Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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2019 Legal Elite | Construction

TRACY JAMES

Hamilton Stephens Steele & Martin PLLC | Charlotte

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Vita
38; born in Grasonville, Md.; bachelor’s from Furman University and law degree from Wake Forest University; married with a son and a Boykin Spaniel named Cooper.
Why she chose to specialize in this field
When I joined my first law firm, the senior partner asked me and another male associate which one of us wanted to work for him practicing construction law. I immediately replied that the other associate could do it because he was male and construction law was a male-dominated industry with a lingo I was unfamiliar with. The partner took my response as a challenge. The following day, I was in boots and a hard hat in the middle of a field inspecting a detention pond and have been practicing commercial construction law ever since.
What she’d be if not a lawyer
A Broadway dancer. Of course, I can’t sing. So when I was 7 years old — interrupting my rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” while standing on my bed with a hairbrush — my dad broke it to me I had two options: doctor or lawyer. I chose the latter.
Best advice received
“No education is free, no matter how you get it.” — my dad.
Favorite place
Islamorada, Florida Keys. I grew up on the water and love all things involving salt water and boating. It is the only place I truly relax, especially when miles offshore with no cellphone reception. Islamorada has everything I love coupled with a laid-back atmosphere and just enough high-end shops and dining to appease my bourgeoisie side — while letting me do it in Rainbow flip-flops and a cover-up.
Passions
Travel, great wine — particularly French wine, fishing, boating, shopping and Southern fiction novels.
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When she was 16…
Favorite book
Books — what were books? I was obsessed with shopping, boys, and was possibly reading Teen magazine. Other than school books, they were out.
TV show
Beverly Hills 90210.
Music
Country. But if I have to pick a band: Heart.
Hobbies
Basketball, volleyball, fishing, boating and shopping.

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