Before the law: top Tar Heel lawyers recall--some fondly, others not so much--the employment that started it all.

Position:LEGAL ELITE
 
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The wages are typically paltry, but we earn much more than money. Our first jobs instill virtues that define careers, often creating the standards of decorum, responsibility and work ethic that propel us to success. That's why we asked the top of the 13th class of BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA'S Legal Elite--those who received the most votes in 14 business-related specialties--about theirs. The selection began with emails directing more than 20,000 active members of the State Bar to ballots on BusinessNC.com. Lawyers were not allowed to vote for themselves and could pick an associate or partner only if they also chose someone from outside the firm in the same category. More weight was given to those votes. About 3% of the state's lawyers--688, to be exact--made the list this year.

ANTITRUST

John F. Graybeal, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Raleigh; Daniel G. Clodfelter, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte; James L.S. Cobb, Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh; William Andrew Copenhaver, Womble Carlyle Sandridge SE Rice LLP, Winston-Salem; Alan W. Duncan, Van Laningham Duncan PLLC, Greensboro; Richard B. Fennell, James McElroy & Diehl PA, Charlotte; Lisa F. Garrison, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro; Denise M. Gunter, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Winston-Salem; Gregory Gerald Holland, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro; Henry L. Kitchin Jr., McGuire-Woods LLP, Wilmington; Larry S. McDevitt, The Van Winkle Law Firm, Ashez'ille; Pressly M. Millen, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Raleigh; Lawrence C. Moore III, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte; Jeffrey E. Oleynik, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Greensboro; Rebecca M. Rich, Duke University School of Law, Durham; William L. Rikard Jr., Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Charlotte

BANKRUPTCY

Benjamin A. Kahn, Nexsen Pruet LLC, Greensboro; Shelley K. Abel, Rayburn Cooper & Durham PA, Charlotte; Lou M. Agosto, Wells Fargo & Co., Charlotte; James B. Angell, Howard, Stallings, From & Hutson PA, Raleigh; David R. Badger, David R. Badger PA, Charlotte; June L. Basden, Carruthers & Roth PA, Greensboro; Paul R. Baynard, Rayburn Cooper & Durham PA, Charlotte; John Charles Bircher III, White & Allen PA, New Bern; William E. Brewer Jr., The Brewer Law Firm, Raleigh; Nicholas C. Brown, Howard, Stallings, From & Hutson PA, Raleigh; Daniel C. Bruton, Bell, Davis & Pitt PA, Winston-Salem; John D. Burns, Williams Mullen, Raleigh; William E. Burton III, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro; Algernon L. Butler HI, Butler & Butler LLP, Wilmington; Joseph Newton Callaway, Battle, Winslow, Scott & Wiley PA, Rocky Mount; James Oliver Carter, Carter & Carter PA, Wilmington; Stacy C. Cordes, Burt & Cordes PLLC, Charlotte; Heather W. Culp, Rawls, Scheer, Foster, Mingo & Culp PLLC, Charlotte; Brian D. Darer, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Raleigh; Damon Duncan, Duncan Law PLLC, Greensboro; Albert F. Durham, Rayburn Cooper & Durham PA, Charlotte; David L. Eades, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte; Paul A. Fanning, Ward and Smith PA, Greenville; Michael P. Flanagan, Ward and Smith PA, Greenville; Robert E. Futrell jr., Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh; David G. Gray jr., Westall, Gray, Connolly & Davis PA, Asheville; Joseph W. Grier HI, Grier Furr & Crisp PA, Charlotte; James H. Henderson, The Henderson Law Firm, Charlotte; Jason L. Hendren, Hendren & Malone PLLC, Raleigh; David R. Hillier, Gum, Hillier & McCroskey PA, Asheville; Ashley Lee Hogewood III, K&L Gates LLP, Raleigh; Robert K. Imperial, Williams Mullen, Raleigh; Charles M. Ivey III, Ivey, McClellan, Gatton & Talcott LLP, Greensboro; William P. janvier, Janvier Law Firm PLLC, Raleigh; Robert Keith Johnson, R. Keith Johnson PA, Stanley; Joseph B.C. Kluttz, K&L Gates LLP, Charlotte; James Lanik, Roberson, Haworth Sr Reese PLLC, High Point; Julia Wicker Lee, Parker Poe Adams Sr Bernstein LLP, Raleigh; R. Bradford Leggett, Allman Spry Leggett & Crumpler PA, Winston-Salem; James S. Livermon HI, Poyner Spruill LLP, Rocky Mount; Travis W. Moon, Moon Wright and Houston PLLC, Charlotte; Jeffrey E. Oleynik, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Greensboro; George Mason Oliver, Oliver Friesen Cheek PLLC, New Bern; John T. Orcutt, Law Offices of John T. Orcutt PC, Raleigh; Walter W. Pitt Jr., Bell, Davis & Pitt PA, Winston-Salem; Alan W. Pope, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte; J. William Porter, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Charlotte; Rebecca F. Redwine, Hendren & Malone PLLC, Raleigh; Ashley S. Rusher, Blanco, Tackabery & Matamoros PA, Winston-Salem; George F. Sanderson III, Ellis & Winters LLP, Raleigh; Travis Sasser, Sasser Law Firm, Cary; David M. Schilli, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte; Wes Schollander, Schollander Law Offices, Winston-Salem; John H. Small, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Greensboro; Richard D. Sparkman, Richard D. Sparkman & Associates PA, Angier; Lisa Patterson Sumner, Poyner Spruill LLP, Raleigh; Glenn Thompson, Hamilton, Stephens, Steele & Martin PLLC, Charlotte; David M. Warren, Poyner Spruill LLP, Rocky Mount; Margaret R. Westbrook, K&L Gates LLP, Raleigh; A. Cotten Wright, Grier, Purr & Crisp PA, Charlotte; Richard S. Wright, Moon, Wright and Houston PLLC, Charlotte; Constance L. Young, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte

