Telana Poe, NCAJ NEXT Leadership Program

February 14, 2024

Telana Poe is one of the 13 members of the NCAJ NEXT Leadership Program class of 2024. The program identifies the state’s emerging trial lawyer leaders. 

Lives in: Raleigh

Law degree from: Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law

Works as: Attorney at Whitley Law Firm 

Legal association involvement: I am a member of NCAJ in the Auto Torts & Premises Liability section as well as the New Lawyers Division. I am also a member of the North Carolina State Bar, the North Carolina Bar Association, and the Wake County Bar. I am a member of AAJ and am in their Motor Vehicle Collision and Premises Liability section as well as their Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Litigation group.

Why is the idea of civil justice important to you?

The legal system is complex and overwhelming, even to those of us who went to law school. For many of my clients, they have been injured at no fault of their own and the defendant either tries to shirk responsibility or undercut the value of the injury. There are millions of people in this situation who are in desperate need of an advocate with an understanding of the legal system to speak up for them. Because I now have the resources and knowledge to be able to advocate for those outside of the legal system, I feel it is my duty and calling to speak up for the wrongfully injured.

What’s your vision for the future of NCAJ?

NCAJ is already a very successful and influential organization. However, in the next five to 10 years, I anticipate NCAJ to see growth and success like never before. Due to the nature of the PACT Act, the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination litigation will all take place here in the Eastern District. Within this time frame, the hope is for most, if not all, of the Camp Lejeune cases to be either settled or tried. This is going to bring an unprecedented influx of funding to North Carolina law firms. Many of these firms will invest that money wisely in NCAJ. This will allow for significant funding to NCAJ’s PAC that can help in lobbying for changes that will benefit our clients, more CLE’s to expand the knowledge base of our membership, and more networking events to grow our community. In the next five to 10 years, NCAJ is going to see incredible success.

Away from work …

I was born and raised in West Jefferson, North Carolina. While I reside in Raleigh and love it here, I spend many weekends traveling back to the mountains with my dog, Ava, to spend time with my family, hike, cruise the Blue Ridge Parkway, and support local businesses. I am an avid supporter of and have spent many hours volunteering with multiple dog rescues and humane societies throughout the last ten years.