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Emily C. Jeske


Spend two minutes with Emily, and you’ll immediately see she possesses a wisdom that far exceeds her age. With a strong background in the social sciences, she can comprehend the core issues of a case straightaway, while still recognizing its nuances and intricacies. She’s a big believer in that no one should be defined by their worst day, especially when any number of contributing factors are present. She approaches each case with only her clients’ best interest in mind and a fierce sense of right and wrong as her guidepost. Through compassion and sensibility, she provides clients with a calming sense of reassurance—at a time in their lives when they need it most. She is tenacious in her client commitments – always ready to serve as both a strong advocate and sympathetic ear.

As a family law attorney at Smith Debnam, Emily represents individuals in all areas of family law, including separation, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, equitable distribution, and domestic violence.

Growing up, Emily spent every summer during her middle school and high school years volunteering at a school for children with disabilities. It was during this time that she developed a passion for understanding the unique concerns these families in particular face. As a law student, she accompanied victims of domestic violence to court, coached them through the legal process, and watched them as they successfully represented themselves against their abusers and stalkers. Not only can she navigate the legal system, but she can also distill courtroom legal jargon into simple, understandable language that clients appreciate. She recognizes that resolving conflict in family law matters often requires a give and take on both sides that can be frustrating for clients. A thoughtful and effective communicator, she helps clients avoid losing sight of the big picture as they journey through the process.

Emily is an alumna of Smith Debnam’s Summer Associate Program. She is a member of the American Bar Association and North Carolina Bar Association. Prior to joining Smith Debnam, Emily’s work experience included litigating child support enforcement cases in District Court on behalf of Forsyth County, as well as representing indigent clients in parental rights termination cases, in addition to preparing pleas, motions, and other legal documents.

Always the self-starter, with a go-getter attitude to match—in fact, she taught herself how to ride a bike at a very young age—you can count on Emily to bring a drive and determination to her clients’ cases that you won’t find anywhere else.

  • North Carolina State Bar 
  • J.D., cum laude, Wake Forest University School of Law, 2017
  • B.S., magna cum laude, Psychology and Sociology, Furman University, 2014
Professional Affiliations Awards & Recognition
  • Order of the Coif
  • Scholastic Honors, Spring & Fall 2016
  • National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Student Award
  • CALI Excellence for the Future Award for Highest Grade: Litigation Externship Clinic, Fall 2016; Constitutional Law II, Spring 2016; Criminal Law, Fall 2014 
  • YWCA Woman of Vision Award, 2010
Published Articles
  • Punishing Victims for Being Victims: Aiding and Abetting Violations of Protection Orders - 7 Wake Forest J.L. & Pol’y 275 (2017)
  • Seventh Circuit Holds Debt Collectors “Are No Different than Any Other Plaintiff” - Consumer Financial Services Litigation and Compliance Blog, June 14, 2016
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