Phyliss Craig-Taylor Named Dean of NCCU School of Law

North Carolina Central University will welcome a new dean of the School of Law, Phyliss Craig-Taylor, in July. Craig-Taylor most recently served as associate dean for academics at Charlotte School of Law in Charlotte. Assuming the dean’s office marks a return to NCCU for Craig-Taylor, who served as a law professor from 2000 to 2006.

Craig-Taylor has more than 22 years of experience in legal education and administration. She has been an active faculty member at the University of Florida College of Law, a visiting professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law and a professor in residence at the University of Warsaw College of Law in Poland. Her areas of teaching include property, real estate finance, advanced issues in poverty, land use, land loss, women and the law, and professional responsibility.

“The appointment of Craig-Taylor signifies a continuation of the school’s mission to create a challenging educational program that will produce competent and responsible members of the legal profession,” NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms said.

A certified green belt in Six Sigma process management, Craig-Taylor was responsible for the establishment of a bar preparation program that increased the bar passage rate for targeted groups from 30 percent to 100 percent. A support program focused on study skills, reading comprehension, time management and examination preparation were also established under her leadership.

As an executive in residence at the Central Administration office in Naples, Fla., Craig-Taylor provided leadership and oversight to academic affairs and academic outcomes teams for the Charlotte School of Law, Phoenix School of Law and Florida Coastal School of Law.

Through her involvement with the American Bar Association, Craig-Taylor has held several leadership positions in the Section of Litigation, including serving as a division director. She has served on the N.C. State Bar Ethics Committee and the N.C. Bar Association Minorities in the Profession Committee.

“The law school has long been noted for its focus on public service and on meeting the needs of people and communities that are underserved by the legal profession,” said NCCU Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Debbie Thomas. “We are confident that Dean Craig-Taylor will continue this commitment.”

Craig-Taylor has published numerous articles on land loss in the African-American community and discrimination in the application of laws for minority groups, including women. She is currently writing a book, “Open Door Days on the Last Plantation: An Analysis of Property Loss, Race and Citizenship.”

A graduate of the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, where she completed both her undergraduate degree and law degree, she later served as a partner in the law firm of England & Bivens and as a judicial clerk for the Alabama Supreme Court. She later earned a Master of Laws degree at Columbia University.

She succeeds Raymond C. Pierce, who has been dean of the School of Law since 2005 and is returning to private practice.

Opening its doors in 1940, the NCCU School of Law has been recognized as a “best-value” law school by preLaw magazine, a National Jurist publication, in rankings based on affordability, bar passage rates and job placement. Last year, its award-winning clinical program was ranked fourth in the nation. The Elder Law Project, working with seniors in North Carolina, received the 2012 North Carolina Bar Association’s Pro Bono Service Award. Among the nation’s most diverse law schools, the school received Association of American Law Schools (AALS) membership in January 2012, and was only the third law school at a historically black university to join the association.