Cheri Beasley Named Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Professor at Elon Law

March 27, 2024
Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd shareholder Cheri Beasley has been named Elon University School of Law’s first recipient of the Justice Sandra Day O’Connor endowed professorship. She will teach courses on appellate practice, deliver a public lecture and mentor students and faculty.
Before beginning her judicial career in 1999, Cheri was a public defender in Cumberland County. After serving ten years as a District Court Judge in the 12th Judicial District in Cumberland County, she was elected in 2008 to serve as an associate judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. In 2012, she was appointed and then elected in 2014 to the Supreme Court of North Carolina. In 2019, Cheri became the first African-American woman to serve as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. She was the 2022 Democratic North Carolina nominee for the United States Senate.
“Chief Justice Beasley’s state and national leadership as a judge and her commitment to civic engagement make her an ideal professor for Elon Law students,” said Elon University President Connie Ledoux Book in Elon Law’s press release. “Like the law students, I also look forward to learning from her deep knowledge of the law and judicial process during future campus conversations.”
Cheri joined HSB in January 2024 and focuses her practice on commercial litigation and economic development matters, as well as mediation and arbitration work.
“I am honored to be the inaugural Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Professor of Law,” Beasley said. “I am excited to work with both students and faculty to share the knowledge I have gained over my legal career. Sandra Day O’Connor was a trailblazer who came to Elon Law School to encourage students to engage in civil discourse as lawyers. I look forward to helping students expand their fullness of knowledge and commitment in advocacy.”
Cheri also has served in several leadership roles in the North Carolina Bar Association. She was a member of the N.C. Bar Foundation Endowment Committee and a member of the American Bar Association Standing Committee for Legal Aid and Indigent Defense. She previously served as a Fall 2023 Resident Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics.