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Deborah Ross Joins Smith Moore Leatherwood

Deborah Ross Joins Smith Moore Leatherwood

March 1, 2017

Raleigh, N.C. – Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP announced today that Deborah K. Ross, former North Carolina House Representative, has joined the firm. Ross will primarily focus her practice on meeting the economic development, energy, and infrastructure needs of businesses and government. She will be based in the firm's Raleigh office and will work with clients throughout North Carolina and the Southeast.

"Deborah dedicates herself fully to her work, whether it be in government, public service or legal practice," said Julie Earp, managing partner. "She is a brilliant advocate, and I look forward to watching her bring that same intensity and dedication to our clients." 

Ross will advise businesses and governmental units about legal and public policy issues and assist them to identify opportunities, plan strategically, and comply with regulatory requirements. She brings a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors from her work as general counsel to the Research Triangle's regional transit authority, a decade in private law practice focusing on infrastructure, energy and utilities, her executive leadership of a statewide non-profit organization, and her longstanding service to the state of North Carolina as an elected representative.

"Deborah's background as both an attorney and public servant gives her a breadth and depth of experience that few can match," said Matt Leerberg, partner in charge of the Raleigh office. "Her keen intellect and strategic vision will make her invaluable to businesses and local governments seeking advice on economic development, energy, utilities and infrastructure projects."

"Smith Moore Leatherwood has an outstanding reputation and state-wide presence, as well as several practices that seamlessly complement my experience," said Ross. "In my new role, I look forward to creating opportunities for economic development and job growth and bringing vital resources to the citizens and businesses of our state."

During her ten-year service in the North Carolina House of Representatives, Ross chaired the Judiciary, Ethics and Election Law Committees, and served as majority and minority whip. She sponsored successful bipartisan legislation on infrastructure, ethics, transit, historic preservation, tax policy, housing, and domestic violence. She was honored as "Legislator of the Year" by several state-wide organizations and was ranked among the most effective members of the N.C. House.

Ross earned her law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law and her bachelor's degree from Brown University. She spent more than a decade as a Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke University School of Law and worked as an ethics consultant for the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke. She has volunteered her time as a board member for the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research and as a member of the Raleigh Arts Steering Committee. She currently serves as an advisory member for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. Among her many community service honors, Ross was recognized by the North Carolina Bar Association as a Citizen Lawyer (2014).

For more information, contact:
Ashley Santoro (


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