Mary Catherine Coltrane: A Glimpse of Hope

Mary Catherine Coltrane
2024 Feature Nominations

Family lawyer Mary Catherine Coltrane is such an upbeat and positive person, you can hear her smiling on the phone. It’s one of the keystones of her practice at Gailor Hunt.

“I’ve always strived to be a person of integrity, to have a strong moral character, and to remain positive and upbeat even when other things in life are not so great. So, it’s very important to me to leave a lasting impression and a positive impact on someone else’s life,” said Coltrane.

Born in a Small Town

Coltrane traces that philosophy to growing up in Rockingham, NC, in Richmond County, which she describes as a small town.

“Growing up in a close community, the town and the people really helped mold and shape me into the person that I am today,” said Coltrane. “There’s a lot of love in that community to go around, and so I’ve always had a strong passion for helping others.”

Coltrane said she was influenced by three strong women: her mother, Allison Farrah, who is the pastor at First Baptist Church in Hamlet; her grandmother, Cathy Wilson, who was the elected clerk of court in Richmond County for many years; and her aunt, Amy Wilson, who is the chief district court judge of Richmond, Scotland, and Anson counties.

Coltrane attended Wake Forest University, majoring in psychology and religion. She was on a path to become a pediatric psychologist, but several of her professors helped her discern her career path of serving the community as a lawyer.

She earned her Juris Doctor from Campbell Law School, where she developed a passion for family law working at the Gailor Family Law Litigation Clinic and as an intern at Gailor Hunt Davis Taylor & Gibbs, PLLC. At graduation, Coltrane received the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Law Student Award “for exhibiting the competency, ethics, and skills to elevate the practice of family law”; the Howard Memorial Christian Citizenship Award; and the Order of Old Kivett “for having excelled in lawyering skills while representing the law school in an exemplary fashion in regional, national, and international advocacy competitions.” After graduation from law school, Coltrane joined Gailor Hunt.

Hope and Encouragement

“When clients come to us in their most difficult and challenging times, I’m thankful to be in a position to give them a glimpse of hope and encouragement,” said Coltrane.

“We always listen to our clients first and foremost. Every client has a different situation, and the strategy for every client is not the same. We try to resolve our clients’ legal issues out of court whenever possible but are fully prepared to fight for them if litigation is necessary.”

“I gauge my success for the client when they are happy, pleased with the result of their case, and know that we have done all we can do. When a client sends you a message saying, ‘I will sleep soundly tonight, because of the work you have done on my case.’ That is the most rewarding feedback I could ever receive.”

Cheerleader and Homecoming Queen

While attending Wake Forest University, Coltrane was a cheerleader and homecoming queen.

“As cheerleaders, we were ambassadors for the school. We had to be comfortable communicating with others, being in large crowds, and setting a good example for what Wake Forest stands for, Pro Humanitate, to be catalysts for good,” said Coltrane.

“I think the same is true with being an attorney. You need to be a positive example for those in the community, and not only for your clients but the representation that you make in court, and when you are communicating with opposing counsel. It’s very important to set a positive example and remain true to who you are, despite the circumstances.”

Bob Friedman

Robert "Bob" Friedman is the publisher of Attorney at Law Magazine North Carolina Triangle. He contributes articles and interviews to each issue.

Comments 1

  1. Wayne Smoak says:

    Comes from a wonderful family and community! A gem of a lady and smart as a whip!

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