Campbell Law Professor Woodruff to retire in May

Photo of Professor Woodruff lecturing in a law class.

RALEIGH, N.C. – A 25-year mainstay on the Campbell Law faculty has announced his intention to retire at the end of the academic year. Professor of Law William “Woody” Woodruff will step away from his post following the law school’s annual commencement celebration on May 12.

“It did not take me long after I arrived to realize that Professor Woodruff is a pillar of the law school on which much of our success has been based,” said Campbell Law Dean J. Rich Leonard. “He will be sorely missed.”

Woodruff joined the Campbell Law faculty in 1992 and has impacted and led countless students in Evidence, Trial Advocacy, Advanced Trial Advocacy, Health Law, Military Law, Government Litigation, Courtroom Technology, Personal Property, Torts and Scientific Evidence courses throughout the years at both the Buies Creek and downtown Raleigh campuses. Woodruff was twice named Professor of the Year by a vote of students and has been honored by the dean for his research and scholarship. He has regularly presented at continuing legal education seminars where his academic expertise and practical experience assists practicing lawyers with problems of proof at trial, and in July 2004 he served as a visiting professor at Handong International Law School in Pohang, South Korea.

“When I arrived at Campbell Law 25 years ago after retiring from the Army, I was not looking for a job,” said Woodruff. “I had a great job. I was a colonel in the U.S. Army JAG Corps. I was looking for a place to make a meaningful contribution to developing caring, competent and capable lawyers who had a heart to serve the legitimate needs of their future clients. I can confidently say that Campbell Law allowed me that opportunity.

“I am grateful for the privilege of serving among some of the best lawyers and law teachers you will find anywhere in the country. On top of the professional quality of the people with whom I was privileged to work, the Christian fellowship and relationships that I formed over the years will be forever special.

“I depart with precious memories of the relationships I’ve formed over the years, the pride of seeing the success of thousands of students I had the good fortune to teach, and confidence that the Campbell mission is just as relevant today as it was when I arrived in 1992 and will be the foundation of the school’s success in the future.”

In addition to direct course related teaching responsibilities, Woodruff has counseled and served Campbell Law students in numerous impactful ways throughout the years. With an extensive military background, Woodruff has been a close ally of veteran students, working hand in hand with the Military Law Student Association. He has also been a staunch supporter of the Campbell Law advocacy program, coaching and supporting teams in a variety of capacities throughout his tenure.

Internally, Woodruff has long been a proponent of pro bono and community service efforts. He was integral in the 2009 formation of a cooperative agreement with the Wake county District Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender to work together to address legal issues that precluded clients of area social service agencies from reentering society as productive citizens. This past year he was instrumental in the formation of the Community Law Clinic at Campbell Law.

Before joining the Campbell Law faculty, Woodruff served as the Chief, Army Litigation Division, where he directed civil litigation involving Army policies, programs and activities. He also worked as a Trial Attorney in the Torts Branch, U.S. Department of Justice and taught graduate legal education at The Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Because of Woodruff’s recognized ability to combine the theoretical underpinnings and the practical application of the law, he was invited to work with the law faculty of the University of Wismar in Wismar, Germany, to develop a curriculum to better prepare German law students to enter the legal profession. His work was featured in The German Law Journal, as well as Juristen Zeitung, one of the leading German legal periodicals. He has also presented to international audiences on whether developments in neuroscience and brain imaging technology can reliably determine when a witness is lying.

Woodruff holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama and a juris doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law.