Burley Mitchell, Jr. is an American jurist and former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree from North Carolina State University and his Law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
A veteran of the United States Navy, Mitchell served as an Assistant Attorney General of North Carolina from 1969–1972 and as a District Attorney from 1972-1977. He was a judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 1977 to 1979, when Governor Jim Hunt appointed Mitchell as his Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety.
Supreme Court service
Justice Mitchell served as an Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court from 1982 to 1994 and as Chief Justice from 1995 to 1999. Gov. Hunt appointed Mitchell to the office of chief justice in late 1994 to take the place of the retiring James G. Exum. In 1996, Mitchell was elected to the post in the general election, defeating Republican Ray Warren.
As a judge, Mitchell wrote 484 decisions, including the landmark Leandro v. State of North Carolina case regarding educational opportunities for all North Carolina children. He was also well known for reducing the court's backlog. Mitchell was also known for securing additional resources for the Court System for technology and personnel through appropriations at the State level as well as projects for the criminal justice system at the federal level. Mitchell's staff at the Administrative Office of the Courts included North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Jack L. Cozort, who took leave to work for Mitchell as acting AOC director, and deputy director Jeanne Bonds, who was serving on the Knightdale Town Council at the time. 
Post-Supreme Court activities
Mitchell retired and joined the law firm of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice PLLC. He has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for North Carolina State University, as a member of the University of North Carolina system board of governors, and as chairman of U.S. Senator Kay Hagan's advisory panel on federal judicial nominees.
James G. Exum
|Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court
Jan. 1995 - Aug. 1999