James Freeman and his wife were looking for a small community.
“I grew up in Mount Airy and Lisa is from a small community in Randolph County,” Freeman said. “We wanted to raise our children in a town like where we grew up.”
Freeman and his family moved to Elkin 11 years ago from Charlotte where he was working at a practice with two other lawyers.
Not only did Elkin offer a safe place to raise children but more variety for law practice.
“There are so many lawyers in Charlotte that your work is very specialized,” Freeman said. “In a small town you get a lot of more varied cases.”
Freeman grew up in Mount Airy and went to Mount Airy High School where he played basketball and tennis. When he went to the University of North Carolina for his undergrad, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and start a career in law.
“My dad was a lawyer, and I always saw him doing that as I was growing up,” he said. “I went to UNC for my undergrad and then went back there for law school.”
After law school, Freeman worked in Raleigh with research systems and then moved to Charlotte where he worked at a large firm with 35 lawyers. He then worked at a smaller Charlotte practice with two other lawyers.
“One of the longer cases I worked with in Charlotte involved representing a Duke Power worker. After Hurricane Hugo, Duke Power called in several power companies to help get the power back on,” he said. “This worker was going behind another company’s workers to make sure the work was correct. He opened a transformer and it blew up in his face.”
Freeman said the case was in and out of court for about a month before a decision was made.
“It was a very emotional case,” he said. “I also learned more about electrical systems than I ever thought I would.”
After moving to Elkin 11 years ago in 2001, Freeman is now able to work with several types of cases, from juveniles to estate planning, with his small practice.
“It keeps it more interesting. Because it’s a small town general practice, I get to work with a great variety,” he said.
Freeman met his wife of 19 years, Lisa, for the first time at Methodist camp when they were 16. The two didn’t talk for 10 years until they were reintroduced by Freeman’s college roommate and then were married in 1993.
The couple has three children, which got Freeman involved in community plays.
“My son Henry got interested in doing plays after being part of KidsShop,” he said. “He was nine at the time and a parent has to be present if the child is under 10. We were in Seussical together. It was the first time I’d been in a play since high school when I was in ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’”
Freeman went on to perform with Henry as Daddy Warbucks in “Annie” and was Charlie in this summer’s Foothills Theater performance of “Annie Get Your Gun.”
“I’ve enjoyed doing all the plays,” he said. “But this year’s might have been my favorite.”
Full name: James Freeman
How long been at job: Own practice in Elkin for 11 years
Favorite food: Ice Cream
Favorite pastime: Jogging, reading
Favorite Sports Team: UNC
Pet: Golden retriever: Mandy; Pomeranian-Shit tzu mix: Mr. Cuddles; Cat: Oscar
Church: Elkin First United Methodist Church
Family: Three children: Henry, Kennedy and Margaret. Wife of 19 years, Lisa
City born in: Mount Airy
Reach Jessica Pickens at 835-1513 ext. 18 or firstname.lastname@example.org