By Shannon Page, summer intern for Ludlum Law Firm

Last Thursday, Ludlum Law Firm experienced a very proud moment when Garrett Ludlum was inducted into the North Carolina Bar Association’s General Practice Hall of Fame.  The General Practice Hall of Fame is for general practitioners who are outstanding members of the legal profession whose careers have served as models for lawyers in the general practice of law.  As Garrett’s summer intern, I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to this special event.

When I arrived at the Hilton on June 21, I expected to keep to myself for most of the night, realizing how busy Garrett would be.  However, I should have known this was not in his character.  Garrett quickly greeted me after walking in.  His excitement was infectious.  He whispered some plans to me about his speech and a quick order to not let him forget something.  I immediately felt like an important part of his evening.

Garrett came fourth in the line up of speeches and the two tables filled with his supporters immediately perked up when it came his time to speak.  Justin Hunter, of Hunter & Price, P.A. joined Garrett at the podium to give his introduction. View Justin’s introductory remarks here.  Justin Hunter was the opening act of a two part comedic routine that was both hilarious and uplifting.  Justin shared with the audience that he had lost his father last year to cancer.  He expressed his need to recognize and nominate Garrett for the hall of fame because his own father had lost his chance to experience his own prestigious induction into the High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.  Justin’s admiration of Garrett was very evident and he effectively described the skills Garrett has as a Campbell Lawyer and as the first Campbell Law graduate to receive this honor.  My favorite part was Justin’s mention of Garrett’s versatility when it comes to representing clients.  He said that you would see both farmers and businessmen pulling LUDLAW pens out of their shirt pockets.  This reminded me of one of my first days working with Garrett this summer when he dumped about ten of these very pens on my desk and said, “for someone who never has a pen.”  Justin gave Garrett credit for his daily wit and for anyone who knows Garrett, this is what makes knowing him all the more worthwhile. Justin’s father told him that your work is a reflection of who you are and Justin’s final remarks were that he could only hope that his own work will reflect on him the same way as Garrett’s.  For the first time that night, a standing ovation was received for an introduction.

View Garrett’s induction speech here.  When Garrett approached the podium to give his speech, he was carrying a black bag.  He opened with a story about how his father was in charge of a demolition project that involved a pay loader at the very site of the NCBA’s Annual Meeting at the Hilton Hotel.  He walked the audience through a hilarious ordeal he had with operating a pay loader through the streets of Wilmington after the brakes had given out, anticipating stop lights, and dropping the front as a last minute maneuver to stop.  During his reminiscence, he removed a shiny red 1964 replica of a pay loader from his black bag and sat it on the podium for added effect.  He shared his run in with the law as a 16-year-old trying to operate this dangerous machinery. When he couldn’t stop in time for a traffic light, he ended up in the middle of an intersection.  He explained how the witnessing police officer was nice enough to make sure he made it home safely.  Garrett has evolved from this humble beginning to the “Country Lawyer” he described himself as being with comical remembrances.  Even though it was 9:30 at night and everyone was tired and contemplating the ride home, people came alive with laughter during Garrett’s “fifteen minutes of fame.”

Like others who come into contact with him, I would also like to briefly share the impact Garrett has had on my law experience in order to vouch for him being a genuine mentor.  As first year law students, most of my peers did not land paid internships this summer; however, when Garrett graciously decided to come up with some work for me, he said that he did not believe in slave labor.  I was fortunate in this regard considering I am a young law student supporting myself through school.  More importantly, I have had the pleasure of wanting to come in to work everyday to be around such a respected individual.  His staff and son, Hayes, are all a direct reflection of him and are some of the nicest, most supportive people I have yet to be around.  I know that a summer here is not enough time to absorb all that I can learn here at Ludlum Law Firm, but I do know that it was more than enough time to see just how deserving of an individual Garrett Ludlum is. When school begins again, I will miss Garrett asking me if I am ready to “put on the feedbag” for lunch and the time he dedicated to making sure I learned and made connections during my time here.

If you have a Duplin or Sampson county charge, contact Ludlum Law Firm today to discuss your options.  Consultations are free and the experience is priceless.