By Bain Jones
Having grown up in the Burgaw area of North Carolina, Phyllis Pickett saw a very diverse profile of North Carolina in the early years of her life. She recognized the strengths and weaknesses of a community of farmers, small town businesses, military individuals from nearby installations and the struggles of a small Eastern North Carolina town during the latter part of the 20th century. Phyllis was drawn to helping shed light on difficult challenges and giving individuals without a voice the opportunity to be heard. Phyllis developed her intellect, consensus building skills and persuasive talents while helping many people in the Burgaw area.
A graduate of UNC law school, Phyllis returned to her home area to be the Managing Director of the Coastal Plains Legal Services. Following her conviction to help others, she worked to provide quality legal services for individuals who could not afford it. As in her early life, Phyllis saw the great need to provide access to the legal system for all people and the limitations accompanying efforts to do so in a small rural community. Phyllis continued her role as a leader in racial, women’s and poverty issues while working at Coastal Legal Services.
Phyllis moved to a larger field of public service when she was hired as an Assistant County Attorney for Wake County. While working for all individuals, Phyllis pursued meaningful involvement in the Wake Bar, North Carolina Bar Association, St. Ambrose Episcopal Church and other various organizations in Wake County and the state. She moved to her longest commitment as the Principal Staff Attorney for the North Carolina General Assembly. Phyllis is greatly respected as a trusted and innovative lawyer whose devotion to outcome has resulted in assisting with many bills that have become laws that benefit all individuals in our state. Her peers and all who work with Phyllis admire her integrity, tireless devotion, engaging humor and selfless service. We are indeed fortunate that diversity is Phyllis’s passion and her approach to all parts of her life. Phyllis Pickett is a woman for all seasons.