School of Law News

Law School Names Legal Clinic Conference Room in Honor of Judge A. Leon Stanback, Jr.

On Wednesday, November 10, the Law School held a dedication ceremony and naming of its Legal Clinic Conference Room in honor of Judge A. Leon Stanback, Jr.  Judge Stanback served as superior court judge for the 14th Judicial District of the Third Division of the Superior Court, in Durham County, North Carolina. He was appointed to the court in 1989 and retired in late 2009. “I am humbled and honored by this recognition and overflowing with love and gratitude for my entire family,” said Judge Stanback. “NC Central University has been at the center of my legal career since I began Law School in 1965. I am thrilled that the Legal Clinic Conference Room will stand as a beacon of inspiration for future law students.”

Judge Stanback earned his Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctorate from NC Central University. Congressman G.K. Butterfield attended the naming ceremony and spoke about his friendship with Judge Stanback. The two met in 1965 on the campus of NC Central University when Judge Stanback was entering Law School. The ceremony also included tributes from longtime friend Henry McKinley “Mickey” Michaux, Jr., member of the North Carolina House of Representatives and former U.S. Attorney, and former Durham Mayor ,William V. Bell.

Following the event, Dean Browne C. Lewis and Michelle F. Stanback unveiled a plaque and portrait of Judge Stanback that hangs in the Clinic Conference Room.


Biography: Judge A. Leon Stanback, Jr.

Since 1968, Judge A. Leon Stanback, Jr. has served North Carolina and the Durham community with distinction as a prosecutor, parole commissioner, private practitioner and Superior Court Judge. An alumnus of NC Central University, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1965 and Juris Doctorate in 1968 from NC Central University School of Law. After admission to the North Carolina Bar in 1968, Judge Stanback was hired as an associate attorney with Frye & Johnson Attorneys. One year later he became an Assistant District Attorney (ADA) for Guilford County.  In his role as an ADA, Judge Stanback prosecuted criminal cases and civil cases involving the Uniform Enforcement of Child Support Act in North Carolina. Over the next nine years, Judge Stanback was a partner in two law firms: Lee, High, Taylor, Dansby & Stanback Attorneys and Dansby & Stanback Attorneys.

In 1980, Judge Stanback led Stanback & Stanback, P.A., where he managed business affairs and supervised attorneys in the firm. In 1985, Judge Stanback expanded his career to serving on the Governor’s Minority Executive Advisory Council. In this role, Judge Stanback advised the Governor of North Carolina which included employment, education and economic development issues. Judge Stanback later became Commissioner of the North Carolina Parole Commission where he developed programs that helped rehabilitate inmates and made recommendations concerning pardons and commutations. 

In 1989, he was appointed to the North Carolina Superior Court for the 14th Judicial District serving Durham County. Stanback presided over various civil and criminal Superior Courts of North Carolina. After leaving the bench Judge Stanback served as District Attorney for Durham County until 2014, and then started a private practice, Attorney A. Leon Stanback & Associates. He served on the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners. Judge Stanback is a member of numerous legal and professional organizations including the North Carolina Bar Association and the National Bar Association Judicial Council. He is also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. In his esteemed career, Judge Stanback has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

Judge Stanback is married to Michelle F. Stanback and they have three daughters: Catherine, Kynita, and Portia, and a granddaughter, Victoria.