Justice Whichard earned an A.B. and J.D. from the University of North Carolina before earning an LL.M. and S.J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He began his career in law as a clerk to Justice (later Chief Justice) William H. Bobbitt of the North Carolina Supreme Court (1965-66). He was later a practicing attorney with the Durham law firm of Powe, Porter, Alphin and Whichard (1966-80). In 1980, he was appointed, and later elected, a judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. In 1986, he became an Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, serving until his retirement in 1998. In 1999, he was named Dean of the Norman A. Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University. He retired from the University in 2006. He is the author of Justice James Iredell (Durham, 2000).