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HPU Welcomes Former N.C. Chief Justice as Founding Dean of Law School

Jun 07th, 2022

HPU Welcomes Former N.C. Chief Justice as Founding Dean of Law School

High Point University announces that Mark Martin, former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, will serve as the founding dean of HPU’s new School of Law.

HIGH POINT, N.C., June 7, 2022 – High Point University announces that Mark Martin will serve as the founding dean of HPU’s new School of Law. Martin’s successful career includes previously serving as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, as an Associate Judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and most recently as dean and professor of law at Regent University School of Law.

“Chief Justice Mark Martin has led a distinguished judicial career in North Carolina, and he’s demonstrated tremendous results as a law school dean,” says Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president. “We welcome him to HPU and look forward to his extraordinary partnership as he champions HPU’s newest professional program.”

A special event to welcome Martin will be held on campus for invited guests in the fall after the semester begins.

“Words cannot adequately express my appreciation to Dr. Qubein for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Martin. “I look forward to working with a broad array of extraordinary legal scholars and leaders to build a law school of distinction, one with a national reputation for excellence.”

“Chief Justice Martin has unbelievable support from a diverse array of professionals,” adds Qubein. “We are fortunate to have him join the HPU family.”


Notable Leaders on Chief Justice Mark Martin:

“Mark Martin is the ideal person to be the founding dean of the new law school at High Point University. His experience as a lawyer, as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, and as a law school dean all make him superbly qualified to lead this new law school. With him at the helm, they are already far on the way to creating an outstanding law school.” –Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of Berkeley Law and President of the Association of American Law Schools

 “Mark Martin will be a great dean of High Point University’s new law school. As Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, Mark developed a reputation among the other state chief justices as a thoughtful judge dedicated to the cause of justice and the rule of law. And as Dean of Regent University School of Law, Mark has been an effective and innovative educator and leader, preparing class after class of aspiring lawyers, and challenging them to give their best to their clients, their profession and society. High Point University has chosen very well.” –Hon. Nathan Hecht, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas and Immediate Past President, Conference of Chief Justices

“Chief Justice Mark Martin is an innovator and creative thinker. An extraordinary leader. High Point University could not have made a better choice in its selection of a Founding Law Dean.” –Peter Hans, President of the University of North Carolina System

“I cannot think of a better person to serve as founding dean for the new law school at High Point University. Chief Justice Martin brings a tremendous amount of talent and experience to this new endeavor. With his leadership and vision, I’m confident that HPU Law will be a tremendous addition to North Carolina’s legal community.” –Hon. Barbara Jackson, former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina

“Mark Martin is a leader who transcends all the usual boundaries. He is an exceptional choice for Founding Dean at High Point University School of Law.” –Orage Quarles, former Publisher of the Raleigh News and Observer

 “I have collaborated with many professionals throughout my career. Chief Justice Mark Martin is a consummate professional and leader of the highest character and integrity.” -J. Bradley Wilson, Chief Executive Officer (ret.), Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

 “I worked closely with Mark Martin when I served as Chief Justice. He is an extraordinary judge, a natural leader and a man of integrity. He is a top performer in every way. High Point University is very fortunate to have him as the Founding Dean of its new law school.” –Hon. Burley B. Mitchell, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina

 “I have known former Chief Justice and now Dean Mark Martin for over 15 years and have worked with him on several important administration of justice initiatives, all of which were focused on improving the justice system and supporting the rule of law. With his deep experience as a lawyer, judge and law dean, and with his incomparable energy and ability to draw together and lead diverse groups, he is very well suited to serve as the founding dean of High Point University School of Law.” –David Levi, former Dean and current Professor at Duke Law, and President of the American Law Institute

 “I have known Chief Justice Mark Martin for over 30 years. I enthusiastically support his selection as Founding Dean at the High Point University School of Law. I hold high confidence that he will do a superb job.” –John R. Wester, President, North Carolina Bar Association (2009-2010); Chair, American College of Trial Lawyers Judicial Independence Committee; and Partner, Robinson Bradshaw

 “I worked with Chief Justice Mark Martin for over 16 years on the North Carolina Supreme Court. He is a lawyer of distinction, a legal educator of renown and a person of unquestionable integrity. I am delighted that he will be leading the new law school at High Point University.” –Justice Robert Edmunds (ret.), President, Appellate Judges Education Institute; Counsel, Fox Rothschild, LLP

HPU Mark Martin

About Chief Justice Mark Martin

Chief Justice Martin’s list of accomplishments, awards and recognition is long. He holds the distinction of being the youngest person ever to serve on the N.C. Supreme Court and the N.C. Court of Appeals. He is deeply committed to advancing the rule of law, improving the administration of justice and promoting excellence in legal education.

During his service in his home state, Martin sought to narrow the access-to-justice gap in North Carolina by creating a bar-funded Pro Bono Resource Center. He has also been involved in promoting the rule of law internationally, including serving on the Commission on the World Justice Project and participating in the World Justice Forum in Vienna, Austria, and the World Justice Forum III in Barcelona, Spain.

Martin has held many national and state leadership roles. He serves as chair of the Thomson Reuters Judicial Advisory Committee. He has served as a member on the Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction of the Judicial Conference of the United States. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Conference of Chief Justices. Martin has served as chair of the ABA Judicial Division and Appellate Judges Conference and is a former chair of the Appellate Judges Education Institute Board of Directors. He has been an elected member of the American Law Institute since 2009.

At the state level, Martin served as chair of the Commission on the Future of the N.C. Business Court and as a vice president of the North Carolina Bar Association. During his service on the N.C. Supreme Court, he taught on the adjunct faculties at Duke, North Carolina Central and University of North Carolina law schools.

In recognition of his extensive service to the courts, Martin has been inducted into the Warren E. Burger Society of the National Center for State Courts. He is the recipient of the ABA 2019 Robert Yegge Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Judicial Administration and the North Carolina Bar Association 2019 Liberty Bell Award. He is also a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, which is the highest honor presented by North Carolina governors for people who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments.

Martin has a proven track record in leading a successful law school and educating the nation’s future legal professionals. During his tenure at Regent, its law school was included for the first time among the Best Grad Schools—Law in the U.S. News Rankings. Virtually every objective metric, including median LSAT and undergraduate GPA, increased significantly during his deanship. In 2020, 24.6% of Regent Law graduates secured judicial clerkships (ranking 14th among U.S. law schools) and 96% were employed as measured by the National Association of Law Placement survey (ranking 20th among US law schools). The law school also achieved a 100% first-time pass rate on the Uniform Bar Exam in 2020.

Martin and his wife, Kym, have five adult children. The couple is excited to return home to North Carolina and build HPU’s law school to prepare future legal professionals for the world as it will be.

About HPU’s School of Law

HPU’s School of Law, pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, was announced earlier this spring as part of a $400 million academic expansion plan, along with several other academic schools.

HPU has added numerous graduate programs during its transformational growth, including doctoral degrees in physical therapy, pharmacy and educational leadership, master’s degrees in physician assistant studies, athletic training, communication and business leadership, and many others. The university has grown from four to 11 academic schools.

Each year, a growing number of undergraduate students and their parents continue inquiring about additional graduate programs.

“A law school is an important addition to HPU’s portfolio of prestigious graduate degree offerings,” says Qubein. “As The Premier Life Skills University, we continue our transformational growth plan focused on academic excellence, and we remain committed to preparing our graduates for a life of both success and significance.”