Campbell Law Dean J. Rich Leonard named among leading bankruptcy lawyers

Photo of Campbell Law Dean Leonard

RALEIGH — Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law Dean J. Rich Leonard has been named to the 2020 Lawdragon 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy & Restructuring Lawyers list.  Of the 500 lawyers, eight are North Carolinians — five lawyers and three academics. Leonard is the only dean included on the list.  

Lawdragon, which provides free online legal news and features, is particularly known for its lists of leading lawyers in various practice areas. In a time when businesses are crumbling from a stalling economy, Lawdragon highlighted these “masters of disaster,” and how they “bring remarkable skills in financing, structuring, litigating and creating a pathway forward.” 

Before becoming dean of Campbell Law, Leonard served as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He also consulted on emerging judiciaries in sub-Saharan Africa for the U.S. State Department, enabling him regular travel to Zambia, Tanzania, Namibia, Kenya and Nigeria. 

Dean Leonard has had a long and illustrious career in the legal community, receiving many achievements and awards including the 2018 McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award presented by the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA), the 2014 Lawyer of the Year award presented by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, the 2012 American Bar Association Robert B. Yegge Award for Outstanding Contribution to Judicial Administration and the Director’s Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Federal Judiciary in 1992. 

Most recently, he was awarded the prestigious designation of a Fulbright Specialist Scholar for a three-year period.


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.