Clinton attorney Frank L. Bradshaw, a partner in the Warrick, Bradshaw and Lockamy, PA law firm, has been awarded Legal Elite status by the Business North Carolina magazine.
Bradshaw earned the status in the family law category.
“This is very surprising, particularly when I looked at the list of those who had been named in the past. There are some heavy hitters in that group. I am humbled beyond belief to be considered among those individuals,” Bradshaw said last week.
Since 2002, Business North Carolina magazine has honored Tar Heel lawyers by publishing Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite, a listing of the state’s top lawyers in business-related categories. Winners are chosen not by BNC editors but by the state’s lawyers.
According to BNC’s website, Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite has become the model for other awards and lists, but it remains unique as the only award that gives every active lawyer in the state the opportunity to participate. Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite includes the top lawyers chosen using this statewide ballot.
Each year, BNC sends ballot notices to every member of the N.C. State Bar living in North Carolina, asking each a simple question: Of the Tar Heel lawyers whose work you have observed firsthand, whom would you rate among the current best in these categories?
Voters are not allowed to vote for themselves. They may select members of their firms only if they pick out-of-firm lawyers in the same categories, with the latter votes weighted more heavily.
The top vote-getter in each category becomes a member of Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame and is ineligible to win again.
Bradshaw, who serves as the attorney for the Sampson County Department of Social Services, representing the department in child abuse and neglect cases, has been practicing family law for 13 years. He has been serving DSS for the past 10 of those years.
“I didn’t decide family law,” Bradshaw attested, “family law decided me. When I began working for Ben Warrick that was the overwhelming need. I can honestly say I have not regretted it one minute since.”
A Clinton High graduate with a deep love of community, Bradshaw earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his law degree from the Campbell University School of Law.
Entering the legal field and returning to his roots is something Bradshaw had always wanted to do. Today he handles everything from child custody and child support cases to divorces and alimony, in addition to his work with DSS.
He takes great pride in the work he does with family law.
“I think the most rewarding thing is being able to help people who are going through some very trying times in their lives. My job is to wade them through the law and try to resolve problems, keeping families together when at all possible. However, my primary responsibility, and one I take very seriously, is ensuring that the children are safe.”
When he learned he had been selected among the Legal Elite, Bradshaw said he was taken back, albeit pleasantly so. “It was truly a surprise. I was excited, but genuinely caught off guard. I was also very surprised to find that many of our local attorneys, people I hold in great esteem, have not been among the Legal Elite. When I think about names such as Dale Johnson, Doug Parsons, Maurice Holland, Ben Warrick, it is remarkable that they have never been considered.”
But whether named or not, Bradshaw was quick to say that residents of Sampson and Duplin counties should feel very fortunate to have “such excellent attorneys” available to them.
“We have some of the cream of the crop here in our midst,” Bradshaw asserted. “I am honored to work among them.”
This is the first year attorneys from Clinton have made the Legal Elite list, at least in recent memory. In addition to Bradshaw, attorney Lew Starling, partner in the Daughtry, Woodard, Lawrence and Starling firm, was also awarded Legal Elite status, his coming in the litigation category.
Bradshaw is married to Kristin Spell Bradshaw; they have one son, Hampton.
He is a member of the Clinton-Sampson Rotary Club, the Sampson County History Museum board, a mason and a member of the Sampson County Bar Association.