WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - It takes an extraordinarily special surprise to leave a veteran trial attorney speechless – for Bill Womble Jr. it was receiving The Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Governor Pat McCrory last week. The recognition is one of the highest honors a governor of North Carolina can bestow and is awarded to individuals who provide “exemplary service” to the State.
Womble received a standing ovation from his colleagues as Gov. Pat McCrory delivered the award during a small ceremony held in the Winston-Salem office. McCrory hailed Womble for his years of charitable work and professional leadership.
“Without this person,” McCrory said immediately before announcing Bill Womble, Jr.’s name, “Winston-Salem wouldn’t be the same city and North Carolina wouldn’t be the same state.”
Womble humbly thanked his colleagues for their support and for their hard work, professionally and in voluntary civic and community service, continuing Womble Carlyle’s reputation for excellence earned in the State and nationally.
“An attorney’s job is to advise and advocate,” Womble said. “I think it’s important that we do that not only for our clients but for our community, state and nation as well. It makes me proud to know so many of our attorneys share that belief.”
Womble is a lawyer with more than 40 years of multi-state experience in high-stakes litigation. He is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and a permanent member of the Duke University School of Law, Board of Visitors. He chairs the North Carolina Bar Association’s Committee on Judicial Independence, and has consistently accepted leadership roles in its work ranging from Legal Aid to practical skills training to bench/bar relationships and professionalism. He was one of the founders of the Council on Drug Abuse (now Insight Human Services) and the national Propane Gas Defense Association, and a charter member of the N.C. Association of Defense Attorneys. Through leadership activities in professional organizations nationally, he has brought meetings of those organizations to North Carolina. With Erna Womble, he co-chaired The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County’s 2008 annual fund drive which initiated fund-raising for the Rhodes Center for the Arts. He served as a Navy Lieutenant during the Vietnam War.