Janet Ward Black

Attorney Janet Ward Black is the principal owner of Ward Black Law located in Greensboro.  It is one of the largest woman-owned law firms in our state. The firm’s clients have received settlements of more than $100 million over the last 10 years. The firm represents people injured at work, in accidents, and by dangerous products and environmental hazards across North Carolina. 

A graduate of Davidson College cum laude in economics and Duke Law School, Black served as the third woman president of the North Carolina Association of Trial Lawyers and the fourth woman president of the North Carolina Bar Association. She was the second lawyer in history to serve as president of both organizations. 

The program she created while president of the 16,000 member Bar Association, “4 ALL,” has been used as a model in the United States and Canada for providing free legal services to the poor.  The 4ALL program included a telephone call-in day during which more than a thousand NC lawyers provided free legal advice to any person who called a central toll-free number. More than 7000 people consulted with a lawyer that day.  Over 100,000 North Carolinians have been assisted by a North Carolina lawyer at no charge since “4 ALL” began. 

Black is a frequent lawyer educator and motivational speaker. She is a Trustee Emeritus of Hood Theological Seminary and has served on many non-profit boards and on many international mission trips. She received the North Carolina State Bar’s Distinguished Service Award in 2009 and the Charles Murphy Award for public service by Duke Law School in 2010. Black has been named in North Carolina Super Lawyers, North Carolina’s Legal Elite and The Best Lawyers in America and her firm has been named as one of the Best Law Firms in America by US News & World Reports since 2010.  She is a member of the Women’s Presidents Association and C12, Christian CEOs and Business Owners’ Group.  She was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2016, the highest civilian honor in the state of North Carolina.  She received the North Carolina Bar Association Litigation Section’s “Advocate’s Award” for skill, ethics and dedication to clients and the community in 2018.  She was named the Community Foundation of Great Greensboro’s Woman of the Year in 2018 and Personal Injury “Lawyer of the Year” in the Triad by US News & World Report in 2020. Black served as Miss North Carolina 1980. She won a Grand Talent award at the 1980 Miss America pageant.

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Attorney, Ward Black Law, Greensboro, North Carolina, 2006 – present
Attorney, Donaldson & Black, P.A., Greensboro, North Carolina, 1992 – 2006
Wallace Whitley Pope & Black, Salisbury, North Carolina, 1989 – 1992
Assistant District Attorney for Cabarrus and Rowan Counties, 1985 – 1988

Native of Kannapolis, North Carolina
1982 Graduate of Davidson College cum laude in Economics
Lunsford Richardson Honors Scholar
Charles A. Cannon Scholar in Chemistry and Economics
Omicron Delta Epsilon International Honor Society
1985 Graduate of Duke University School of Law

Presently

MemberC12 Christian CEO and Owners Group, Greensboro, 2005 to present
Member, Women Presidents’ Organization, Greensboro, 2008 to present
Board Member and Chair of Advancement Committee,  International Cooperating Ministries, 2010 to present
Board of Advisors, First Citizens Bank, Greensboro, 2009 to present
Master of the Bench, Joseph Branch Inn of Court, 1995 to present
Trustee EmeritusHood Theological Seminary, Salisbury
Elder, Church on 68, Greensboro, 2010 to present
Legislative Advisory Committee Member, North Carolina Bar Association
Women to Women Advisory Council, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, 2016 to present

Professional Organization Memberships

American Association for Justice
Christian Trial Lawyers Association
North Carolina Bar Association
North Carolina Advocates for Justice
North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys
Women’s Professional Forum, Greensboro

