Dean J. Rich Leonard elected as president of Craven-Everett American Inn of Court

Photo of Campbell Law Dean Rich Leonard standing at a podium

RALEIGH — Campbell Law School has taken over as the official law school sponsor of Craven-Everett American Inn of Court and Dean J. Rich Leonard has been selected to serve as its new president.  The Inn has formally switched its affiliation from Duke Law School to Campbell Law School.

“Our goal is to revitalize the Inn and make it a Campbell-centric, judge-focused Inn,” he explained. “The plan is to reach out to and concentrate in Raleigh and its immediately surrounding areas.”

The Craven-Everett American Inn of Court is a prestigious collection of leading judges, lawyers and law students primarily composed of members of the Wake and Durham county bars. The Inn was originally founded as the Braxton Craven American Inn of Court in 1993. The mission of the American Inns of Court is to foster excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility and legal skills.

The members of the Inn’s Executive Committee are: Judge Donna Stroud, Durham attorney Dawn Battiste and Everett Gaskins Hancock attorney Katie King. Stroud serves as vice-president, Battiste as treasurer and King as secretary.

Campbell Law full-tuition scholars are inducted as members of this Inn. First-year law students Manuel Colon, Lauren Cook, Andrew Franklin and Evan Sumner are among the scholars who have been accepted to the Inn.

Craven-Everett American Inn of Court is an invitation-only group. It was named for two legendary former judges in North Carolina: Judge Braxton Craven of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Judge Robinson O. Everett who was the Chief Judge of the U.S. Military Court of Appeals.

The members meet every month to hear speakers, have dinners, and to spend time together. Professor Dan Tilly, director of the law school’s award-winning Trial Advocacy Program, was the speaker at the October meeting where he gave a presentation about social media. At the November meeting, the group will have the privilege of hearing N.C. Supreme Court Justice Mark Davis speak about Chief Justice James Exum.


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 is celebrating 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.