After growing up all over the world as an “army brat,” Loann Smith Meekins knew what it meant to really have a place to call home and to stand up for the “little guy”. Her passion to help others and to take-up for those in need started long before 1985 when as a Juliet Hamlet Harris Scholar, she graduated cum laude from Meredith College earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work and Religion. Immediately following graduation, Ms. Meekins went on to fulfill her social work field placement requirement working at Interact, an organization similar to Cleveland County’s Abuse Prevention Council, as a court advocate and counseling with victims of domestic violence. Once again, her love of people and a strong desire to give to those in need carried Ms. Meekins to a new challenge – law school at Campbell University School of Law. During her tenure at Campbell she proudly and honorably served as Articles Editor for Campbell Law Review, participated as a member of the National Moot Court Team, received a Merit Scholarship, was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa and was appointed the Attorney General for the student body of Campbell University. Ms. Meekins proudly received her J.D. in 1988.
Although over the years her career has been filled with numerous accomplishments and prestigious positions within the field of law, it is her continued compassion for those needing help and the drive to make a difference in their lives that continually brings her back to the practice of law in the area of Wills, Estates and Guardianships. She finds that giving those individuals without a voice, a voice. Or, being an advocate for those who can’t stand up for themselves, the forgotten ones, the ones that get swept under by the system. For Ms. Meekins, the most important thing a lawyer can do for their client is to spend time with them and to listen to them. “Hearing what a client really has to say, will tell you more than all of the paperwork in the world,” said Ms. Meekins.
Her strong belief in helping others is also evident is her time away from the office where she spent 15+ years mentoring hundreds of teenagers throughout Cleveland County who aspired to become attorneys, work in law enforcement and live as productive members of society by serving as a Volunteer Judge in the Cleveland County Teen Court Program. In addition, Ms. Meekins has also served on the Board of the Shelby YMCA, is an inactive sustaining member of the Shelby Junior Charity League and is an active member of the First Baptist Church in Shelby, NC. But as her upbringing taught her, “home is where the heart is” and for Ms. Meekins, that is where her husband of 36 years, their 2 grown children and their growing families (including 2 grandchildren) come in.
“Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.” ~ Mother Teresa