LE 2017 Winners: Environmental
Carol Jones Van Buren
Van Buren Law PLLC | Charlotte
“I get lost in another world while watching historic, period movies. Right now, I am watching The Crown about Queen Elizabeth’s rise to the throne in England.”
Vita: 50; bachelor’s and law degrees from Wake Forest University; married with three children, a white German shepherd named Karma, a rescue mix named Teddy and a cat with no name.
Why she chose to specialize in this field: When I first came out of law school, I worked on tax matters, as well as trust and estate matters. A lawyer who was spearheading Kennedy Covington’s (now K&L Gates) environmental practice left, and I was offered the chance to switch to this new area. Environmental law was practiced mostly in the “big cities” — Washington, D.C., and New York — back then.
Memorable case: I really like working on matters involving the North Carolina Brownfields Program. The state regulators are really helpful, and the buyer and seller usually both get their goals met in the end. Everyone generally walks away from the deal happy, and you get to go see an amazing infill project where underused, contaminated land was before. I like walking by places and saying, “I was a part of that.”
What she’d be if not a lawyer: A physics teacher. And I’d like to have an “Act II” after I retire and teach physics to high schoolers.
Favorite place: Our house in Beech Mountain.
Hero: Ada Lovelace, who broke stereotypes in the 1800s by being a brilliant female mathematician who may have written the first computer program.
Netflix obsession: Lately, The Last Kingdom.
Passions: Gardening, hiking and wine-tasting.
Don’t ask her to: Put away laundry (I don’t mind doing the laundry — sorting, washing, folding — but I hate having to actually then put the laundry in the drawers), deal with cockroaches or climb up anything too high.
2017 Environmental winners:
Carol Jones Van Buren, Van Buren Law PLLC, Charlotte; Stanford D. Baird, K&L Gates LLP, Raleigh; Stephen R. Berlin, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Winston-Salem; F. Bryan Brice Jr., Law Offices of F. Bryan Brice, Jr., Raleigh; Charles Carter, K&L Gates LLP, Raleigh; James L. Conner II, Calhoun, Bhella & Sechrest LLP, Durham; David A. Franchina, K&L Gates LLP, Charlotte; Thomas N. “Tom” Griffin III, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Charlotte; Keith H. Johnson, Poyner Spruill LLP, Raleigh; William F. “Bill” Lane, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Raleigh; Peter J. McGrath Jr., Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte; Richard E. Morton, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Charlotte; John D. Noor, Roberts & Stevens PA, Asheville; Timothy P. “Tim” Sullivan, Poyner Spruill LLP, Raleigh; Daniel E. Uyesato, Hunton & Williams LLP, Raleigh