Rayburn Cooper & Durham, Charlotte
Undergraduate: UNC Chapel Hill
Law: UNC School of Law
Practiced law: 5 years
Family: Wife, Patee; Kids, Winnie and Wyatt.
Bucket list item: Attend a Liverpool F.C. match at Anfield.
Biggest risk taken: Switching careers from journalism to attend law school. I worked at newspapers in Wilmington, Danville, Virginia and Charleston, South Carolina.
Covering murder trials, including a capital murder case, got me generally interested in the legal field. That interest grew when I got to Charleston and started covering civil litigation and governmental investigations/actions. But for most of those four years, I saw a legal career as something interesting that I would have done if I had a second lifetime as the saying goes. One day, with the help and encouragement of my wife, Patee, I realized it wasn’t too late for me to switch careers and start fresh.
The things I loved about journalism have translated well to a legal career, especially my goal as a reporter to fully understand whatever I was covering better than anyone else might understand it and then to effectively communicate that understanding and story to a wider audience. I was very interested in advocating directly for clients and using my legal training to help others, whether through my private practice or pro bono work.
Most used emoji: Smiley face
Last show binge-watched: “The Office”
Movie you could quote by heart: “Christmas Vacation”
Favorite winter activity: Cooking for and going to oyster roasts. ■