Elon Law alumnus tapped to lead pilot program at state supreme court
Elon Law alumnus Grant Buckner L’13 is the Supreme Court of North Carolina’s first Director of the Office of Central Staff, a new office created by the Administrative Office of the Courts to increase the efficiency of the Supreme Court in adjudicating cases.
Supreme Court of North Carolina Chief Justice Mark Martin advanced the creation of this office as a part of his broader efforts to strengthen North Carolina’s courts through innovation. The Office of Central Staff will assist the Supreme Court with its adjudicatory duties in order to enable the Court to consider more civil appeals, issue more written opinions, and provide more guidance to legal system stakeholders and to the public-at-large. Buckner assumed the role of Director of the Office of Central Staff on November 1.
As part of his initial work in the position, Buckner will conduct an assessment of current court processes to determine how the Office of Central Staff can most effectively assist the Supreme Court. Based on his analysis and input from court personnel, he will propose areas of responsibility for the office, describe how the office can be integrated into the Court’s existing workflow, and suggest a timeline for implementation. Once that process is completed and the Court gives its approval, Buckner will be responsible for the substantive legal work that flows through the office.
“I am honored to have been asked to lead this pilot program,” Buckner said. “Having worked at both of our state’s appellate courts, I have developed a good rapport with our state’s appellate jurists and a good working knowledge of the Court. The most exciting aspect of my new position is the opportunity to assist the Supreme Court as it seeks to strengthen our appellate courts for the citizens of North Carolina.”
Previously, Buckner served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Martin and to the Honorable Robert N. Hunter, Jr., both in the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Buckner has also served as a law clerk to Solicitor General John F. Maddrey in the North Carolina Department of Justice and as a Judicial Intern at the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
At Elon Law, Buckner was articles editor of the Elon Law Review and a member of the Moot Court Board, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and the Order of the Barristers. Buckner is a 2011 Elon Law Moot Court Competition Champion, earning recognition in that competition for Best Brief, Best Oralist for the Preliminary Rounds, and Best Oralist for the Final Round. Buckner earned the Best Brief award and was a quarterfinalist at the Hassell National Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition in 2012. In 2013, he received a Pro Bono Service Award from the North Carolina Bar Association.
In 2014, Buckner published “North Carolina’s Declaration of Rights: Fertile Ground in a Federal Climate” in the North Carolina Central Law Review. Also in 2014, Buckner published “Managing Workplace Sexual Harassment: The Role of Manager Training” in the Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal.
Buckner holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resources Management from Appalachian State University.