BUSINESS

David D. Beatty, Myers Bigel Sibley & Sajovec PA, Raleigh; Michael R. Abel, Schell Bray PLLC, Greensboro; J. Mitchell Aberman, James, McElroy & Diehl PA, Charlotte; E. Kent Auberry, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro; John W. Babcock, Wall Esleeck Babcock LLP, Winston-Salem; Neil S. Bagchi, Bagchi Law PLLC, Chapel Hill; June L. Basden, Carruthers & Roth PA, Greensboro; Adam M. Beaudoin, Ward and Smith PA, Wilmington; Charles K. Blackmon, Tuggle Duggins PA, Greensboro; William P. Bray, Bray & Long PLLC, Charlotte; Curtis C. Brewer IV, Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan LLP, Raleigh; Martin H. Brinkley, Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan LLP, Raleigh; Patrick S. Bryant, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte; Christopher B. Capel, Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan LLP, Raleigh; Terry J. Canton, Jordan Price Wall Gray Jones & Carlton PLLC, Raleigh; Kenneth G. Carroll, Morningstar Law Group, Morrisville; James H. Clarke, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Morrisville; Matthew A. Cordell, Ward and Smith PA, New Bern; D. Scott Coward, K&L Gates LLP, Raleigh; Galen G. Craun III, Bell, Davis ,& Pitt PA, Winston-Salem; Anne Croteau, Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan LLP, Raleigh; Matthew S. Cunningham, Smith Moore Leatherwooci LLP, Raleigh; G. Stephen Diab, Murchison, Taylor & Gibson PLLC, Wilmington; Robert E. Esleeck, Wall Esleeck Babcock LLP, Winston-Salem; Paul J. Foley, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Winston-Salem; James Randall Forrest, Forrest Firm PC, Durham; Kerry A. Friedman, Patla, Straus, Robinson & Moore PA, Asheville; Gregory H. Gach, Gach & Nolen PLLC, Charlotte; James B. Gatehouse, Rayburn Cooper Sr Durham PA, Charlotte; Garland G. Graham, Schell Bray PLLC, Greensboro; William B. Gwyn Jr., Manning, Fulton & Skinner PA, Raleigh; Wade Hargrove Jr., Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Raleigh; Kenneth I. Helfing, Law Offices of Kenneth I. Helfing, Charlotte; Jimmie B. Hicks Jr., Sumrell, Sugg, Carmichael, Hicks & Hart PA, New Bern; Nathan M. Hull, Hull & Chandler PA, Charlotte; Gregory D. Hutchins, Roberts & Stevens PA, Asheville; Frederick D. Hutchison, Hutchison Law Group PLLC, Raleigh; Cyrus M. Johnson Jr., Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Charlotte; Gene Jones, Morningstar Law Group, Morrisville; Robert D. Kidwell, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro; Stephen F. Later, Robbins May & Rich LLP, Pinehurst; William It Lathan Jr., Ward and Smith PA, New Bern; Ashe Lockhart, Lockhart PLLC, Charlotte; Thomas I. Lyon, Manning, Fulton &Skinner PA, Raleigh; E. Lynwood Mallard, McGuireWoods LLP, Charlotte; Carolyn P. Meade, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte; Doug Miller, Cogentrix Energy Power Management LLC, Charlotte; Timothy R. Moore, Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC, Winston-Salem; John A. Morrice, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte; Edward P. O'Keefe, Bank of America Corp., Charlotte; William G. Pappas, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Raleigh; Kevin A. Prakke, Manning, Fulton Sr Skinner PA, Raleigh; Eugene C. Pridgen, K&L Gates LLP, Charlotte; H. Vaughn Ramsey, Tuggle Duggins PA, Greensboro; Donald R. Reynolds, Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh; Larry E. Robbins, Wyrick Robbins Yates Sr Ponton LLP, Raleigh; Jonathan D. Sasser, Ellis & Winters LLP, Raleigh; Wake A. Wagner, Law Offices of Wake A. Wagner, Winston-Salem; Thomas M. Ward, Harris, Creech, Ward and Blackerby PA, New Bern; Thomas C. Watkins, Schell Bray PLLC, Greensboro; Reich L. Welborn, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Morrisville; Michael G. Winters, Ellis & Winters LLP, Raleigh; Robert B. Womble, K&L Gates LLP, Raleigh

CONSTRUCTION

Joseph H. Nanney Jr., Meynardie & Nanney PLLC, Raleigh; Greg Ahlum, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte; Bruce Ashley, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro; James A. Beck II, Vann Attorneys, Raleigh; Christopher K. Behm, Block, Crouch, Keeter, Behm & Sayed LLP, Wilmington; Eric H. Biesecker, Nexsen Pruet LLC, Greensboro; William A. Blan-cato, Doughton Rich Blancato PLLC, Winston-Salem; H. Arthur Bolick II, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Greensboro; Daniel K. Bryson, Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP, Raleigh; Thomas M. Buckley, Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP, Raleigh; John E. Bugg, Bugg & Wolf PA, Durham; Robert L. Burchette, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte; B. David Carson, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte; Keith E. Coltrain, Wall Templeton & Haldrup PA, Raleigh; Paul E. Davis, Conner Gwyn Schenck PLLC, Raleigh; Fred W. DeVore HI, DeVore, Acton & Stafford PA, Charlotte; Theodore C. Edwards II, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP...

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