Cheri Beasley

Shareholder  |  Raleigh

Meet Cheri

Cheri Beasley focuses her practice on commercial litigation and economic development, as well as mediation and arbitration work. She most recently served as a Fall 2023 Resident Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics.

Cheri’s distinguished judicial career spanned nearly 25 years, and she was the first African-American woman to serve as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Her service began at the Court in 2012, she served as Chief Justice from March 2019 to December 2020. Cheri served as an Associate Judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and a District Court Judge in the 12th Judicial District in Cumberland County. She was a public defender in Cumberland County before beginning her judicial career in 1999. In 2022, she was the Democratic nominee for North Carolina for the United States Senate.

  • Duke University School of Law, LL.M., Judicial Studies, 2018
  • University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., 1991
  • Douglass College of Rutgers University, B.A., 1988
  • North Carolina, 1991
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina
Honors and Awards
  • Order of the Long Leaf Pine, 2023
  • North Carolina Bar Association 2021 Liberty Bell Award and 2021 Citizen Lawyer Award
  • WRAL 2019 Celebrating Black History Award
  • The University of Tennessee Distinguished Alumni Award
  • National Council of Negro Women, Capitol Area 2018 Public Service Award
  • NCBA Minorities in the Profession Committee 2016 Legal Legends of Color Honoree
  • Fayetteville State University 2014 Chancellor’s Medallion and honorary doctorate
  • North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys 2014 Gwyneth B. Davis Award
  • National Bar Association 2015 Wiley A. Branton Symposium Honoree
  • Rutgers University African American Alumni Alliance 2013 Hall of Fame Inductee
Professional and Civic Activities
  • Harvard Kennedy School, Fall 2023 Resident Fellow
  • American Bar Association, Appellate Judges Conference (Member), Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense (Member)
  • National Bar Association, Appellate Rules Committee (Member), Appellate Rules Section (Member), Women in the Profession (Member)
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Board of Governors, Vice President (2015-2016)
  • North Carolina Bar Foundation, Board of Directors (2015-2016), former Endowment Committee Member
  • Cumberland County Bar Association
  • Wake County Bar Association
  • Junior League of Raleigh (2013-Present)
  • North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, former Vice Chair