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Patricia Timmons-Goodson, former Cumberland judge, named dean of NCCU law school

Judge was first Black woman named to N.C. Supreme Court


Former Cumberland County District Court Judge Patricia Timmons-Goodson has been named the dean of the law school at North Carolina Central University in Durham.

The university announced the news Monday on its website.

Timmons-Goodson was the first African American woman and fourth woman to serve on the N.C. Supreme Court. She was appointed to the court by Gov. Mike Easley in 2006, according to the news release.

She retired from the Supreme Court in 2012, having served 28 years in the judiciary.

Her judicial career began in 1984 when at age 29, she was appointed a district judge in Cumberland County. She was subsequently elected three times — twice without opposition.

From 1997 to 2005, she served on the N.C. Court of Appeals.

Timmons-Goodson will be tasked with elevating the N.C. Central School of Law’s visibility and sustainability, according to the university. She will develop the school’s leadership team; implement a marketing program; and promote and support faculty scholarship and teaching excellence, the news release said.

“I’m very elated that former North Carolina Supreme Court Associate Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson will be joining our team at NCCU and look forward to working with her and her team as we advance the mission of the law school by preparing a significant cadre of the nation’s future jurists,” said David H. Jackson Jr., provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.  

Timmons-Goodson is an active member of the American Bar Association, serving as an officer in the Appellate Judges Conference, editorial board member of the ABA Journal and an ABA Law School Accreditation Committee member. She currently co-chairs the board of the NC Justice Center, according to the news release.

Timmons-Goodson received her bachelor’s and law degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master of laws degree from Duke University Law School.

She is married to Ernest J. Goodson, and they have two adult sons.

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Cumberland County, N.C. Central University, law school, Patricia Timmons-Goodson