Formerly

PresidentNorth Carolina Bar Association 2007 – 2008(16,000 members)
President-ElectNorth Carolina Bar Association 2006-2007
Chair, Strategic Planning Committee, North Carolina Bar Association, 2001-2002
Chair, Litigation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association (1900 members)
Member, Long Range Planning Committee, NCBA and Chair of Subcommittee on Image and Leadership 2000-2001
Board of Governors and Executive Committee Member, North Carolina Advocates for Justice 2017-2018
Board of Governors and Executive Committee MemberNorth Carolina Bar Association 1998-2001
Co-Chairman, Ethics Committee, Litigation Section, North Carolina Bar Association
Member, Task Force on Women in the Profession, North Carolina Bar Association
Appointed by NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin to the NC Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice, 2015 to 2017
PresidentNorth Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers 2002-2003 (3900 members)
President-ElectNorth Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, 2001-2002
ChairNorth Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers Political Action Committee 2004-2006
Legislative Vice PresidentNorth Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, 2000-2001
Vice-President of MembershipNorth Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers 1998-2000
Board of Governors MemberNC Academy of Trial Lawyers 1995-1998
Co-chair, NC Access to Justice Campaign for Legal Services of North Carolina 2006
Co-Chair, Access to Justice Campaign Statewide, Legal Aid of North Carolina– Triad Division 2006-2010
Advisory Panel MemberLegal Aid of North Carolina, Greensboro 2002-2009
Co-Chair, NC Access to Justice Campaign for Legal Services of North Carolina
Member (2002-2005) and Co-Chair (2005), Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Advisory PanelCEO Selection Committee Member for North Carolina Advocates for Justice 2015-2017
Board of Governors MemberAmerican Association for Justice 2005 – 2008
Trustee, Roscoe Pound Foundation 2006- 2007
Board of DirectorsMercy Mission Teams, Greensboro 2000 – 2010
TrusteeHood Theological Seminary, Salisbury, NC 2000-2008
Board of Directors Member, Volunteer Center of Greensboro 2001-2005
Board of Directors Member, Women’s Resource Center of Greensboro 
CEO Selection Committee Member, NC Advocates for Justice 2015-2017
Steering Committee Member, NC Institute of Government Judicial Education Fund
Co-Chair, PAC Task Force, Association of Trial Lawyers of America 1998-1999
Member, Rules Committee, NC Business Court
Board Member, Vice-Chair, Chair, Presbyterian Counseling Center, 1993-1997
Rowan County Bar Association, President 1992, President Elect 1990 – 1991
Rowan County Democratic Women, President 1991-92
Stewardship Campaign Co-Chairman, Fellowship Presbyterian Church
Elder and Co-Chair of Building Committee, Fellowship Presbyterian Church
Piedmont Players Board of Governors, Rowan County
Member, North Carolina Democratic Party Judicial Nominating Committee
Crisis Council Shelter Board of Directors, Rowan County
First Vice-Chairman 1989 – 1991, Rowan County Democratic Party
First Woman Member, Salisbury Rotary Club
Board of Trustees, Rotary Foundation, Paul Harris Fellow
Subcommittee for Legal Profession- Member, Hobbie Center for Values and Ethics, Catawba College
Liaison Counsel for the State of North Carolina for Federal Court Breast Implant Litigation
Board Member, NC Center for Entrepreneurship, 2010 to 2014, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Volunteer, Habitat for Humanity to Honduras
National Advisory Committee,  Win-Win Resolutions, Inc., Greensboro
Member,  Plaintiffs Steering Committee, Asbestos Multidistrict Litigation, appointed by Hon. James Giles, US District Judge, Eastern District Pennsylvania 2007-2015

Noteworthy

2019 Best Lawyers® Recipient for Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs
2018 Best Lawyers® Recipient for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
Recipient of the Ebbie Award by North Carolina Advocates for Justice
Awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by NC Governor Pat McCrory, 2016
Recipient of Woman of Justice Award, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, 2012
Recipient of the Athena Award, Partnership Greensboro 2012
Recipient of Duke Law School Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Service 2010
Recipient of the North Carolina Bar Distinguished Service Award 2010
Recipient of “Women in Business” Award, The Business Journal, 2009
Named a “Woman of Achievement” by General Federation of Women’s Clubs of North Carolina 2007
Named in North Carolina “Super Lawyers” by Law & Politics Magazine 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 including one of the top 50 women attorneys in North Carolina 2006-2015, 2018
Listed in Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers 2010, 2011
Rated with a AV Preeminent Rating in Martindale-Hubbell’s American Registry of Lawyers (20 years)
Named in“North Carolina Legal Elite” by Business North Carolina 2007, 2010
Named in “Best Lawyers in America” 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017
Named a “2008 Impact Law Leader” by Triad Business Leader Magazine
Named a “Woman Extraordinaire” by Bizlife Magazine 2007
1980 Miss North Carolina and recipient of Grand Talent Award at 1981 Miss America Pageant
Recipient of N.C. Jaycees Award of Excellence, 1980
Recipient of “Outstanding Community Leaders of America” – 1987
Named “Business Associate of the Year” by the American Business Women’s Association, Reidsville Chapter, 1994
Ward Black Law listed in “Best Law Firms in America” by U.S. News & World Report 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Ward Black Law named “Professional Advisor of the Year” by Business Leader Magazine 2010
Motivational speaker to over fifty civic, community and youth organizations since 1985
Girls’ State Speaker on the Judiciary and Law as a Profession for Women since 1989
Continuing Legal Education speaker since 1989 for North Carolina Bar Association, Wake Forest University, and North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers

View Janet Ward Black’s Martindale Hubbell biography.

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