Adams was among 11 individuals and two organizations inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame. The Raleigh Hall of Fame’s mission is to induct “individuals and non-profit organizations, past and present, who have made significant contributions to the city of Raleigh.” This year marks the eighth class of inductees.
Adams practiced law for more than five decades and played a vital role in the racial integration of the Wake County Bar Association in the late 1960s. In addition, Adams fought for the adoption of legislation which led to the merger of the Raleigh and Wake County school systems in the late 1970s. As a legislator for ten years, he worked on numerous budgetary matters that benefitted the poor and less-educated in North Carolina. His influence in the General Assembly set the stage for many educational and work force achievements in the 1980s and 1990s.
In addition to his accomplishments in the legal arena, Adams is an avid supporter of education and the arts in the local community. He was a founding member of the Estey Hall Foundation, which built the first structure for the higher education of African-American women in the United States. Adams was the first Board Chairman of the Wake County Public Libraries and served on the Board of both the Wake Technical Community College Foundation and the N.C. State University Physical and Mathematical Sciences Foundation for more than ten years.
Adams previously served on the Board of the North Carolina Opera and the North Carolina Symphony Society’s Board of Trustees.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adams received his J.D. in 1954 and his B.A. in 1952. He has been a longtime advocate for his alma mater serving as Chairman of the University’s Board of Visitors and as a member of the UNC General Alumni Association. In 1996, Adams was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his outstanding service to the Alumni Association and the University.
In 2007, Adams was the recipient of the Chief Justice Joseph Branch Professionalism Award, the finest honor given by the Wake County Bar Association.
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Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP has more than 200 lawyers in five offices located in major markets across North Carolina and South Carolina. The Firm provides legal counsel to large commercial and public organizations on litigation, corporate and regulatory matters. It has been recognized in recent years as one of the fastest growing law firms in the United States and as an award-winning leader in the use of technology to provide better and more efficient service to domestic and international clients.