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John Stephens puts his trial and complex litigation experience to work for our clients navigating the intricacies of probate, estate administration and fiduciary litigation.

After graduating from UVA School of Law, John litigated and campaigned in South Africa with SECTION27 and the mighty Treatment Action Campaign. Their advocacy and litigation on issues such as the right of access to healthcare services, prison reform, and corporate accountability changed thousands of lives, won global renown, and catalyzed radical change in law and policy.

John later joined the Georgetown University Law Center’s O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law to support lawyers and organizers in the United States and across the global south in strategic litigation and campaigns for human rights. He missed clients and courtrooms, though, and so left DC to join the Arapahoe trial office of the Colorado State Public Defender, where he defended people charged with everything from traffic infractions to murder. With brilliant colleagues and righteous clients, John fought in hearings, on the pleadings, and at trial to safeguard his clients and the community.

John is a member of the North Carolina State Bar, the Colorado State Bar, and the Virginia State Bar. He has litigated watershed human rights cases in multiple jurisdictions, clerked for a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York, taken felonies and misdemeanors to trial, advised the United Nations, assisted governments to draft and implement law and policy related to human rights, served as legal support to social justice movements in the United States and across the globe, and, as a highschooler in his hometown of Winston-Salem, was blessed to be an archival assistant to the great Dr. Maya Angelou. To build the beloved community remains the lodestar of John’s work.

The law is ink on paper and nothing more unless we put it to work. The mission of John’s life as a lawyer has been to put the law to work for the people. Here at Carolina Estate Planning, we take our work seriously because our work is serious—your family, your future, and your assets are the most important things to you. Whether defending them in court or protecting them in advance, John looks forward to making the law work for you.

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