When I was a teenager I started my first company. Since then, at every step of my career, I have sought opportunities to learn something new, by doing, gaining invaluable experience along the way. Today, my career is dedicated to one fundamental goal: making the lives of others better.
Look below to learn how I've done that so far.
Who Knows What's Next?
Now that I have earned my Juris Doctor, I am actively pursuing positions in litigation. Throughout law school, I have molded my experience to prepare me for a career in litigation and trial advocacy. I am a member of the National Order of Barristers. At Wake Forest, I was elected as the President of the Student Trial Bar. I was also co-captain of the American Association for Justice Trial Team, a member of the Journal of Law and Policy. Mostly, I am looking for careers which offer me the opportunity to make the lives of others better.
Comerford, Chilson, & Moser
During my final semester of law school I completed a practicum at the law firm of Comerford, Chilson, & Moser in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I treated this experience as an opportunity to begin my transition to the practice of law. I chose to work with the firm because I knew of their strong reputation for mentorship and ethics, two critically important values to me. My experience was cut short due to COVID-19, but in the time I worked there I learned a great deal of the practical lawyering which goes into civil litigation.
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of N.C.
During the summer of 2019, I worked as a legal intern for the United States Department of Justice in Raleigh. Here, I worked on both criminal and civil cases. In addition to researching legal issues, I reviewed case files, evaluated the appropriateness of federal prosecution, and made written recommendations to the line attorneys. While here, I represented the United States before various federal magistrate and district court judges.
Forsyth County District Attorney's Office
The Wake Forest Law litigation clinic offered me my first opportunities to participate in real-world court proceedings. Through the clinic, I assisted Assistant District Attorneys in the prosecution of district court cases. Working here taught me the importance of on-your-feet thinking while in district court. This time offered my first opportunity to try a real world case, which I did to a winning verdict.
Spilman Thomas & Battle
I was placed with Spilman Thomas & Battle through Wake Forest’s litigation clinic, which presented me with my first opportunity to experience work in a law firm. I worked on various real-world cases, researching important legal issues and drafting documents which were eventually filed in district court. This experience gave me the opportunity to solve our clients’ issues without involving going court. This creative problem-solving drew on my prior experiences to find effective solutions.
Wake County Public Defender's Office
My work with the public defender’s office was my first exposure to legal work. I worked alongside assistant public defenders and their teams in the defense of felony cases. I became the go-to intern for questions of technology and electronic discovery. I spent time working with the attorneys to brain storm defense strategies. I joined the office’s investigators as we searched for additional evidence which may aid our clients. I spent extensive time in the jail, meeting with our clients, informing them of the progress in their defense, and answering non-legal questions. This experience taught me of the importance in ensuring that our clients were informed about the progress of their case.
Trees for the Triangle
Drawing on my prior experience and education in nonprofits, I was asked by my friend, Dave Klemp, to help him start his nonprofit organization, Trees for the Triangle. After helping to lay the ground work for the organization, he appointed me to serve on the board of directors, which I still do. TftT, as we call it, has the goal of planting fifty-thousand trees in the Triangle area by 2050.
Fellowship of Christian Atheletes
I have been involved with FCA since 2009, when I was a freshman in high school. No experience has taught me more about leadership than my collective experiences with FCA. In my final year of college, I joined the local Triangle Area staff as an area representative. I met with student leaders of various high schools in the area and equipped them to lead their on campus groups. When I started law school, I left the FCA staff and stepped away from my volunteer roles. Still, FCA and student ministry will always have a place in my heart.
NC State University
As a part of my minor in Nonprofits from NC State, I took a course in Nonprofit Leadership and Development. After the semester ended, the professor asked me to return to her class as a teaching assistant. I did so for two semesters. I helped students understand and complete their course work and reinforced the teachings they were learning both in class and at the internship placements.
Marble's Kids' Museum
During my undergraduate coursework in Nonprofits, I interned for a semester at Marbles Kids’ Museum in Raleigh. I spent a portion of my time out on the museum floor with guests, teaching them using our exhibits. My back office work involved soliciting donations and updating databases relating to the organization’s state holders. Finally, as a part of the course work, I evaluated some of the organization’s systems and made recommendations for improvement.
City of Raleigh, NeighborWoods
In the early days of my career, I made it a point to find jobs which were totally foreign to what I was comfortable with. When I started college, I found a posting for a position with the City of Raleigh as an “Assistant Tree Planting Coordinator.” Being that I had never planted a tree, much less coordinated the planting of one, I promptly applied for the position. I ended up working that job all through college and learning many lessons along the way. Most of my time was spent in the driver’s seat of a pickup truck, driving around the city assessing properties for future tree plantings or maintaining small trees which had been planted in the past. While, looking back, I loved this work, I’m happy that I will likely never have to prune a Crepe Myrtle in the North Carolina summer again.
When I started my first company, I could not afford to hire a professional web designer for my company’s website. Instead, I taught myself. Over time, folks started hiring me to build them websites. In college I turned that work into a small business under the name, 1887 Design–a callback to NC State’s founding year.
Towards the end of High School I made contact with a guy named Austin King, who was the worship leader for a new church being planted in Apex, North Carolina. Austin and his team, lead by Mike Santiago, was moving to NC from Florida to plant a church, and they needed someone to help run their sound. I joined the team as their production director and helped establish the church, its systems, and its culture. After the church’s one year anniversary, I felt I had achieved my goal and stepped aside after serving for eighteen months.
The Halle Cultural Arts Center
In 2012 I began working for the Town of Apex in their cultural arts center. Most of my time was spent serving as an audio visual technician, helping to produce the center’s plays, musicals, concerts, and performances. When you work for a small town, however, you end up doing a little bit of everything. Working here reinforced my abilities to think on my feet and problem-solve when I was largely on my own.
High School was an enormous period of personal and faith growth for me. As I was learning more about myself, people, and God, I looked for an outlet for me to express these thoughts. Not finding one, my friend Logan Dodson and I got together and shot a short video. That video turned into a series of short films, “JesusThoughts.” Eventually my closest friends and I, in college, decided to incorporate as a nonprofit and expand our content. Leading this team taught me how to challenge and lead my peers towards a common vision. In 2017, college finished up for us and this season came to an end; we dissolved JesusThoughts as our team went separate ways.
This is where it all began for me. In 2012 I started my first business providing audio, lighting, and video for various live events: concerts, weddings, corporate events. You get the idea. I started as a subcontractor, but soon began to recruit my own clients. This work taught me how to problem solve on the fly. I shut down the business shortly after I started college, after running it at a profit.