BackPress Releases

NCCU Law Dean Raymond Pierce to Join Nelson Mullins Law Firm

PierceRALEIGH -- The law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP has announced that Raymond C. Pierce, Dean of the North Carolina Central University School of Law, will be joining the firm as a partner beginning July 2012 at the end of his contract with NCCU.   

Pierce will have served seven years as Dean of the NCCU law school, in which time he has led in growing the law school with increased applications, enrollment, and alumni giving. During his tenure the law school has twice received number one rankings for Best Value Law School and has been included in a top ten list of Most Popular Law Schools.

At Nelson Mullins Pierce will join both their Business and Government Relations practice groups.  Pierce will also work with the firm’s Washington, DC, office in their education and federal policy practice group. 

A former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, Pierce joins the law firm of former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, with whom he served in the Clinton administration. Riley is a senior partner in the Firm and in its affiliate, EducationCounsel. Pierce also will be reunited at the Firm with other former Clinton administration officials now representing education and various other interests through EducationCounsel and Nelson Mullins.  

"Raymond Pierce has excelled at law school administration, has brought considerable acclaim to NCCU, and has a history of significant contributions to federal education policy regarding civil rights," Riley said. "Those achievements, coupled with his successful background in representing clients in private practice, offer us additional talents and skills to assist our clients with their education, government, and business needs."

In 2008, Pierce led a successful effort to equalize state funding between the law school at UNC in Chapel Hill and NCCU, the state’s only two public law schools. Pierce has also elevated the prominence of the law school by securing visits from notable dignitaries such as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

“Dean Pierce has done an outstanding job of raising the level of prominence of our law school, and he will be missed,” said Judge Wanda Bryant of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.  “There is universal consensus amongst the alumni and the overall legal community that he has been a fabulous leader,” said Bryant, who is also a graduate of the law school and chairs the school’s Board of Visitors.   

“It has been a great honor and pleasure to have worked with so many outstanding people at NCCU,” said Pierce. “Although I will greatly miss being at the university, I look forward to being at Nelson Mullins and returning to the practice of law.” Before becoming dean of the law school, Pierce was a partner at the national law firm of Baker Hostetler where he represented clients in the steel, energy, banking, and private equity business.

He is currently a member of the North Carolina Banking Commission and the North Carolina Maritime Strategy Council. Pierce also serves on the Council on Legal Education of the American Bar Association, and he is a past vice president of the North Carolina Bar Association. Pierce will begin his transition into Nelson Mullins in January 2012 as an of counsel attorney with the Firm during his last six months as dean. In July, he will begin full time as a partner with the firm. 

Established in 1897, Nelson Mullins has more than 420 attorneys and government relations professionals practicing from 12 office locations in the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia. For more information on the Firm, go to, or call 803.255.9794.