UNC School of Law Announces Annual Alumni Association Awards for 2022

July 28, 2022

Four will be recognized for their significant contributions to the legal field.

Left to right: Wade Smith ’63, Jocelyn Mallette ’14, Teresa Wynn Roseborough ’86, Professor Jeff Hirsch

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law Alumni Association will honor three exceptional graduates and one exemplary faculty member at its annual Alumni Awards.

The awards recognize members of the Carolina Law community who embody the law school’s mission to serve the legal profession; the people and institutions of North Carolina; the nation; and the world with ethics and dedication to the cause of justice.

Four Law Alumni Association Awards will be presented:

  • Wade Smith ’63, of Raleigh, N.C., co-founder of Tharrington Smith will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his career that has been highly distinguished as well as his achievements and contributions that are widely recognized as significant and outstanding in the legal field. Smith is a double Tar Heel. As an undergrad, Smith was Morehead Cain scholar and co-captain of the football team. After completing law school, he served as clerk for the North Carolina Supreme Court Justice, Carlisle W. Higgins. He was a prosecutor in Wake County Superior court and then became a trial lawyer. In 1973, Smith was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives and re-elected in 1975. He retired from politics in 1977 to devote his full time to the practice of law. Smith is a member of many associations recognizing excellence in trial work. In 2006, he was appointed by the North Carolina Chief Justice to serve as one of eight commissioners of the the newly established North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission. His work over the years has spanned both civil and criminal and he has been considered one of North Carolina’s best known and most acclaimed lawyers for nearly 50 years. His work has been recounted in books, magazines, and film. Smith’s high-profile cases include serving as counsel to Dr. Jeffrey McDonald in the much studied and discussed Green Beret Murder case and most recently he was lead counsel for Collin Finnerty, one of three young men accused in the Duke Lacrosse Case. He is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades for his commitment and dedication to the legal profession.
  • Teresa Wynn Roseborough ’86, of Atlanta, Georgia, executive vice president‑general counsel & corporate secretary of The Home Depot, will be presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award, for her accomplishments and contributions that have enhanced the school and the profession of law at the local, state, national and international levels. She is responsible for The Home Depot’s legal functions, government relations, corporate communications and external affairs. As corporate secretary, she is also responsible for all corporate governance matters. Prior to joining The Home Depot in 2011, Roseborough held several positions in the MetLife legal department, and was formerly a partner at Evershed Sutherland. Her more than 30 years of legal experience includes serving as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General during the Clinton administration, law clerk for Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge James Dickson Phillips of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and an employee of the Department of Defense in West Germany. As a student at Carolina Law, Roseborough served as the editor of the North Carolina Law Review.
  • Jocelyn Mallette ’14, of Raleigh, N.C., a senior associate in the Raleigh office of McGuireWoods LLP, will receive the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award for her achievements that have brought credit to the school, the legal profession, and our society. Mallette is a trial lawyer, handling a broad array of matters including medical malpractice defense, product liability, toxic torts, mass torts, and fire and explosion.   After graduating from the Air Force Academy, she served for 10 years in the United States Air Force. First, she served as a Diversity Recruiter for the Air Force Academy and then as an intelligence officer, briefing Air Force pilots in South Carolina and in Germany.  In 2011, Mallette was the sole recipient of the Air Force’s law school scholarship. As a student at Carolina Law, she was the vice president of the Black Law Students Association and the president of the Broun National Trial Team. After graduation, Mallette served as a prosecutor and general practice attorney in the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, NC. After her service in the JAG Corps, Mallette clerked for the Honorable Barbara A. Jackson of the North Carolina Supreme Court before joining McGuireWoods.
  • Professor Jeff Hirsch, Geneva Yeargan Rand Distinguished Professor of Law, will receive the Professor S. Elizabeth Gibson Award for Faculty Excellence for embodying the outstanding qualities of integrity, legal scholarship, exemplary teaching, and commitment to service to UNC School of Law and the University. Professor Hirsch joined Carolina Law in 2011. He has served as Associate Dean for Strategy and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Hirsch’s teaching and research focuses on labor and employment law issues, and he has authored numerous books, book chapters, articles, and essays on topics including technology in the workplace, unions, and dismissal law. He is an editor of the Workplace Prof Blog, executive committee member of the Labor Law Group, research fellow at the NYU Center for Labor & Employment Law, former chair of the AALS Labor Relations & Employment Law Section, and former president of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools. Hirsch most recently won the Paul Steven Miller Award for outstanding academic and public contributions to the field of labor and employment law in 2021. Hirsch earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia; Master of Public Policy from the College of William & Mary; and J.D. from the NYU School of Law. After law school, Hirsch clerked for Judge Haldane Mayer, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and Judge Robert Beezer, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; litigated in the National Labor Relations Board’s Appellate Court Branch; and taught for several years at the University of Tennessee College of Law, as well as Vanderbilt University Law School as a visiting professor.

Read more about the Law Alumni Association’s awards.

The law school will recognize these award recipients on September 30, 2022.

Please contact Jennifer Guy (director of alumni and donor relations) at jennifer_guy@unc.edu with questions or comments.