Chris spent his formative years in Raleigh, attending Daniels Middle School and Broughton High School. He received his undergraduate and Juris Doctor (J.D.) degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At Carolina Law, he was managing editor of the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation and director of the school's Pro Bono Program. From 2007 to 2011, Chris served as an adjunct professor at Carolina Law.
Chris first practiced law in the Raleigh office of Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog. He then worked as a staff attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice in Durham. From 2012 through his appointment to the Court of Appeals by Governor Roy Cooper, Chris was the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina. Chris was admitted to practice in North Carolina state courts as well as each federal district court in the state, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States. He successfully litigated matters in both state and federal court, including before a rare sitting of the full Fourth Circuit.
Active in the local community, Chris serves as Chair of the Board of the Orange County Partnership for Young Children and Vice-Chair of the Board of Transplanting Tradition Community Farm. In 2012, he was a founding member of a monthly housing law clinic at El Centro Hispano in Durham. Chris also served on the Size of the School Task Force and Pro Bono Alumni Board at Carolina Law, and as an attorney volunteer at the Compass Center for Women and Families. Chris is the incoming Chair of the North Carolina Bar Association's Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities Section.
Chris has received numerous recognitions for his contributions to the community and the legal profession in the state. He was inducted into the James E. and Carolyn B. Davis Society upon his graduation from Carolina Law and was subsequently honored as the school's Outstanding Recent Graduate. In 2016, the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys awarded him with the Gwyneth B. Davis Public Service Award. Chris was also the winner of the North Carolina Justice Center's Defender of Justice Litigation Award in 2017.
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All photos courtesy of the North Carolina Judicial Branch Communications Office