The latest episode of All Things Judicial features excerpts of an interview with former Forsyth County attorney William F. Womble (1916-2016) who was the very first recipient of the Chief Justice's Professionalism Award. He begin practicing law with Manly, Hendren & Womble immediately following graduation from Duke University School of Law in 1939. Just two years later, Womble was drafted by the United States Army to serve in WWII until the war's end in 1945. Throughout his career, he became a highly regarded attorney that championed public service and mentorship. In one notable public service role, he worked to desegregate the North Carolina Bar Association during his tenure as its president in the 1960s.
"That is something we always say to the young lawyers and it's one thing that we think has held our firm together," said Womble on the podcast. "It's getting to the basics, the ideas of practicing honesty and integrity and being a student of the law. Those things don't change."
This interview was conducted in 2001 by former Executive Director of the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism Mel Wright. A video of this interview can be found on the NCcourts YouTube channel.