Crawford H. Cleveland III

Crawford H. Cleveland III

Senior Associate General Counsel 

Regulatory and Litigation

Crawford serves as Senior Associate General Counsel for Appalachian State University. He joined the Office of General Counsel in April of 2019. His legal practice areas include litigation, regulatory compliance, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, utility law for New River Light & Power, first amendment law, and public record requests. Prior to joining the University, he was a partner with di Santi, Watson, Capua, Wilson & Garrett, PLLC. He has experience in general civil litigation and has served as a County Attorney for Watauga County.  In addition, he also has in-house counsel experience with a large construction company in Louisiana from his time in New Orleans.

He is active within the North Carolina State Bar and the local bar. The State Bar Council appointed him to a second three-year term in 2023 to serve on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina State Bar Lawyer Assistance Program. In October of 2020, he was elected President of the 35th Judicial District Bar covering a five-county area (Watauga, Avery, Yancey, Madison, Mitchell) for the 2021-2022 term. At the local level, Crawford has served as President of the Watauga County Bar Association in 2019 and 2024 and has been a member of the Executive Committee for the past five years. He particularly enjoys his engagement with attorneys in the community and helps organize Continuing Legal Education events for the local bar.

In the High Country, Crawford has served on boards and in leadership positions both in Boone and Blowing Rock. When he is not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Brynn, and their two boys. They like to hike trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway and ski together during the winter season.

 

EXPERIENCE

Education

  • The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee – B.A. English 
  • Charlotte School of Law, North Carolina – Juris Doctor

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina

Memberships

  • North Carolina State Bar
  • North Carolina State Bar Association
  • 35th Judicial District Bar, President 2021-2022
  • Watauga County Bar Association, President 2019, 2024
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • University of North Carolina System Attorneys Group
  • UNC Executive Leadership Institute, Class of 2024

University Committees

  • Emergency Management Task Force
  • Real Estate Committee
  • Occupational Safety and Health Committee
  • Campus Climate Support Committee

 

Community Service

  • North Carolina State Bar Lawyer Assistance Program, Board of Directors  2020-2026
  • North Carolina Lawyer Assistance Program Foundation, Board of Directors 2020-2026
  • National Ski Patrol, Alpine Patroller at Appalachian Ski Mountain
  • St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church, Blowing Rock, Vestry 2018-2020
  • Watauga County Children’s Council, Board of Directors 2016-2019
  • Boone Sunrise Rotary 2016-2018

Practice Groups

  • Higher Education
  • Litigation
  • Real Property
  • Student Affairs
  • Academic Affairs
  • Transactional
  • Utility and Energy

Meghan Wills

Meghan Wills

Assistant General Counsel

Meghan started as Assistant General Counsel for Appalachian State University in
August of 2021. Her primary areas of practice for the University are Public Records
Requests, Policy, and advising the University’s Academy at Middle Fork. She came from
the Watauga County District Attorney’s Office where she served as Assistant District
Attorney. Prior to the District Attorney’s Office, Meghan worked in private practice. She
has worked on a variety of matters including litigation, personal injury, and contract
disputes. Meghan received her Bachelor of Arts from Bridgewater College in 2013, and
her Juris Doctor from the Elon University School of Law in 2015. She is very active in the
Watauga County Bar Association, serving as Treasurer, and enjoys family adventures
with her husband and two children.

EXPERIENCE

Education

  • Elon University School of Law, Juris Doctor
  • Bridgewater College, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina

Professional Affiliations

  • North Carolina State Bar
  • 35th Judicial District Bar
  • Watauga County Bar Association

Practice Groups

  • Higher Education
  • Public Records
  • Laboratory School
  • Litigation
  • Student Affairs
  • Athletics
  • Transactional

Melissa Blocker

Paul A. Meggett

Melissa Blocker

Director of Legal and Compliance Operations

Melissa Blocker began working as a Paralegal in the Office of General Counsel in March 2020 and began serving as Director of Legal and Compliance Operations in 2022. Melissa currently serves as the Ethics Liaison between Appalachian and the North Carolina State Ethics Commission.  Before joining Appalachian State, she worked in a criminal defense law firm, assisting with numerous and various types of criminal matters. Melissa has worked in several facets of the legal field, including as a Mediator, certified by the Dispute Resolution Commission of North Carolina, wherein she successfully mediated many cases involving domestic, juvenile, civil, and criminal law issues. Melissa also served as Program Coordinator in the 24th Judicial District of North Carolina, for the Sentencing Services Program, which is organized under the Office of Indigent Defense Services of North Carolina, wherein she developed and helped implement many incarceration diversion plan(s) and other sentencing and rehabilitation options. Melissa received her undergraduate degree from Appalachian State (Bachelor of Science in Political Science, magna cum laude) and her Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Technology from Caldwell Community College. She is a member of the North Carolina State Bar Association Paralegal and criminal law sections. Melissa is involved in the community with school sports programs, particularly basketball with her son and husband. She loves to camp (or glamp in an RV) with her family, attend Appalachian Basketball games, and is proud to be a part of the Appalachian community.

EXPERIENCE

Education

  • Appalachian State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science (magna cum laude), 2000
  • Caldwell Community College, Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Technology, 1998

Professional Affiliations

  • NC Bar Association Paralegal and criminal law sections
  • Association of College and University Policy Administrators
  • National Association of College and University Business Officers
  • Corporate Legal Operations Consortium

Practice Groups

  • Higher Education
  • Litigation (eDiscovery, Torts, Workers’ Compensation)
  • Real Property
  • Transactional
  • University Governance

Wendy Hildebran

Wendy Hildebran

Wendy Hildebran

Senior Paralegal

Wendy Hildebran began working as a Paralegal in the Office of General Counsel in July of 2021 and began serving as the Senior Paralegal in 2022.  Wendy graduated from North Carolina State University and Meredith College.  She began her career working as a paralegal for the law firm of Wheatly, Wheatly, Nobles  Weeks, PA in Beaufort, NC, where she supported the attorney for the Town of Beaufort and Carteret County.  She relocated to Greensboro, NC, where she worked as a paralegal to the Vice-President and General Counsel of General Dynamics Advanced Technology Systems, Inc.    She and her husband, Scott, live in Lenoir with their two cats.

EXPERIENCE

Education

  • North Carolina State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science, 1992
  • Meredith College, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies, 1994

Professional Affiliations

  • NC Bar Association Paralegal and Education law sections

Practice Groups

  •  Litigation (eDiscovery, Torts, Workers’ Compensation)
  • Real Property
  • Transactional
  • University Governance

Emily Cornett

Paul A. Meggett

Emily Cornett

Executive Assistant

Having worked at Appalachian State University for the past four years, Emily made the switch to the Office of General Counsel in April of 2022. Before joining the Appalachian State family, she had focused her career on Child Development, working with many early learning centers within her community. Emily spends much time involved in youth sports as her two sons play soccer, basketball, and baseball. She is honored to be able to serve Appalachian State.