October 19, 2017

Virginia federal Judge James A. Wynn Jr. to receive ABA 2018 Spirit of Excellence Award

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2018 — The American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession will honor Judge James A. Wynn, Jr., who serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va., with its 2018 Spirit of Excellence Award for his commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession. The award will be presented during a ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The Spirit of Excellence Award celebrates the efforts and accomplishments of lawyers who work to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession. Awards are presented to lawyers who excel in their professional settings; who personify excellence on the national, state, or local level; and who have demonstrated a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession.

“Judge Wynn has championed diversity at every level of his career,” said Will Gunn, chair of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. “From racially integrating the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals when he joined that court in 2009 to his long track record of mentoring law clerks, legal interns and attorneys, he serves as a beacon for others to follow.”    

Wynn was nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit by President Barack Obama and confirmed unanimously in 2010.  Prior to his appointment, Wynn served for 20 years on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of North Carolina. He received his J.D. from Marquette University School of Law and an LL.M. in Judicial Process from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Wynn’s legal career began in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps, where he served for four years on active duty and 26 years in the reserves.  He was a Certified Military Trial Judge and retired at the rank of captain. Before becoming a state appellate judge in 1990, Wynn was a litigator in the law firm of Fitch, Butterfield & Wynn in Wilson, N.C.

He currently serves on the Marquette University Board of Trustees and is a senior lecturing fellow at Duke University School of Law. Wynn is one of the drafters of the 2007 ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct. He recently was appointed by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to serve on the Judicial Conference’s Information Technology Committee.

A photo of Wynn is available for download here.

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