Justice Timmons-Goodson Joins NCCU School of Law

NCCU School of Law Welcomes Supreme Court of North Carolina, Associate Justice (Retired) Patricia Timmons-Goodson as Dean

 Patricia Timmons-Goodson has spent the entirety of her professional career in public service. Appointed to the Supreme Court of North Carolina by former Governor Michael Easley ‘76 in January 2006, Timmons-Goodson will always be due special note as the fourth woman and the first African American woman to sit on the state’s highest court. The citizens of North Carolina overwhelmingly affirmed her appointment by later electing her to the court. Her retirement from the Supreme Court in 2012, marked the conclusion of 28 years of service in the judiciary of North Carolina.

Timmons-Goodson’s professional quest for justice began as a prosecutor and later as a legal-aid lawyer. At age 29, she was appointed a district court judge and was subsequently elected three times — twice without opposition. In 1997, she was appointed as an associate judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Her successful 1998 statewide campaign earned her a full term and marked the first occasion that an African American woman was elected to an appellate court in North Carolina.

Timmons-Goodson’s years of judicial service to the people of North Carolina have been recognized with awards such as the Advocates for Justice- Appellate Judge of the Year, Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the UNC William R. Davie Award, the NC Bar Liberty Bell Award, and induction into the North Carolina Women’s Hall of Fame. She holds honorary degrees from Johnson C. Smith University, St. Augustine’s University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Timmons-Goodson is an active member of the North Carolina Bar Association and the American Bar Association (ABA), where she has served in various ABA leadership positions: Secretary, Appellate Judges Conference; co-editorial, The Judges’ Journal; Editorial Board, ABA Journal; and member of the ABA Law School Accreditation Committee. She currently serves as co-chair of the Board of Directors of the NC Justice Center.

“I have come to NCCU School of Law, because of my love for the law school and its critical mission to diversify the legal profession. I am proud to join a stellar faculty and staff in providing a quality legal education to historically underrepresented groups in the legal profession. While I once contributed to the profession through judicial service, I have been granted a rare opportunity to further contribute to the law, in yet another meaningful way.  By directing the legal education and training for the next generation of lawyers, I hope to do my part to strengthen the rule of law. And by doing so, the security, peace, and tranquility that our citizens enjoy are preserved.”

Timmons-Goodson received her bachelors and juris doctor degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill and an L.L.M. from Duke University Law School.