RALEIGH, North Carolina – Campbell Law icon Margaret Currin was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Dean J. Rich Leonard during the institution’s 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, Oct. 15, at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The honor, among the most prestigious presented in the state, was signed by Governor Pat McCrory.
A lifelong North Carolinian, Currin’s contributions to justice and legal education within the state are immense. A former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina and a 30-year legal educator and administrator, Currin’s life work has been of service to the state.
For five years as U.S. Attorney, Currin represented the interests of the U.S. in all civil and criminal matters throughout the Eastern District of N.C. During her 30 years in legal education and law school administration, Currin taught a variety of subjects and led numerous departments at Campbell Law.
Currin became familiar with service as an undergraduate at Meredith College where she was active in numerous service groups and athletic programs. Following graduation she worked as an eligibility specialist for the Wake County Department of Social Services, and later with the state’s department of corrections as a public education director. It was at this point she felt called to use the law as a means to service others.
The very first student to matriculate into Campbell University’s brand new law school in the fall of 1976, Currin excelled throughout her studies and was lauded for her academic achievements. As a student she clerked for the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. She graduated second in her class, cum laude, in 1979. She then left home to serve as a legislative assistant and counsel to U.S. Senator John Tower.
She returned to Buies Creek in 1981 to serve in dual capacities at Campbell Law, as an assistant dean and associate professor. She would later serve as an associate dean overseeing academic, student, and administrative affairs. She has taught countless students in the areas of government litigation, federal crimes, scientific evidence, election and lobby law, administrative law, and professional responsibility.
President Ronald Reagan nominated Currin as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina in March 1988, a role in which she served until April 1993. Following her tenure, she returned to Campbell Law and resumed teaching at Campbell Law where she remained until her retirement in May 2013.
At Campbell Law Currin single-handedly built the Campbell Law Externship Program, working with students as they gain experience in public service, non-profit, corporate, and pro bono environments. The National Jurist ranked Campbell Law’s program 27th nationally in September 2013. Eighty-five percent of recent graduates completed one or more externships as a part of Campbell Law’s signature program. Because of her efforts, newly-minted attorneys all throughout the state are better prepared to represent clients the moment they pass the bar.
Few people in the Raleigh legal community have gone above and beyond in assisting numerous civic, professional, and public service organizations as Currin. She was president of the National Association of Former United States Attorneys, served on and chaired the Wake County Board of Elections, served as General Counsel for a state party and other political committees, and served on the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Committee with the North Carolina State Board of Elections. She has also represented political committees before the Federal Election Commission.
In October 2015 Currin was reappointed to the North Carolina Rules Review Commission, to which she was initially appointed in June 2011 and reappointed in 2013. She has served as both first vice chairman and chairman of the commission. In December 2015 she was elected to the Wake County Bar Association/Tenth Judicial District Board of Directors. Currin serves on several North Carolina Bar Association councils, including the NCBA BarCARES Board of Directors.