Whitney Campbell Christensen

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

Whitney represents clients before the North Carolina General Assembly, where for more than a decade, she has evaluated, drafted, supported, amended, and opposed legislation in accordance with client needs.  She serves as the Raleigh office's Geographic Team Co-Leader and heads the firm's state legislative efforts.  Whitney is the President of the North Carolina Professional Lobbyists Association and, in 2022, was invited to represent the state of North Carolina in the National League of Women Lobbyists.

Whitney has experience advocating on behalf of some of the nation's largest corporations, statewide professional associations, manufacturers, the hospitality industry, environmental service providers, financial institutions, military and education nonprofits, and local governments. She has successfully secured state budget provisions and has had legislation introduced and enacted pertaining to business liability, internet privacy and security laws, virtual currency, higher education, criminal justice, state and local pension system reforms, vehicle registration, transportation funding, 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 is licensed to practice patent law before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She is also a member of the firm's Economic Development Practice Group and Name Image Likeness Practice Group.


  • 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
  • Representation of a national hemp advocacy organization in amending and advancing hemp legislation in North Carolina

Honors and Distinctions

  • "Rising Star," Government Relations, Super Lawyers, 2018-2024
  • "Ones to Watch," Best Lawyers, 2023
  • 40 Under 40 Leadership Award - Triangle Business Journal


Professional and Community Affiliations

  • National League of Women Lobbyists – NC Delegate
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Division: Young Lawyers
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Sections: Government & Public Sector; 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: President, present; Board of Directors, present; Vice President, 2021-2023; Secretary/Treasurer, 2021-2022
  • 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.

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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