I. Beverly Lake, Jr.

Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake, Jr. made history in 2000 by winning his election and becoming the first Republican to be elected Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court in over a century.  Lake has played an instrumental role in shaping conservative politics in North Carolina and provided the critical leadership needed to ensure a Republican majority on the Supreme Court.

After he earned his law degree from Wake Forest University in 1960, he entered into several private practices. Between 1969 and 1976, Lake served as a deputy attorney general of North Carolina. After serving two terms in the North Carolina General Assembly as a Democrat state senator, Lake switched parties and was the Republican nominee for governor in 1980.

Justice Lake served in the Martin Administration and was first appointed to the Supreme Court by Governor Jim Martin in November 1985.  He was elected to a regular term as Associate Justice in 1994 before challenging and defeating the Democrat incumbent Chief Justice in 2000.  Lake is currently engaged in the private practice of law in Raleigh.