Campbell Law Dean J. Rich Leonard publishes book about his journey as a judge

Photo of book cover of From Welcome to Windhoek

RALEIGH — Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services (LCMS) Press has announced the publication of “From Welcome to Windhoek: A Judge’s Journey,” written by Campbell Law School Dean J. Rich Leonard.

According to the LCMS press release, this is the remarkable story of how a boy from rural Welcome, North Carolina, grew up to become an innovative judge, global citizen and go-to guy for court-building in emerging African nations.

Photo of Dean Leonard holding his book, A Judge's Journey

Along the way, he organizes the first-ever judicial conference in Zambia, jogs with children in Lusaka, dances with a python and has adventures ranging from the harrowing to the hilarious.

In the end, he discovers the distance between Welcome and Windhoek is not as great as he imagined, and that both places now occupy adjoining spaces in his heart.

Over the course of his long career, Leonard has been a pioneering judge, a groundbreaking court administrator, a restorer of historic courthouses  and, at age 29 the youngest U.S. District Court Clerk in the country, which gave him a front-row seat to some of the most sensational trials in North Carolina history.

He has also run marathons, climbed mountains, forged cross-continental friendships and embraced life in all its majesty and messiness.

He worked as a special consultant to the U.S. Department of State, where for 20 years he helped developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa create workable court systems.

This is his second published volume. The first, a children’s book, “The House By the Creek,” based on his Davidson County family history, is set in North Carolina during the Revolutionary War.

He is now in his 10th year as Dean of the law school in downtown Raleigh, where he resides with his family.

Copies of the book can be ordered from Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The Friends of the City of Raleigh Museum and the Campbell Law Alumni Association are hosting a reception and book signing from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 8 at the City of Raleigh Museum, 220 Fayetteville St. Space is limited for this event so please register early at this link.  


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 4,700 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2021, Campbell Law celebrated 45 years of graduating legal leaders and 12 years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.


LMCS Press is part of Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services and was created to help lawyers and legal professionals share their experiences and personal stories through published books. We are honored to be a part of putting Rich Leonard’s magical stories into print. For more information contact Camille Stell, President, at 919.447.3354 or