Judge J. Rich Leonard, former United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, assumed the role of dean at Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law in 2013. Judge Leonard is a 1971 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He earned a master's degree in education from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1973, and then earned a law degree from Yale Law School in 1976.
He has served as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina since 1992 acting as Chief Judge from 1999 through 2006. Prior to that time, he was a United States Magistrate Judge (1981-92) and Clerk of Court of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (1979-92). For more than a decade Leonard also acted as a consultant to the U.S. Department of State, working with judiciaries in many developing countries, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa.
Leonard has also been active in the classroom. He has worked as an adjunct professor for North Carolina Central University School of Law (1985-86; 1995-98); UNC School of Law (1994-95); and, most recently, Campbell Law (2009-13) prior to becoming dean. In 2012, Campbell Law’s Delta Theta Phi Fraternity presented Leonard with the Judge Robinson O. Everett Award for Legal Excellence.