Billings earned her law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1966. She served four years as a state District Court judge (1968–1972). Governor James G. Martin, a fellow Republican, appointed her to the North Carolina Supreme Court as an Associate Justice in 1985, after the resignation of Justice Earl W. Vaughn. When Chief Justice Joseph Branch retired, Martin then appointed her Chief Justice in 1986, making her the second woman to head the Court. She was defeated by James G. Exum in the election for chief justice in November of that year.
Justice Billings became a law professor at Wake Forest University, retiring in 2003. Today titled Professor Emeritus, Billings was named in 2008 to the National Committee on the Right to Counsel established by the Constitution Project of Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.
- "Rhoda Billings Sworn In As State's New Chief Justice". Wilmington Morning Star. 4 September 1986. p. 3C. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
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|Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court
James G. Exum
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