Skip to main content


Gerald Beaver was born and raised in Albemarle, N.C., and completed his undergraduate studies at East Carolina University. He graduated from UNC School of Law in 1973. He discusses his experiences working as a public defender in Fayetteville, N.C., and opening his own private practice in which he focused on trial work. He also reflects on the importance of diversity in the legal profession, and provides his advice for being a successful attorney. He notes one of the difficulties in legal practice is being involved in high profile, controversial cases like the Spell v. McDaniel [824 F.2d 1380 (4th Cir. 1987)] police brutality case and the Hennis murder case because attorneys must uphold respectable reputations in the community while also championing unpopular causes. Mr. Beaver also reflects on his experience working on cases like Pinckney v. Van Damme [447 S.E.2d 825, 116 N.C. App. 139 (1994)] and Graham v. Connor [490 U.S. 386 (1989)], which he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Link to Audio / Transcript: