JD, Wake Forest University School of Law, 1993
BA, Vanderbilt University, 1990
North Carolina, 1993
South Carolina, 1995 (inactive)
"When I was asked to describe my practice philosophy I sat down and wrote, and then rewrote, my answer. Over and over again. I struggled to put into words why I am a family law attorney and how I approach family law cases. No matter how eloquently I tried to put it, I kept coming back to these simple words: I really care about my clients and I want to help them. It sounds corny even as I write it now. But, it really does come down to that. There is no magical formula or high browed reasoning behind it. Quite the opposite, I think people either like what they do for a living or they don’t. I do.
You see, I really never chose to be a family law attorney, family law chose me. When I graduated from law school I was not sure what type of law I wanted to practice, but I knew it was not family law. I could not imagine being embroiled every day with squabbling husbands and wives airing their dirty laundry in the courts. There was more power and prestige in other areas of law, I thought. This was my jaded and uninformed opinion for the first years of my professional life as I dabbled in these supposedly more attractive areas of the law. It was not until I was forced to take over a few family law cases for another attorney in my firm who went out on leave that my prejudices collided with the realities of the needs of my clients. For the first time in my legal career, someone actually needed my help and I could make a difference in that person’s life.
As I grow older and have gained a family of my own, I believe I have developed a greater sense of what my clients must go through when faced with Divorce and Custody problems. We are taught to work hard in this country to build a life for ourselves, to give to our community, to have a family, and to plan for our future. However, no one tells us what to do when that American dream falls apart. Before I was married, and even after I became married but had no children, I could sympathize with my clients and their struggles but there was a limit to my understanding. Now that I am a father of two small children trying to make smart financial plans for my family’s future and have been practicing for twenty years, I empathize with my clients because I understand what they are going through and can imagine the loss I would feel if someone told me that all I had worked for and dreamed of could be taken from me because of separation and divorce.
So two decades later, my practice philosophy has deepened and expanded. Not only do I help my clients and care for them but I can better relate to their loss and help them find their way through this mess while focusing on what I know is most important to them. My life experiences combined with the opportunity to help hundreds of clients lets me be the lawyer I want to be and who I would want to hire if I was in the midst of a separation or custody dispute.”
A Board Certified Specialist in Family Law is a specialty certification, identified by the North Carolina State Bar's Board of Legal Specialization