Beth Hopkins is a lawyer with more than 30 years of experience in a range of practice areas. Raised in Petersburg, Virginia, during a turbulent time in race relations, Beth still vividly remembers the White Only and Colored Only signs that marked many of the locations throughout the city. At an early age, she decided that she wanted to become a lawyer, and she has spent her life being guided by that vision.
Beth began her professional career with a civil rights law firm, Hill, Tucker and Marsh, the law firm of one of her heroes, civil rights icon Oliver Hill, one of the Brown v. Board of Education attorneys. She worked on a variety of cases in the two years she was there, including employment issues and police brutality. Beth left the firm to become an assistant attorney general in Virginia assigned to colleges and universities, then moved on to become a federal prosecutor, first in Richmond, Virginia, and then later, in Shreveport, Louisiana. Ultimately, Beth returned to her undergraduate alma mater, Wake Forest University, where she served initially in the office of the legal counsel, and then later as the inaugural director of the Smith Anderson Center for Community Outreach at the law school. While at Wake Forest, Beth taught course Race and the Courts in the History Department for the college, as well as a course on Business Drafting for the law school.
Through her strong track record of leadership, she has consistently exhibited a wide range of personal and professional characteristics that are supportive of diversity and inclusion within the community. In addition to her many professional accomplishments, Beth has crafted regulatory legislation, bylaws and constitutional provisions for the United States Tennis Association, the Southern Tennis Association, and the North Carolina Tennis Association and served as chairman of the Constitution and Rules committee for the United States Tennis Association.
Notably, in light of her time as Director of Community Outreach and upon her retirement from that position in 2016, The Dean renamed the Public Interest Initiative stipends that are awarded each year to students who pursue public interest opportunities as the Hopkins Pro Humanitate Award, in her honor.
A 1973 cum laude graduate of Wake Forest University, with a major in Asian History, and a 1977 graduate of William and Mary Law School and a recipient of the 2018 William and Mary Citizenship Lawyer Award, she is married to another Wake Forest University alumnus, Dr. Lawrence D. Hopkins. They have two children, Michelle and David.