Our History

The history of Campbell Law School began as one man’s vision.

In the early 1970s, Campbell University’s third president, Norman Adrian Wiggins, began discussing his vision of a small, private law school that would develop lawyers with moral conviction, compassion and competence. President Wiggins traveled throughout North Carolina raising the necessary funds and attracting outstanding lawyers and legal educators to the new endeavor.

His vision – supported by hard work, patience and exceptional leadership – became a reality when a charter class of 97 students inaugurated Campbell Law School in August 1976. In 1988, Campbell University’s Board of Trustees renamed the law school the Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law to honor his pioneering efforts and leadership.

Since its founding, Campbell Law developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. 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 3,400 alumni, including more than 2,400 who reside and work in North Carolina. For 26 years, Campbell Law’s overall record of success on the North Carolina Bar Exam has been unsurpassed by any other North Carolina law school. In September 2009, Campbell Law relocated to a state-of-the-art building in downtown Raleigh.

Our Deans

F. Leary Davis, Jr. – 1975-86
Robert A. Jenkins (acting dean) – 1983-84
Richard A. Lord (acting dean) – 1986
Patrick K. Hetrick – 1987-98
Willis P. Whichard – 1999-2006
James B. McLaughlin (acting dean) – 1999-2000
Melissa A. Essary – 2006-12
B. Keith Faulkner (acting dean) – 2012-13
J. Rich Leonard – 2013-present