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About Melissa Essary

Melissa Essary joined Campbell Law School as its fourth dean in July 2006 following a 16-year career as a professor at Baylor University School of Law. Essary served as Campbell Law Dean for six years before moving into a full-time faculty position in July 2012.

Essary is a 1982 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and a 1985 magna cum laude graduate of the Baylor University School of Law. While studying at Baylor Law, she served as Executive Editor of the Baylor Law Review. Following graduation, she served as a trial lawyer for two Texas firms, most notably the Vinson and Elkins firm of Dallas, where she litigated complex commercial cases.

Upon joining Campbell Law, Essary immediately became a vital member of the Campbell University leadership team. In October 2007, the Campbell University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to relocate the law school from its traditional home on the Campbell campus in Buies Creek to a new location in the heart of downtown Raleigh, following the recommendation of a task force that she led. Under Essary's leadership, the law school realized unprecedented demand from highly credentialed prospective students, raised the profile and scholarship of law faculty, and developed new business and community partnerships throughout Raleigh and across the state.


Present Professor of Law, Campbell University School of Law

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Honors and Awards

  • Woman of Justice Award, Nov. 2012 (North Carolina Lawyers' Weekly)
  • Woman of Achievement, June 2011 (North Carolina General Federation of Women's Clubs)
  • James Iredell Award, Feb. 2010 (Phi Alpha Delta James Iredell Chapter, Campbell University School of Law)
  • Woman Extraordinaire Award, 2008 (Business Leader Media)
  • Education Impact Leader Award, 2008 (Business Leader Magazine)
  • Outstanding Tenured Teacher Award, May 2001 (Baylor University)
  • Professionlism Award, Feb. 2002 (Baylor Association for Human Resources)
  • Recipient, Outstanding Law Journal Article, June 1997 (Texas Bar Foundation)
  • Outstanding Young Leader, May 1992 (Atlantic Council, Washington, DC)

Articles (6)

Books (3)

Contributions to Books (1)

Presentations (103)