6/30/2003 - 7/30/2003
Alexandria, VA (June 28, 2003) – Professor Franklin D. Cleckley, the Arthur B. Hodges Professor of Law at West Virginia University College of Law has been awarded the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Fourth Circuit. Justice Donald W. Lemons of the Virginia Supreme Court, Trustee of the American Inns of Court, presented the award on June 23 at the 2003 Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia.
The Circuit Professionalism Award is presented to honor a senior practicing judge or lawyer whose life and practice display sterling character and unquestioned integrity, coupled with ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession. Candidates are nominated through circuit-wide open nominations and selected by a panel of representatives from both the circuit and the American Inns of Court Foundation.
A native of Huntington, West Virginia, Professor Cleckley received his A.B. degree from Anderson College, in Anderson, Indiana in 1962. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the School of Law at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1965. He served for three years as a Navy JAG Officer. In 1969 he received his L.L.M. degree from Harvard University and later pursued post-graduate studies at Exeter University in Exeter, England.
Professor Cleckley joined the faculty at the West Virginia University College of Law in 1969, where he became the first holder of the Arthur B. Hodges Chair of Law, a Chair which he continues to hold today. On May 3, 1994, former Governor Gaston Caperton appointed Professor Cleckley to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals - the first African-American Justice in West Virginia history. At the end of 1996, Justice Cleckley chose to return to West Virginia University and continue as a law professor, rather than continue on the bench.
In 1990, he created The Franklin D. Cleckley Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization designed to help former convicts with educational and employment opportunities. In 1992, the Franklin D. Cleckley Symposium was established at West Virginia University to bring distinguished members of the civil rights and African-American communities to the campus as lecturers. At Mercer University, in Macon, Georgia, the Franklin D. Cleckley Award is given by the Black Law School Association to an attorney who has made an outstanding effort at community service.
The American Inns of Court Circuit Professionalism Awards are presented in participating circuits nationwide. The awards are underwritten in part by Thomson – West Group.