The award recognizes an ABA young lawyer who demonstrates professional excellence, service to the profession and the bar, service to the community and/or a reputation for, or the advancement of, legal ethics and professional responsibility.
Walton currently serves as counsel for the Charlotte law firm of Alexander Ricks PLLC, practicing complex business litigation, white collar defense, health care fraud and compliance, information security and privacy, and complex financial transactions. Walton is also an adjunct professor at the Charlotte School of Law, where he teaches courses on cybercrime and evidence. He previously served as a special assistant U.S. attorney in the Western and Middle Districts of North Carolina for the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office. While with the attorney general’s office, Walton played an active role in returning nearly $11 million in fraudulent payouts back to federal and state health care programs.
During his career, Walton has worked on pro bono cases representing Iraqi nationals who assisted the U.S. government in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and organizing the Wills for Heroes program in North Carolina, which provides wills and estate planning documents free of charge to first responders. For his work with the Wills for Heroes program, Walton received the 2008 Mayer Brown LLP U.S. Pro Bono Transactional Matter of the Year. He has received other distinctions in North Carolina for his contributions to the legal profession, including the 2009-10 North Carolina Bar Association Pro Bono Younger Lawyer of the Year and the 2009 Mecklenburg County Bar Young Lawyers Division Young Lawyer of the Year.
In addition to his frequent pro bono contributions, Walton actively participates in a variety of bar activities. He currently serves as chair-elect for the N.C. Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and serves on the Board of Directors for the Mecklenburg County Bar. He is on the ABA Advisory Committee on Law and National Security, and acts as a young lawyer liaison for the ABA YLD Special Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in computer science, Walton received his juris doctor and dean’s list honors from Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to the practice of law, Walton served for more than four years as a cybersecurity analyst for the federal government, and completed a White House internship with the vice president’s homeland security assistant in 2003 and the FBI Honors Internship Program in 1999. He is admitted to practice in North Carolina and in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.
The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is the home for young lawyers. With more than 130,000 members and 300 affiliated groups, the ABA YLD is the largest young lawyer organization in the world.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.