Stephen Rawson is a partner in the firm’s Education Law Section. His practice is focused on litigation defense for boards of education, particularly in the areas of special education, bond forfeitures, and appeals. Prior to joining Tharrington Smith in 2013, Steve served for one year as the Dean’s Fellow at Duke University School of Law, and for two years as a law clerk to Justice Robin Hudson on the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Steve earned his undergraduate degree in physics with honors from Duke University in 2005. He taught 7th-grade science in Louisville, Kentucky for two years, during which time he also earned a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Louisville. Steve returned to Duke and earned his law degree with honors in 2010. He lives in Durham with his wife and two sons, Emerson and Lincoln. In his spare time, Steve enjoys golf, fishing, and homebrewing.
Best Lawyers, “Ones-to-Watch”, 2023
Duke University School of Law
Juris Doctor 2010 with honors
Chairman of the Moot Court Board
Appellate Litigation Clinic
University of Louisville
Masters in Education, 2007
BS in Physics 2005 with honors
Dean’s Fellow at Duke University School of Law
Law Clerk to Justice Robin Hudson on the North Carolina Supreme Court, 2011-2013
North Carolina State Bar
North Carolina Bar Association, Education Law Section Member
Eastern District of North Carolina
Middle District of North Carolina
Western District of North Carolina
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States Supreme Court
Wake County Bar Association
10th Judicial District Bar
Troubleshooting Contracts for Cloud-Based Products and Services, Education Law, the newsletter of the North Carolina Bar Association Education Law Section, November 2015
State v. Daniels, No. 15-1085, NC Court of Appeals (March 15, 2016)
Faires, et al v. State Board of Elections, et al., No. 84A16, NC Supreme Court (May 6, 2016)
State v. Navarro, No. 15-1065, NC Court of Appeals (June 7, 2016)
Vlasaty v. Wake County Board of Education et al, E.D.N.C (September 20, 2018)
A.H. v. Craven County Board of Education, E.D.N.C. (August 14, 2017)
State v. Cash, No. 19-460, N.C. Court of Appeals (March 17, 2020)
State v. Smith, No. 19-790, N.C. Court of Appeals (June 16, 2020) (amicus)
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