From The Family Law Chair – Lee Scholarship

By Afi Johnson-Parris 

When I began practicing family law as a solo practitioner, short on cash and shorter on clients, I polled several colleagues for advice on which reference materials were essential. I had no budget for extras. Nearly everyone I spoke to said, “You’ve got to have Lee’s Family Law.” For many years, Lee’s Family Law was the seminal text on family law in North Carolina. Many a time in court or conversation, lawyers or judges would use the phrase, “well, Lee’s says . . .” when expounding on some area of the law. I knew the current author of the 5th edition was Dean Emerita Suzanne Reynolds, so I never gave much thought to the actual man behind the text until I received a call from Section member Carolyn Ingram.

To Carolyn, Wake Forest School of Law J.D. (1972), Dean Emeritus Dr. Robert Earl Lee was much more than a legend; he was a professor and mentor. When Carolyn entered Wake Forest School of Law in 1969, she was the only woman in her class, and one of only two women in the law school. She described Dr. Lee as a wonderful person and brilliant professor who subjected her to some good-natured ribbing in hypotheticals but made her time at Wake special. She was later honored to teach with him at Campbell Law School. Because of her love and respect for Dr. Lee, Carolyn and her husband and law partner, Charles, made a testamentary gift to establish the Dean Emeritus Dr. Robert Earl Lee Scholarship at Wake Forest School of Law. The Ingrams have begun to rally others to contribute or pledge to the scholarship by June 30, 2020, to take advantage of matching funds that can help to fully fund the endowment now.

In recognition of Dr. Lee’s contributions to the practice of family law, The Family Law Section made a donation of $500 to the scholarship to help a deserving North Carolina student. Logan Roach, Director of Development, Wake Forest School of Law, is the point of contact for more information about the Dean Emeritus Robert Earl Lee Scholarship. Logan can be reached via email at roachlp@wfu.edu.