New Member Profile: Nichad Davis
Growing up in Greensboro, Nichad Davis learned the history of the civil rights movement from primary sources, hearing members of the Greensboro Four converse with his grandfather at home. His upbringing steered him toward a path of service, first as a teacher and now as a plaintiffs’ attorney practicing in his hometown. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Campbell University School of Law, Davis focuses his practice on personal injury, wrongful death, workers’ compensation and civil rights.
What motivated you to become a lawyer?
Unlike many people who grow up with the childhood dream of becoming a lawyer, that was not the case for me. I always knew that I wanted to change the world, but I was never certain about what career path would lead me to effect the greatest amount of change. As a child, I grew up listening to civil rights leaders like Ezell Blair (Jibreel Khazan) of the Greensboro Four sit in my grandfather’s living room and talk passionately about freedom, equality and justice. I wanted to do just that.
It was not until I traveled to South Africa as a study abroad student in 2012 that I developed a passion for Ubuntu, and I knew that I wanted to follow the principles of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Following college, I became a Teach For America Corps member. I taught seventh grade social studies in Eastern North Carolina. My time in the classroom gave me the ultimate passion to pursue a career as an attorney so that I can do justice and be the change that I wish to see in our world.
What made you want to pursue this career track of personal injury/wrongful death?
I always knew that I wanted to serve people that have just experienced catastrophic loss or injury. I recognize that the little person is usually on the wrong side of justice, and left without an advocate against larger companies institutions and corporations. So, I devoted my practice to serving the most vulnerable people to keep those big institutions and corporations accountable, while also walking with people through some of the toughest times of their lives.
You founded a scholarship in recent years. Tell us about the mission of that program.
In 2019, for my 10-year high school reunion, I founded a scholarship program at James Benson Dudley High School in Greensboro. If you know anything about Dudley High School, you know that this school represents the richness of our community. I started the Nichad Davis Rose From Concrete Scholarship to provide educational opportunities for students who overcome unthinkable tragedy while maintaining academic excellence. That was me. I was a student from poverty, pain and trauma who had no foreseeable pathway to college. Because I was blessed with opportunities to rise from that “concrete,” I wanted to pour back into the same soil (community) that shaped me into the man I am today. Thus, our recipients have gone on to attend N.C. State, UNC Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University.
What have you learned so far about the law that you would pass on as advice to a lawyer who just passed the bar this year?
In my short time practicing law, I have learned that the most valuable thing that you can do is build relationships with people. Your clients, colleagues and counterparts should know that you are trustworthy, have a character of integrity, and will always be a relentless learner. I think having mentors in your practice area would be very beneficial. I also would say that it is called the practice for a reason. Therefore, rid yourself of any ideas of perfection. However, do everything you do in the spirit of authenticity and excellence.
What prompted you to join NCAJ?
I joined NCAJ because I believe that this organization is committed to equipping its members with the tools to do justice, create equitable systems and build coalitions across lines of difference. I believe that I am a relentless advocate for the people that I serve, and I needed to be part of a network of people who are dedicated to advocacy, excellence and justice for all people.
Is there a case or a client or a project that you have worked on so far that stands out as particularly memorable, one that made you feel proud to practice law?
One of my memorable victories was for a pair of clients, mother and daughter, who experienced a horrible crash and had terrible injuries. I enjoyed working through complex insurance coverage issues to help them get underinsured motorist (UIM) limits that seemed to be out of reach. With the help of my wonderful colleagues at Ward Black Law, I was able to serve them and help them survive an immensely rough time of their lives.
Describe the perfect day off.
The perfect day off would probably consist of an early morning run followed by a cup of coffee at a cool, local coffee shop. I love to explore some of my favorite places in Charlotte or Raleigh. I’d spend that day with my family adventuring in art museums, parks and tasty restaurants in N.C. One of my favorite places is Leah & Louise in Charlotte. We would finish the evening with a movie theater experience and dessert on our way to our home.