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Polymath in the Law - Janet Ward Black - Part 4

We are joined by attorney extraordinaire Janet Ward Black of the Ward Black Law Firm.

Law Talk is a non-partisan forum to discuss the law and legislation, developing legal issues, public policy, and practice tips for legal professionals and Lawyers in North Carolina.

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And so I wanna misquote Orite it, but. Believe that you are a person of faith in, in many ways directs who you are. And as you feel comfortable and not trying to get preachy, if anybody, but I think it's okay to, and I'm trying to ask you questions about your background and who you are and how it, how that influences, how you treat others.

Do you feel comfortable talking about that at all? Or. Absolutely. Okay. And the sort of corollary of what you just said is that people don't forget how you make them feel that no matter what you say, if you make them feel badly, that's what they remember. So I think that's a really important thing. And I've had the ability to be in lots of wonderful positions where I've had the opportunity to touch a lot of different folks.

And it doesn't take very long just to listen to somebody just. Sincerely ask, how are you doing and looking for that rope kind of response and mean it , I'm preparing for these things. I try to research a little bit and you're one of the ones that's just easy, cuz it's difficult in the fact that you have to keep scrolling the page.

It keeps going, but your activities in the church and actually listen to a radio interview you did for, it was I think toys or tots or something in Christmas time. And I have a friend who's active in that as well. So here's a question I always like asking lawyers, cuz we don't always start out doing the thing we want to do.

I used to paint. I worked in a golf course. Cutting greens, worked in an ice cream shop. I did dishes. I was a bouncer in a bar and I poured concrete. What kind of jobs have you had in your lifetime? Oddly, very limited. My dad, because he had to work so hard during his lifetime thought that if I made good grades and I did what I was supposed to, that I shouldn't have to work much this summer , I, my first real big person job was at the rip old age of 16.

Would you like to know what I did? Yes . So I actually worked for w P E G radio station in Concord at the outskirts of Charlotte. And I was a radio personality on the phone with morning guy. And then I did public service announcements for the radio station and I sold radio advertising in Charlotte. Now, if you're 16 years old and you're in a car and you're a female by yourself.

Nowadays, I don't think women would do that very much. Go cold call businesses, but I learned very quickly that sales was not where I wanted to end up. I didn't wanna pour concrete. It made me a better student that's for sure. Why Davidson college? I heard about the scholarship and I think Davidson's amazed is the people I've known that go to and graduated Davidson always just blow me away.

I'm sure you could have gone any school you wanted to in North Carolina, but what was it about Davidson that attracted you? Let me give you the inappropriate answer. I did tour an a few schools before I made a decision and two things happen. one Davidson wanted me. And so they offered me the Lunsford Richardson scholarship and Lunsford Richardson is the guy who created VIX vapor rub.

And it's ironic. That's started here in Greensboro where I am now, but then the other thing that happened that just floored. Davidson had, I didn't have had fraternities. And because there were so few women there really weren't sororities. So it was predominantly male when I started attending and I went to one of the eating houses during lunch with the guy who'd been assigned to take me around the campus.

And when I walked in the door, all the guys were sitting there eating lunch, and they stood up. When I walked in the. And I thought that's interesting and it's shocking for that to happen. And it certainly made an. It's a good impression. In fact, when I grew up, if you didn't stand up and when anyone entered a room, it was somewhat rude and you never wore a hat inside the building and you kept your elbows off the table.

Something, I still, you probably wrote handwritten. Thank you notes bill? I still, I don't cursive it's not always the best as I've gotten older, it's gotten a little bit more messy and have to wear stronger glasses, but you're yeah, you wrote thank you notes. We used to joke about it. My, my wife is that way too, to this day.

And she's a Gilford county native. She grew up in high point. I like to tell people she's from LA, she and her family are from LA lower Archdale and I think my father-in-law still mad at me that my daughter was one of the first in their lineage. And. at least 10 generations that wasn't born in Gilford county.

Oh no. And then like your mom, I think you said your mom, I married a Meredith angel. She's a Meredith grad and did not know each other in college. We were there at the same time. I was at NC state. She was at Meredith and we met each other years later in Charlotte, after you did Davidson, which I assume was a good experience and a learning experience, challenging.

That's the problem with really good schools is you can. Yeah, a number one in high school and moved to another level. And then your struggle a little bit. Yeah, my daughter's at Wanee, which is also another very good school and did well in high school. And it is a challenge for her. Yeah. But you must done well cause you ended up at duke law school and not that I'm a huge fan of other basketball team and I wish coach skei, Suski all the best in the future, but that's a big deal getting to duke law school.

And you obviously, you said you knew you wanted to. What to law school? What was it about duke that appealed to you? Again, I'm guessing you could have gone where you wanted, you know how I mentioned that there was no great plan for me to become a lawyer. There was no great plan about where I wanted to go to law school.

I knew I wanted to stay in state and we can come back to that in a minute. My junior year at Davidson became a really interesting one, but the way I made a decision was I decided I wanted to go to either chapel hill or to duke and waited uncharacteristically late to make a decision. And so I drove to chapel hill to see that campus.

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