“I want to put my talents to work to help those in crisis and those who may be encountering the legal system for the first time. It is my goal to help ease our clients’ stress and make their interactions with an attorney a positive experience.”
- Margo K. Carnahan
Admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina
11+ years of experience as an insurance defense attorney
UNC-Chapel Hill Moot Court Executive Board Member and National Moot Court Competition semi-finalist, 2008
Attorney Margo K. Carnahan
After 11+ years as an insurance defense attorney, Margo K. Carnahan joined the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin to fight for the rights of plaintiffs. What drove her to make this change in focus? Empathy. She saw accident victims in need, and she decided that it was time to use her considerable skills and experience to make a positive impact in the lives of others.
Growing Up and Discovering a Passion for Law
Margo grew up in the rural community located between Bunn and Louisburg in North Carolina, and she recalls a life of outdoor adventures and small-town comforts. In high school, Margo joined a mock trial team, and the seed of wanting to be a lawyer was planted. She attended college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and joined the UNC-Chapel Hill Mock Trial Team.
After graduation, Margo set off westward towards Boulder, Colorado to explore more of the world. After battling a very un-North Carolina-like winter in Boulder, she moved to a warmer climate in Austin, Texas to work as a paralegal for two years, an experience which confirmed her desire for a career in law.
A Personal Touch Matters
Law school was on the horizon, and Margo learned something important about herself in the application process. The Dean of Students at Florida State University College of Law called Margo and personally congratulated her on her acceptance. She had other acceptances, but that personal touch mattered to Margo, and it helped set the tone for how she would interact with others throughout her personal and professional life. It also helped her make her law school decision, and she moved to Tallahassee to obtain her law degree.
During her first year of law school, Margo received the devastating news that her father was diagnosed with cancer. Two months later, it was discovered that her mother also had cancer. Margo moved back to her hometown after graduation to help care for her parents and navigate their illnesses. She credits this time with building up her resilience, compassion, and empathy – all traits that she relies on when working with clients.
From Defense Attorney to Plaintiffs’ Attorney
Margo has always been a strong advocate for her clients, the majority of whom have been defendants in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. However, when she started her career at a small general practice law firm in her hometown of Louisburg, she served as the first point of contact for plaintiff clients seeking legal assistance, an experience she often reflected upon during her career. She also gained trial experience serving as a court-appointed defense attorney in District and Superior Court criminal cases.
In 2010, she moved to Raleigh and began her career as a defense attorney for insurance carriers and self-insured clients. She handled high-volume and deadline-driven defense work on a wide variety of liability and workers’ compensation claims. However, Margo eventually became disillusioned with the work when, time after time, she saw truly injured victims treated with skepticism as insurance companies sought to pay out as little as possible.
Throughout the years, Margo interacted with James Scott Farrin attorneys and was always impressed with their professionalism, positivity, and commitment to their clients. So when her disenchantment with defense work peaked, she knew where to look. And it was the only place she looked.
Margo has empathy for people struggling with health issues and a passion for helping victims understand the legal system. As one of the first attorneys who interacts with many of the victims who contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, she is conscious of how important it is to provide a personal touch. Firm Partner Chelsea Ragan notes, “Margo cares about hearing clients’ stories and wants to try to make sure they obtain justice.”
A North Carolinian at Heart
Margo lives with her husband and two young daughters in Cary and enjoys the simple things in life, including taking long walks and reading books together. She looks forward to exploring the outdoors with her daughters, as she did growing up in Louisburg, when they become older. Margo is known in her neighborhood for crafting, sewing, and designing hand-made Halloween costumes, always using her artistic talents to generate fond or funny memories for her family and friends. She’s a North Carolinian at heart and feels that she is right where she needs to be.
For legal reasons and client confidentiality, reviews have been slightly edited to remove identifying information and correct typos.
3For more information about the standards of inclusion for “U.S. News – Best Lawyers” ‘Best Law Firms’ list, please visit https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/.