Whitney Campbell Christensen

Government Relations Attorney
Ward and Smith, P.A.
919.277.9213 Fax 919.277.9177
Email wcchristensen@wardandsmith.com
Post Office Box 33009, Raleigh, NC 27636-3009

Whitney is a government relations attorney who represents clients before the North Carolina General Assembly, where for nine legislative sessions she has monitored, evaluated, drafted, supported, amended and opposed legislation in accordance with client needs.  Whitney leads the firm's state legislative efforts.  She has experience advocating on behalf of large technology companies, professional associations, manufacturers, restaurants and lodging properties, environmental mitigation providers, military and education nonprofits, and local governments. Whitney has successfully secured state budget provisions and has had legislation introduced and enacted pertaining to business liability, internet privacy, and security laws, state and local pension system reforms, vehicle registration, special elections, alcoholic beverage laws, state procurement of information technology, local government purchasing requirements, and 911 dispatch center redundancy. She also counsels and represents clients before government bodies in economic development matters.

Whitney also is licensed to practice patent law before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and has assisted clients with trademark searches and trademark application preparation. She has experience reviewing and drafting intellectual property agreements and privacy policies and also often assists with litigation matters.

Education

  • J.D., South Texas College of Law, December 2011.  Phi Delta Phi Legal Honors Fraternity.
  • B.A., Biology, with honors, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2008.  Distinguished Scholarship recipient, Beta Beta Beta Biological Sciences Honor Society.

Representative Experience

  • Representation of a large social media company drafting and enacting state legislation governing the access of fiduciaries to an individual's digital assets
  • Representation of one of North Carolina's largest technology vendors in expanding the state's data breach liability statutes
  • Representation of a brewery in a response to an Office Action from the United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • Representation of a hospitality trade association enacting state legislation to guard restaurants against tort claims stemming from food and drink consumption
  • Representation of a client before the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the North Carolina Economic Development Partnership and the North Carolina General Assembly in seeking incentives for a $200 million expansion project in the state
  • Representation of a municipal client resulting in drafting and enacting changes to the state's special election laws
  • Representation of a client in drafting a privacy policy for a company website
  • Representation of a client in drafting and enacting legislation that resulted in the requirement that all North Carolina mopeds be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Representation of a large bank in performing trademark searches
  • Representation of a professional association at the North Carolina General Assembly, successfully opposing legislation that would have suspended the profession's authority for state licensure
  • Representation of a political party in matters before the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement
  • Representation of clients seeking professional licenses from state boards

Honors and Distinctions

  • "Rising Star," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2018
  • 40 Under 40 Leadership Award - Triangle Business Journal

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • North Carolina Bar Association — Division: Young Lawyers
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Sections: Government & Public Sector (Co-Chair, Legislative Committee); Intellectual Property Law
  • North Carolina Economic Developers Association
  • North Carolina General Statutes Commission (member, Committee on Publication of the General Statutes)
  • North Carolina Professional Lobbyists Association (Board of Directors)
  • Tarheel Swimming Association, Hasentree Chapter President, 2013-2014

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 2012
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office, 2010

About Me

Unusually enough, I became an attorney out of my interest in science when I did not feel like a career in the medical, dental, or other science-based fields were a good fit for me.  My plan was to apply my science degree to a career in patent law to help inventors, like my father, protect their ideas and share them with the world.  I enrolled in law school and applied to take the USPTO Patent Bar, which I passed in 2010.  During my first summer of law school while working for a local law firm, I was fortunate enough to spend time at the General Assembly where I quickly fell in love with the legislative process and all of the characters that walk our Legislature's halls.  Life doesn't always take you where you thought you were going, but I feel strongly that everyone ends up exactly where they are supposed to be.

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