Avery J. Locklear

Labor and Employment Attorney
Ward and Smith, P.A.
Email ajlocklear@wardandsmith.com
910.794.4836 Fax 910.794.4877
Post Office Box 7068, Wilmington, NC 28406-7068

Avery is a versatile labor and employment attorney providing support to individuals, human resources professionals, and businesses of all sizes in diverse industries, including the hospitality and restaurant sectors. Her practice encompasses a broad range of employment matters, including providing guidance on non-compete and restrictive covenants, reviewing handbooks and policies, and handling matters related to Title VII and wage and hour laws. 

Additionally, Avery assists employees in addressing workforce reduction issues, such as the WARN Act, and helps them respond to EEOC complaints and investigations. Her unwavering commitment to delivering practical and efficient solutions empowers employers to navigate the daily challenges they encounter in employment law.


  • J.D., with honors, University of North Carolina School of Law, 2022
    • North Carolina Law Review Vol. 100, Articles Editor
      • Are you Native? 100 N.C. L. Rev. F. 118 (2022)
  • B.A., summa cum laude, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, 2019; Elite 15 Recipient

Representative Experience

  • Routinely drafts employment agreements, independent contractor agreement, employee handbooks, employer policies and programs (including safety and health programs and drug and alcohol testing policies), training materials, and advises clients on employment law.
  • Representation in regard to federal wage and hour audit and investigations.

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • UNC-Pembroke Braves Club, Member
  • Legislative Chair, Lower Cape Fear Human Resources Association
  • Membership and Engagement Committee, North Carolina Bar Association

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 2022
  • United States District Cout for the Eastern District of North Carolina

About Me

I admire our clients' passion, forward-thinking, and attentiveness to their business and their people.  The best thing about working with Ward and Smith is our culture which focuses on an unwavering commitment to our clients and each other.    

What many people do not know about me is that I am a unicyclist and enjoy showing off for my friends and family every now and then.  Every Sunday, I can be found at Bank of America Stadium cheering on the Panthers, even when we are in a slump (which seems far too often).

An attorney‑client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement. The content of any unsolicited email sent to Ward and Smith, P.A., or to any of its attorneys at an email address available on this website, will not create an attorney‑client relationship and the contents of such unsolicited email shall not be considered confidential. Therefore, do not use this website or the email addresses available on this website to provide confidential information about yourself or a legal matter to Ward and Smith or any of its attorneys.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Legal Elite Business North Carolina 2024
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers 2023
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers 20234
  • 2024 Chambers USA

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