Attorney Jeanine R. Soufan
An Early Love of the Law
From 11 years old, Jeanine R. Soufan knew exactly what she wanted to do and who she wanted to be. As a kid, she would watch Court TV with her dad, both of them observing raptly as attorneys skillfully interrogated witnesses.
Once Jeanine decided what her professional path would be, her father was her greatest supporter. Rafiq “Sammy” Soufan provided his children with an example of strong ambition and a drive to succeed. For over 20 years, Sammy had two priorities: serving the South Rocky Mount community and doing everything in his power to make his children’s dreams come true.
Together, Jeanine and her father envisioned a future for her in law – a future where she was empowered to do what’s right even when it wasn’t easy or popular. A future where she was empowered to fight for others who need justice most. Tragically, Jeanine’s father wasn’t able to witness his daughter achieve her dream of becoming an attorney. When Jeanine was just 19, her father was senselessly murdered.
Forging New Paths
After her loss, Jeanine resolutely pushed forward in accomplishing all that she and her father had imagined for her. And when she became an attorney, she began by serving many of the people her dad used to serve in the community. It was always meaningful to connect with clients or clients’ family members who knew, respected, and loved her father.
Jeanine is constantly conquering new challenges as well. Throughout her career, if a client needed help in an area of law she was unfamiliar with, she would push herself to become skilled in that area of the law. If being the best possible advocate for her clients required learning something new, then that’s precisely what she would do.
It’s no surprise, then, that Jeanine has made her mark in multiple areas of the law. She’s conducted massive research projects into legal cybersecurity and complex bankruptcy laws. During her time at the Center for Responsible Lending, she analyzed and presented on enforcement actions against predatory lenders. She’s vigorously defended students at academic hearings and clients at foreclosure hearings, represented wrongfully terminated employees in unemployment benefits battles, and fought for election integrity with the NC Black Alliance. She’s even tried to effect positive change on the legislative side, conducting policy research on mental health laws and voting rights for a state senator.
One of the best ways to overcome challenges is to foresee trends and challenges and plan for them. As the pandemic took hold, Jeanine focused her attention on addressing what she foresaw as a critical need: getting ahead of the COVID-19 eviction crisis. Jeanine created the nation’s first in-house Eviction Diversion Program, representing hundreds of Orange County tenants faced with being homeless. She also defended residents who were being discriminated against on the basis of their race, ethnicity, disability, gender, national origin, or familial status.
Ultimately, the lure of going to court on behalf of clients with the resources and support of one of the largest personal injury firms in North Carolina at her back was too good to resist. Now, she uses her experience, foresight, fearlessness, and skill to fight for our clients every day.
A Track Record of Helping Others
It’s easy for Jeanine to put herself in the shoes of a client facing difficult circumstances. As someone who’s been through a difficult path, her compassion for others is deep. That compassion, tenacity, drive, and fearlessness make her a skilled advocate for her clients.
Jeanine embraces the opportunity to partner with and help others at every turn. From disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline to helping residents resist eviction from public housing, being an attorney is not a privilege she holds lightly. “My job is to be honest with clients, to be transparent with them and hope that gives them peace of mind. That’s why I’m here.”
For legal reasons and client confidentiality, reviews have been slightly edited to remove identifying information and correct typos.
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