Afi S. Johnson-Parris
Ward Black Law | Greensboro
“My favorite movie is The Sound of Music. I love musicals.”
Vita: 44; born in Richmond, Va.; bachelor’s from University of Miami and law degree from University of Virginia; married with two children and a dog named Churro.
Why family law: Family law fed a desire to help regular people one on one in a way that wasn’t satisfied when I practiced complex civil litigation for big firms and big corporations.
Memorable case: I impeached a witness on the stand with a recording of her calling my client’s employer claiming she was from the district attorney’s office to report that he was stealing from the company. Needless to say, she was not a district attorney and her actions played a big role in my client gaining custody of his daughter. It was a true Perry Mason moment.
What she’d be if not a lawyer: A musical-theater actor.
Favorite place: Home.
Hero: My grandmother, Ernestine Thompson. She just turned 98, and she’s still amazing to me. My grandmother was part of the great migration of southern blacks from the farm to northern cities. She’s always defied or reshaped the roles typical for women in our society. She got an education and worked as a registered nurse while raising her family at a time when many women didn’t work outside the home. She’s a constant source of wisdom, inspiration and perspective for me.
Recent Reading: The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni.
Netflix obsession: Umm, I don’t have Netflix. I’m watching Game of Thrones on HBO. I’m on season 2.
Passions: Volunteering and education.
Don’t ask her to: Run, sweat or get dirty.
2017 Family winners:
Afi S. Johnson-Parris, Ward Black Law, Greensboro; Mary Craven Adams, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Winston-Salem; Carole R. Albright, Black, Slaughter & Black PA , Greensboro; W. Lee Allen III, Colombo Kitchin Attorneys, Greenville; Janet H. Amburgey, Gum, Hillier & McCroskey PA, Asheville; Lisa Angel, Rosen Law Firm, Raleigh; Lauren Taylor Arnette, Ward and Smith PA, New Bern; Adam W. Arthur, Kirkman Attorneys at Law, Greensboro; M. Douglas Berry, Gabriel Berry Weston & Wells LLP, Greensboro; Heidi C. Bloom, Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh; Amy L. Britt, Cheshire Parker Schneider & Bryan PLLC, Raleigh; Laura B. Burt, Burt & Cordes PLLC, Charlotte; Chelsea Chapman, McIlveen Family Law Firm, Charlotte; Cary Close, Cary Close Family Law, Raleigh; Charles W. Coltrane, Coltrane & Overfield PLLC, Greensboro; Michelle D. Connell, Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh; Melanie Crenshaw, Coltrane & Overfield PLLC, Greensboro; Jessica K. Culver, Nixon Law Offices PA , High Point; S. Thomas Currin II, Rik Lovett & Associates, Raleigh; Joslin Davis, Allman Spry, Winston-Salem; Lindsey Easterling, Easterling Law PLLC, Charlotte; Christine S. Eatmon, Eatmon Law Firm PC, Wake Forest; Gray Ellis, Ellis Family Law PLLC, Durham; David W. Erdman, Erdman and Hockfield LLP, Charlotte; Jonathan D. Feit, James, McElroy and Diehl PA, Charlotte; V. James Filliben III, SeiferFlatow PLLC, Charlotte; Janet Gemmell, Cape Fear Family Law, Wilmington; Seth A. Glazer, Church Watson Law, Cornelius; Kara K. Goodman, Cordell & Cordell PC, Charlotte; C. Ray Grantham Jr., Robinson & Lawing LLP, Winston-Salem; Dorian Gunter, Harkey Lambeth & Gunter LLP, Charlotte; Monica R. Guy, Tash & Kurtz PLLC, Winston-Salem; Kristin M. Hampson, McGill & Hampson PA, Raleigh; Victoria Hardin, Hardin Law Firm PLLC, Fayetteville; Michael S. Harrell, Manning, Fulton & Skinner PA, Raleigh; Constance A. Harris, Benson, Brown & Faucher PLLC, Greensboro; J. Gregory Hatcher, Hatcher Law Group, Charlotte; Penelope L. Hefner, Sodoma Law PC, Charlotte; Elizabeth T. “Beth” Hodges, Horack, Talley, Pharr & Lowndes PA, Charlotte; David E. Holm, Cheshire Parker Schneider & Bryan PLLC, Raleigh; Doughton Horton, Smith Horton Law PLLC, Charlotte; Evan Horwitz, Tharrington Smith LLP, Raleigh; Lindsey Houk, Waple & Houk PLLC, Charlotte; Gib Irons, Irons & Irons PA, Greenville; Jill Jackson, Tharrington Smith LLP, Raleigh; Elizabeth J. “Libby” James, Horack, Talley, Pharr & Lowndes PA , Charlotte; Robert Paul Jenkins, The Graham Nuckolls Conner Law Firm PLLC, Greenville; K. Mitchell Kelling, Horack, Talley, Pharr & Lowndes PA , Charlotte; Kristin Kelly, Halvorsen Bradshaw PLLC, Winston-Salem; Irene King, King Collaborative Family Law, Charlotte; Carolyn “Lynn” Krueger-Andes, Hamilton Stephens Steele + Martin PLLC, Charlotte; Lauren V. Lewis, Essex Richards PA, Charlotte; James F. “Rik” Lovett Jr., Rik Lovett & Associates, Raleigh; Matthew T. Marcellino, Marcellino & Tyson PLLC , Charlotte; Justin L. Mauney, Wake Family Law Group, Raleigh; Patrick S. McCroskey, Gum, Hillier & McCroskey PA, Asheville; Joy Gragg McIver, Adams Hendon Carson Crow & Saenger PA, Asheville; Lynn Wilson McNally, Smith Debnam Narron Drake Saintsing & Myers LLP, Raleigh; Jonathan S. Melton, Gailor Hunt Jenkins Davis & Taylor PLLC, Raleigh; Christopher D. Miller, Miller Bowles Law PLLC, Charlotte; Barbara Morgenstern, Black, Slaughter & Black PA , Greensboro; Gena Graham Morris, Horack, Talley, Pharr & Lowndes PA, Charlotte; Steven B. Ockerman, Epperson Law PLLC, Weddington; Carolyn T. Peacock, Chesnutt Clemmons & Peacock, New Bern; Robert A. Ponton Jr., Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP, Raleigh; Toniann Primiano, Primiano Law PA, Huntersville; Nicole Quallen, Two Families Law, Durham; Julianne B. Rothert, Wake Family Law Group, Raleigh; Kelly R. Routh, Dozier Miller Law Group, Charlotte; Mariana Russell, Barefoot Family Law, Raleigh; Nicole Heiden Sodoma, Sodoma Law PC, Charlotte; Ketan Soni, Hull & Chandler PA, Charlotte; Elizabeth A. Stephenson, New Direction Family Law, Raleigh; Robin J. Stinson, Bell, Davis & Pitt PA, Winston-Salem; Alice C. Stubbs, Tharrington Smith LLP, Raleigh; Carrie Tortora, Gailor Hunt Jenkins Davis & Taylor PLLC, Raleigh; Tamela T. Wallace, Law Office of Tamela T. Wallace PA, Charlotte; Elise Morgan Whitley, Tash & Kurtz PLLC, Winston-Salem; J. Huntington Wofford, Dozier Miller Law Group, Charlotte