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SMITHFIELD — Senior Associate Justice Paul Newby shared some of his experiences as a member of the North Carolina Supreme Court with paralegal, history and criminal justice students at Johnston Community College during a Nov. 20 visit to the college’s main campus.
Newby’s visit coincided with the 200th anniversary of the North Carolina Supreme Court. As part of its bicentennial celebration, the Supreme Court of North Carolina has held court sessions at various locations across the state throughout the year.
During his visit, Newby talked about the history and structure of government, discussed the federal and state constitutions and explained key legal terms and the different types of court to the students.
Jarod Benson, vice president of the Student Government Association, said he enjoyed Newby’s talk. Benson plans to transfer to East Carolina University next year and study history.
“I just got a really great compliment from Justice Newby when he told me to rethink going to law school and go for it because he said I think like a lawyer,” said Benson. “I really enjoyed the entire presentation. For someone of his stature to come down to campus and talk to us about our rights and the courts, it just means the world.”
On Friday, the Supreme Court held a session at the Johnston County Courthouse in Smithfield. About 35 JCC students attended.
“We saw this visit from Justice Newby as an opportunity to inspire our students about the justice system and bring the subjects they are studying to life,” said Jennifer Servi-Roberts, associate vice president of business and applied technologies. “This allows them to see what the pathway for judge and justice would be as they consider their future careers.”
A native of Jamestown, Newby was first elected to a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court in 2004 for an eight-year term. He was re-elected in 2012. In 2020, Newby is running for chief justice against incumbent Cheri Beasley.