Carolina legal community.

“If you dig deep enough, almost every important legal initiative in this community traces back to Charlie Blanchard,” said Campbell Law Dean J. Rich Leonard. “There is no one who has done more for this city, and no one whose name is more appropriate to mark our clinic.”

Since its launch in September 2016, the clinic has made a significant impact in the Raleigh community. The Blanchard Community Law Clinic partners with non-profit agencies in the community  to provide solutions to legal problems encountered by clients who are seeking to change their lives for the better.

The clinic provides representation, advocacy, education and reconciliation for its clients while delivering valuable and practical knowledge to law school students. To date the clinic has handled more than 700 cases, including expunctions, driver’s license reinstatements, family disputes, domestic violence protection orders, landlord/tenant issues, and many others. Legal services are provided by Campbell Law students, under the supervision of Campbell and two other recently added attorneys. 

The clinic recently expanded and has relocated from its former location on Blount Street to its new larger space at 311-200 Martin Street (the former home of Clearscapes, artist Thomas Sayre’s famed architectural firm) ensuring there is adequate space for clinic staff to provide free counsel to its clients and their families. 


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 2021, Campbell Law is celebrating 45 years of graduating legal leaders and a dozen years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.