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2014 Legal Elite

Top Tar Heel lawyers recall - some fondly, others not nearly as much - the employment that started it all.

The wages are typically paltry, but we earn much more than money. Our first jobs instill virtues that define careers, often creating the standards of decorum, responsibility and work ethic that propel us to success. That’s why we asked the top of the 13th class of Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite — those who received the most votes in 14 business-related specialties — about theirs. The selection began with emails directing more than 20,000 active members of the State Bar to ballots on BusinessNC.com. Lawyers were not allowed to vote for themselves and could pick an associate or partner only if they also chose someone from outside the firm in the same category. More weight was given to those votes. About 3% of the state’s lawyers — 688, to be exact — made the list this year.

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Photography by Chris Keane