Emily's practice focuses on helping employers navigate complex employment law issues. She has become a trusted advisor to businesses and organizations in facilitating compliance in the rapidly-changing employment landscape, providing counsel at all stages of personnel matters and negotiating resolutions to employee disputes.
Grounded by practical business experience, Emily integrates her prior public relations career into helping clients effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders. Her litigation experience bolsters her ability to both represent clients in active disputes and advise clients on effective human resources practices to help prevent litigation.
- J.D., magna cum laude, Campbell Law School, 2017; Editor in Chief, Campbell Law Review; Teaching Scholar, Legal Research & Writing; Member, Campbell Law Moot Court Team; Quarterfinalist, 2015 Richard A. Lord Intramural Moot Court Competition; Quarterfinalist, 2015 Kilpatrick Townsend 1L Mock Trial Competition; 2017 National Association of Women Lawyers Award
- B.A., summa cum laude, North Carolina State University, 2010
- Park Scholar, North Carolina State University, 2006-2010
- Counseling private businesses regarding compliance with multi-state employment laws and other emerging employment issues
- Negotiating employment agreements on behalf of employers and employees
- Enforcing restrictive covenants in state and federal courts to protect employers' businesses
- Representing clients during wage and hour investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor
- Defending employers against state and federal employment discrimination claims before state and federal courts, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Conducting human resources investigations for employers receiving discrimination complaints
- Advising North Carolina charter schools and private schools on applicable education law, public meeting laws, and employment issues
Honors and Distinctions*
- "Rising Star," Employment & Labor, North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2021-2024
- "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, Employment 2022, 2024
Professional and Community Affiliations
- Park Scholarships Program
- North Carolina State University Alumni Association
- Alexander Family YMCA Annual Campaign
- Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce (Leadership Raleigh)
- North Carolina Bar Association - Education Law Section
- Triangle Business Forum
Admitted to Practice
- North Carolina, 2017
- United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina
* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions: www.bestlawyers.com; businessnc.com/special-sections/legal-elite/; and www.superlawyers.com/north-carolina.
Highlights + Insights
The NLRB on What Employers Get Wrong
Got Employees? Understand the Benefits and Limitations of Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)
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.