Attorney Hannah Lee Lavender
Hannah Lee Lavender joined the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin in 2023 to advocate for those who need it most and to try to hold large corporations accountable for their misconduct.
Hannah grew up in Cary as the youngest of three in a family very familiar with the law – her father, grandfather, aunt, and several cousins were all attorneys. Intellectually curious and quick on her feet, Hannah first developed a passion for public speaking and real-time problem-solving as a member of her high school debate team.
Hannah always knew that she would pursue a career guided by passion and her strong academic drive, but she was not always certain that practicing law would be in her future.
A Growth-Minded Mentality
Hannah first left North Carolina to attend Wellesley College in Massachusetts where she continued to flourish academically, graduating magna cum laude as an Economics major and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Throughout her undergraduate experience at Wellesley, Hannah took on incremental opportunities to learn and to grow intellectually and professionally. She was a Case Fellow and Econometrics tutor with the college’s Economics Department as well as a research and policy intern for the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice.
After graduation, Hannah worked as an assistant case manager at a small personal injury firm in Raleigh where she was responsible for handling intake calls and helping manage clients’ case files. There, she was often the first point of contact for people who had experienced a traumatic event and she found value in being able to provide them with a meaningful service.
This position helped Hannah recognize that she could combine her academic strengths with her desire to make a material impact on people’s lives by becoming an attorney.
Hannah next attended Harvard Law School and quickly became an active member of the student body as President and Defense Team Lead of the Street Justice Coalition, President of the Consumer Protection Law Students Association, Community Partnerships Co-Chair of Lambda, and an Article Editor and Online Content Editor for the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender.
In addition to these leadership activities, Hannah worked with renowned professors as a Teaching Fellow for the Legislation and Regulation course, a research assistant, and a student attorney in both the Housing Law Clinic and the Project for Predatory Student Lending. She also worked as an assistant editor for the Just Money website and interned at the National Consumer Law Center.
It became clear to Hannah during her time at Harvard that she wanted to use her career to help protect the rights and wellbeing of ordinary people. And that she had the litigation skills and the drive to do it.
A Propensity for Helping Plaintiffs
After spending her undergraduate and law school years in Massachusetts, Hannah was ready to return to her home state, and she accepted a clerkship at the Supreme Court of North Carolina. In this position, she drafted court opinions, bench memoranda, and petition memoranda for former Senior Associate Justice Michael R. Morgan.
Hannah also took this opportunity to listen and to learn – she watched oral arguments and reviewed trial transcripts as part of the appellate record. These experiences cemented her desire to become a litigator and to try cases before the bench herself.
Hannah now applies her considerable analytical, research, and trial skills advocating for the rights of clients of the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin.
James Scott Farrin (JSF) Partner Coleman Cowan states, “Hannah is driven by a desire to help ordinary people facing substantial challenges, no matter how daunting or complex. With her background, I believe Hannah could practice any kind of law anywhere in the country. Our firm’s clients are the beneficiaries of her choosing to do that at JSF and focusing her talents on them.”
At Home in Durham
Hannah and her wife, Emma, are passionate about native vegetation and have settled in Durham where they have a front yard full of native pollinator-friendly plants. Hannah loves cooking and gardening and has an affinity for felines that she nurtures by fostering cats and volunteering at the Independent Animal Rescue in Durham.