Title: Oral History Interview with Naomi Elizabeth Morris, November 11 and 16, 1982, and March 29, 1983. Interview B-0050.
Interviewer: Devine, Pat
Interviewee: Morris, Naomi Elizabeth
Subjects: Women judges--North Carolina North Carolina Supreme Court
Abstract: Naomi Elizabeth Morris was born in 1921 in Wilson, North Carolina. Having grown up with a strong mother as a role model and with family expectations to excel in school, Morris attended Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) from 1939 to 1943, earning her degree in English. The summer after her graduation from college, Morris lived in Washington, D.C., with several of her sorority sisters. There they worked for the war effort with the Signal Corps, coding and decoding messages. The death of her father brought Morris back to Wilson that same year. After moving in with her mother, Morris began to work as a legal secretary for William Lucas at the Lucas & Rand law firm. She excelled at her tasks there, and in 1952, Lucas recommended her for the School of Law at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Morris describes what it was like to be one of the only women attending law school at UNC during the mid-1950s. Following her graduation in 1955, Morris returned to Wilson to work for the Lucas & Rand law firm, where she quickly became a partner by 1957. In the 1960s, Morris became increasingly involved in politics, campaigning for Governor Dan Moore. In 1967, Moore nominated Morris to become one of the founding members of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Morris describes in detail what it was like to serve on the Court of Appeals from the late 1960s into the early 1980s, and she offers her thoughts on the role of law and the judiciary in politics.