Campbell Law names competitive scholarship recipients for Class of 2023

Photo of outside of law school with Raleigh skyline in the background

RALEIGH — Campbell Law Dean J. Rich Leonard has announced the 2020 recipients of the law school’s four highly prestigious, full-tuition competitive scholarships for exceptional applicants.

“Our law school is committed to doing all we can to make sure that every qualified student that wants to use the law as a means to serve others has the opportunity to do so,” Dean Leonard said. “I am thrilled to announce the recipients of our competitive scholarships from the incoming class of 2023.”

Matthew “Matt” Darby of Greensboro, North Carolina, has been awarded the Janette Soles Nelson ’92 Public Service Scholarship.  Since March 2018, Darby has served as a “mitigation paralegal” for the North Carolina Capital Defender’s Office.  His responsibilities include locating, obtaining, reviewing, organizing and summarizing evidentiary materials; locating and interviewing witnesses; interviewing and building trusting relationships with incarcerated individuals charged with murder; and assisting attorneys, experts, investigators and other members of legal defense teams.  Previously he served as an intern with the Duke Law Wrongful Convictions Clinic. A reference letter stated:  “He was quite simply one of the two best if not the best undergraduate intern we have ever had.”  The three panelists who interviewed the 16 finalists were unanimous in selecting Darby as their preferred choice for this award, having been very impressed with his application materials and the various and polished skills he exhibited during his online interview. For example, Darby asked each panelist to remark on his or her own commitment to public service.  Darby is a 2016 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), where he majored in political science with a concentration in pre-law and a minor  in philosophy. The Janette Soles Nelson Public Service Scholarship, which relates to Campbell Law’s history of educating highly competent, deeply compassionate lawyers who seek to serve others through the law, is offered annually to one exceptionally qualified student with plans to practice law in service to the public. 

LeAnne McAbee of Durham, North Carolina, has been awarded the Ben & Patrice Thompson Achievement Scholarship. McAbee has consistently given back to those in need, regularly serving as a volunteer at Ronald McDonald House and State Employee Credit Union (SECU) Family House. She founded a Positivity Outreach Program to “promote kindness, positivity and friendship” due to a need she recognized to provide “a little happiness and hope” to vulnerable teens. As someone who has overcome a significant amount of adversity, McAbee has channeled her experiences into giving back to the community. The legal system gave her a chance, and in turn, she hopes to “provide safety, justice and intervention to others.” McAbee will be graduating from UNCG this spring with a degree in liberal arts. The Ben & Patrice Thompson Achievement Scholarship is offered annually to one high-achieving student who has overcome significant obstacles in life, such as socio-economic or educational hardships, disabilities or other major challenges

Corey Goss of Roper, North Carolina, has been awarded the Cheshire Schneider Advocacy Scholarship. Goss is a Summa Cum Laudegraduate of East Carolina University (ECU) where he was named to the Dean’s List in every semester.  During his tenure at ECU, Goss served as the president of the Debating Society, vice-president of Young Americans for Liberty and a member of the Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honors Society.  In his spare time, he served as a content contributor to the student newspaper and a volunteer fireman.  Goss received the Outstanding Undergraduate Award from the ECU Department of Criminal Justice in 2019, a prestigious award chosen by the department’s faculty based on academic performance, leadership and civic contribution.  As a result, he was asked to give the commencement speech on behalf of the Criminal Justice Department.  Since graduating, Goss has been serving his community as the Senior Minister of a small community church where he leads worship services, church events and community outreach. The Cheshire Schneider Advocacy Scholarship, which stays true to Campbell Law’s mission to educate and develop vigorous advocates for championing and defending individual liberties and justice, is offered annually to one student with demonstrable success in advocacy programs such as debate or mock trial during high school and/or college experiences. 

Sgt. Major Nathaniel “Nate” Bowers of Fayetteville, North Carolina, has been awarded the Leary & Joy Davis Leadership Scholarship. As the first FLEX recipient and first veteran recipient of a full-tuition scholarship award, Bowers served 25 years in the Army. Bowers spent 20 years as a Green Beret working in intelligence operations throughout the world. He has worked at national and international levels of leadership. As a representative of Special Operations, he deliberated with ambassadors, Joint Chiefs, the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence. He also worked with foreign defense officials, and foreign agencies and dignitaries on behalf of the U.S. Government. He currently serves as Sergeant Major at Fort Bragg, leading the Special Operation’s Education Institution for Non-Commissioned Officers, which educates more than 1,000 Greet Berets annually to serve in remote areas throughout the globe in tactical, operations and strategic leadership roles. Bowers has received four Bronze Stars and dozens of other military awards. Bowers graduated from the American Military University with a degree in Psychology, and he obtained his Master of Arts degree in Strategic Security Studies from the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Bowers plans to become a lawyer to give back to veterans across our state through pro bono services. The Leary & Joy Davis Leadership Scholarship, which keeps with the law school’s efforts to educate graduates who will become effective advocates and leaders for legal and social justice, is offered annually to one student with demonstrated leadership skills and the potential to become a leader in the law. 


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.