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Wes Camden Named to BNC's Legal Elite Hall of Fame

January 14, 2019

Ward and Smith, P.A.

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White collar defense attorney Wes Camden is now a "Legal Elite" Hall of Famer. 

Business North Carolina (BNC) selected Wes for inclusion after he received the most votes in the criminal category for the 2019 Legal Elite list. This means Wes is no longer eligible to win the same category next year.

Recently, BNC asked Wes and 15 other Legal Elite honorees to describe their favorite activities and pastimes from when they were teens. Here is what he had to say:

42; born in Nashville, Tenn.; bachelor’s from Belmont University and law degree from Wake Forest University; married with a son.

Why he chose to specialize in this field
I got a job at the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office after my first year of law school and was immediately taken under wing by Jim O’Neill, who convinced me that practicing law had little to do with what had been going on in my classes — particularly encouraging news in light of my class rank. Having transitioned from working as a federal prosecutor to a defense attorney, I’ve found there’s no greater privilege or inspiration than walking alongside someone through some of the darkest hours of their life.

What he’d be if not a lawyer
Teaching philosophy at some rundown high school while also serving as the defensive coordinator for their hopelessly awful football team.

Best advice received
“Every case is about one thing; whichever lawyer figures out the one thing and puts it to use for his client is going to win.” — Chief U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle.

“You know, you’re not as smart as you think you are.”
— [Raleigh attorney] Frank Bradsher.

Learning how to be a dad, husband and friend, and generally trying to think a whole lot more about the person next to me than I think about myself.

When he was 16…

Favorite book
My high-school transcripts would suggest there wasn’t one.


As a freshman, we’ll go with Led Zeppelin; by the time I squeaked out the door, probably Radiohead.

On the advice of counsel and pursuant to my rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, I respectfully decline to answer any questions about my hobbies as a teenager.

Wes joins Co-Manager Director Brad EvansDavid Ward, and Jim Creekman (retired) on BNC's Legal Elite Hall of Fame. 

Since 2012, the publication has honored top attorneys from around the state who were chosen by their peers in the awarded legal categories. Around three percent of attorneys are selected for this distinction annually. This year, 20 Ward and Smith attorneys were recognized as Legal Elites. You can view the entire list here.