About Billie J. Guthrie
ABOUT BILLIE J. GUTHRIE, ESQ.
Meet Billie J. Guthrie. Billie’s background as a social worker shapes her legal practice and how she relates to her clients. She has spent over twenty years working with individuals experiencing challenging life situations and fighting for social justice.
Billie is admitted to the Bar in North Carolina and Massachusetts. She graduated from North Carolina Central University in 2012. As a law student in the evening program, she was a member of the Pro-Bono Law Program and Veteran’s Law Clinic. Billie spent a semester studying international law at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law in London. She also has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from UNC. Before becoming an attorney, Billie was a mental health social worker, policy advocate, and community organizer.
COMMUNITY & SOCIAL JUSTICE INVOLVEMENT
Billie J. Guthrie has been a consultant for the expansion of an international hunger relief agency. She assisted an organization of Muslim women lawyers fighting for human rights. She also interned with an immigration law firm working on asylum cases.
As an active member of our community, Billie volunteers her time to help others. She currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for Threshold Clubhouse, a psychiatric rehabilitation program in Durham, NC. She is involved with the following community groups:
- Durham Disability Work Group;
- Wake County SOAR Work Group; and
- Orange County SOAR Collaborative.
Billie is a sustaining member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant’s Representatives (NOSSCR). She is a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, participating in the Disability Law Section and Women’s Caucus. She is also a member of the Durham Bar Association and the American Bar Association.
To connect with Billie online, join her on LinkedIn.
WHY BILLIE DOES THIS WORK
Billie J. Guthrie, Attorney at Law
The simple answer? This work fulfills and humbles her.
According to her mother, Billie always wanted to become a lawyer. While she does not recall this specific childhood aspiration, it makes sense. Even as a young girl, Billie had a strong sense of fairness and equity. Fortunately, she has carried this sensibility with her into adulthood.
Billie has never been able to envision herself being happy in a job where she is not impacting, and hopefully improving, the lives of others. In 1999, she began her professional career as a social worker and has worked in a variety of human service settings ever since. This includes group homes, mental health and substance abuse organizations, and affordable housing programs. She has also been a community organizer and policy advocate in the areas of homelessness, mental health and substance abuse services, foster care, and juvenile justice.
Billie is grateful for her experience as a social worker – it serves her well as an attorney. Law school and years of practice have honed her legal knowledge. But it is her experience in the human service sector that she believes sets her apart from other lawyers. It has informed her ability to relate to people during difficult times in their lives, to tap into her empathy for others, and to listen and hold space for her clients.
While she acknowledges the flaws in our legal system, she enjoys using her knowledge of the law to help her clients achieve their goals. Seeing a client obtain disability income and medical insurance that will lessen their burden and suffering brings her joy. It reminds her to appreciate her own health and wellbeing. Working with families who want the best for their loved one inspires her. It reminds her to be thankful for her own loving relationships.
This work allows Billie the opportunity to use her skills and experience to help others. It instills in her gratitude for all the people who have helped her when she needed it. Through her work, Billie is provided a daily perspective about the important things in life.
Billie grew up in a small college town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and has a deep affinity for nature. She enjoys beach trips, walks in the woods, gardening, bird watching, and playing lots of volleyball. She is a committed practitioner of meditation and yoga and has completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training.
Thank you for the opportunity to work together.
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