2015 Citizen Lawyers: L. Lamont Wiggins
By Rick Parrotte
ROCKY MOUNT – Lamont Wiggins is right at home practicing law in Rocky Mount and the surrounding area. Wiggins returned to this Eastern North Carolina town which straddles Edgecombe and Nash counties following his undergraduate education at N.C. State and law school at North Carolina Central University.
He has served his community through countless endeavors with perhaps his most public role being that of a longtime Rocky Mount City Council member. In fact, he has held that position since 1997 which even predates his time as an attorney.
Wiggins comes from a family of public servants as family members have served as a county commissioner and as a member of a local community college board. Thus, it is no surprise that he feels that it is important for citizens to participate in the community and local government.
He believes that lawyers carry an additional responsibility to serve as they are specially equipped with the skills and creditability that is required for such roles. He views this responsibility as an honor and privilege and sees first-hand the way government affects individuals as he goes about his daily life.
In Rocky Mount, Wiggins enjoys the reputation as one who you can seek out and obtain guidance and assistance with an issue related to government. If the issue requires state or federal attention, Wiggins is always eager to help put individuals in touch with the appropriate contact and ensure that the person is not lost in the bureaucracy.
In fact, he believes that one of his most important roles is to serve as the eyes and ears of the state and federal elected officials since he is working and living alongside these individuals on a daily basis. While some long time public servants seem to always be attempting to climb the ladder to the next position, Wiggins views his service on the local level as the most important role he can play. For it is on the local level where everyday citizens face everyday issues and where Wiggins has the greatest ability to positively affect his fellow citizens’ lives.
One activity that Wiggins speaks passionately about is Scouting. It is evident that the Boy Scouts helped shape the person he is today and that he is eternally grateful for the skills and experiences that he gleaned from his time as a Scout. In fact, the Boy Scouts still play a large role in his life as he continues to volunteer and serve in various roles within the local Boy Scouts of America.
Wiggins is active in various roles within the North Carolina Bar Association including the Criminal Justice and Real Property sections. However, when asked what he considers his most important NCBA activity, he emphatically will tell you that it is his work with the Juvenile Justice & Children’s Rights Section.
Wiggins feels a responsibility to give back to this often vulnerable portion of our population. He believes that his responsibility is heightened because of the fact that he as an African-American attorney can offer many of these juveniles hope and send the message that they too can go on to become successful and engaged members of the community.
He receives satisfaction that this practice area allows him to assist with identifying resources and constructing a plan to help these young men and women move forward and escape the issues that have troubled them. His motivation and passion for this work is undoubtedly flamed by the “thank yous” that he receives and the success stories that he observes regularly in and around his hometown.
Wiggins is a true citizen lawyer that has always endeavored to put his best foot forward in every aspect of life. He has treated public service and volunteerism not as an extra burden or task, but instead as a privilege and responsibility. He relishes his ability to take the tools and experience that the practice of law has blessed him with and utilize it in a manner that betters the community and its citizens that call it home. Wiggins is proof that one can both run a busy and successful law practice while also actively participating in local government and other organizations that shape us all each and every day.
The Citizen Lawyer Committee of the NCBA Young Lawyers Division, in conjunction with the NCBA Citizen Lawyer Committee, provides expanded coverage of the 2015 Citizen Lawyer Awards in recognition of their volunteer service and leadership in their communities and beyond.
Rick Parrotte is an attorney at Wright, Worley, Pope, Ekster & Moss, PLLC in Brunswick County.