Environmental

RAMONA CUNNINGHAM O’BRYANT Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro

I would likely be practicing in West Virginia. I lived there until I went to law school. It was a tough decision not to go home, and I still have several friends who practice in West Virginia. My practice would be similar to what it is here.

Vita: Born April 16, 1958, in Cowen, W.Va.; bachelor’s from Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, W.Va., law degree from UNC Chapel Hill; husband and one child. Why she chose this field: I began as a litigator but didn’t enjoy the courtroom. Our environmental folks needed help, and I was offered the chance to work with them. Once I began, I was hooked. I enjoy rules and working on the puzzle of how they all fit together. What she’d be if not a lawyer: I would probably be more involved in community work. Memorable case: It was recently decided by the state Supreme Court and deals with regulation of trout-stream buffers. We worked with the client for many years, initially dealing with regulatory agencies prior to the state’s approval of the project and then defending against third-party challenges. Favorite places: The beach and Baptist Camp in Cowen, W.Va., where I went to camp and then worked through high school and college. Recent reading: Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. Hero: My mother set such a wonderful example of giving, and at 80, she still runs circles around us all. Don’t ask her to: Go away from my family for long periods. Or wash my car.

Environmental

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