Michael Mackay —A Personal Perspective

A commitment to representing injury victims in North Carolina

Attorney J. Michael Mackay

Michael Mackay believes it is important to use his educational opportunities to help people.

That goal initially led him to pursue a career in journalism — a career path that also satisfied his desire to meet different people and explore a variety of issues. He began by obtaining a dual degree in journalism and political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From there, he interned at several newspapers, completed studies at the Institute of Political Journalism at Georgetown University and worked for two years as a crime and general assignment reporter at the Winston-Salem Journal.

Mike eventually decided to pursue a law degree because it offered several of the same benefits as journalism but some important ones that it didn't.

"Law gives you the opportunity to do some things you can't as a reporter, where you are basically commenting or reporting about things," he said. "As a lawyer, you can actually change things or preserve things."

Putting skills to work for others

Mike began his legal career as an insurance defense attorney, primarily focused on motor vehicle accidents and workers' compensation. He ultimately left to focus on personal injury and workers' compensation litigation and found workers' compensation to be a good fit for him.

"Most of our workers' compensation clients at James Scott Farrin have a permanent injury where there is a lot at stake in terms of both their livelihood and their health," he said. "It's consistent with the reason I went to law school in the first place — to utilize my education to help the situation of others.

"Every day that I come to work, I have the opportunity to assist people who sustained a traumatic event in their lives and who depend on us to protect their interests. Every day, I interact with clients whose situations I may be able to improve. In a lot of areas of law, you are not able to work directly with clients to such a great degree."

Mike credits his early journalism work as beneficial to the investigative and writing skills that he uses each day. He also relies upon his diverse legal experience and ability to view cases from a variety of angles.

Treating clients with the dignity and respect they deserve

The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin is a place that takes cases seriously, Mike said, and treats each client with respect. He also indicates that the firm has a team of excellent workers' compensation attorneys who strategize about every case — just as insurance companies do for major clients.

"The vast majority of clients appreciate that we took their case seriously and treated them with the same respect we would want," he said.

Outside of work, Mike enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. He is a member of Church of Christ in Chapel Hill, and enjoys hobbies such as following major league baseball and college basketball, coaching sports teams and reading. He has a hobby of visiting major league ballparks, which he shares with his son. In addition, he enjoys traveling and lived in Puerto Rico for several years early on in his life.