L. Cooper Harrell


If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking. — Benjamin Franklin

A seasoned litigation attorney, Cooper Harrell is a great advocate for his clients. He truly enjoys helping people in need and carries this mindset of service into his law practice. He is charismatic, interesting, and interested in others. Cooper pairs these positive attributes with consistently excellent legal work. He has a relentless work ethic and is an excellent writer, with a quick mind and innovative ideas. He also is nimble on his feet when advocating for his clients in court. Cooper’s extensive experience as a litigation lawyer includes cases before North Carolina’s state courts, the North Carolina Business Court, the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina, as well as other federal courts. He also has experience litigating cases before the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (commonly known as the Vaccine Court).

In addition to his trial work, Cooper is an accomplished appellate lawyer. Cooper has written briefs and argued cases before the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court. He also has briefed numerous cases before the federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Often stepping in at the appellate stage, Cooper’s appellate matters have spanned the scope of topics and legal issues.

Cooper engages with the community by supporting and working with numerous organizations. As examples, over the years Cooper has worked with the Greensboro Opera Company and the United Arts Council. He also is active in the North Carolina Bar Association, serving for many years in the leadership group for the Litigation Section.

Cooper’s talents are not limited to the practice of law. He is an accomplished pianist, having played in restaurants and piano bars off and on since he was a teenager.

Education & Academic Honors

  • J.D., with honors, University of North Carolina School of Law, 2001
  • B.A., with highest distinction, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1997
Academic Honors
  • Member, North Carolina Law Review
  • Order of the Coif, University of North Carolina School of Law
  • Gressman-Pollitt Award for Appellate Advocacy
  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society
  • Golden Key International Honour Society


  • United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 2018
  • United States Court of Federal Claims, 2017
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 2006
  • United States District Court, Western District of North Carolina, 2004
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, 2004
  • United States District Court, Middle District of North Carolina, 2001
  • North Carolina, 2001

Judicial Clerkship

  • Clerkship, Judge James A. Beaty, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, 2001- 2002

Professional Memberships & Leadership

  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Greensboro Bar Association
  • NCBA Litigation Section Council, 2008-2017
  • NCBA Litigation Section Chair, 2015-2016
  • NCBA Litigation Section Vice Chair, 2014-2015
  • NCBA Section Council, Secretary, 2013-2014
  • NCBA Litigation Section Treasurer, 2012-2013
  • NCBA Litigation Section Advocate’s Award Committee Chair, 2009-2015
  • NCBA Litigation Section CLE Committee Chair, 2007-2008
  • NCBA Litigation Section CLE Committee Vice Chair, 2006-2007
  • Greensboro Bar Association, Board Member for Young Lawyers Section, 2005-2008
  • Guilford Inn of Court


  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Listed in General Litigation (2018-2020)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Edition, Listed in General Litigation (2010, 2014-2015) and Business Litigation (2011-2013)
  • Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite, Young Guns (2014)
  • Triad Business Journal’s 40 Leaders Under Forty (2011), awarded to the Triad’s outstanding young business and community leaders

Civic & Community Service

  • Leadership Greensboro, Class of 2009
  • Future Fund Member (philanthropic organization dedicated to bettering the Greensboro community)
  • Elon University School of Law, Preceptor for the Inaugural Class
  • United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro, Prelude Society Steering Committee Member
  • Greensboro Opera Company, Board of Directors
  • First Baptist Church, Greensboro, Deacon, Search Committee for Minister to Children & Families

Presentations & Publications

  • North Carolina Civil Law Update: A Discussion of Key Cases with a Focus on the Appellate Division, Mecklenburg County Bar, CLE Speaker, January 2019
  • North Carolina Civil Law Update: A Discussion of Key Cases with a Focus on the Appellate Division, North Carolina Bar Association, CLE Speaker, October 2018
  • Sex, Lies & Backup Tapes: A Discussion of Ethics from an Out-of-the-Box Practice, Greensboro Bar Association, CLE Speaker, January 2015
  • Co-authored North Carolina chapter of the ABA’s Appellate Practice Compendium (Dana Livingston, ed., ABA 2012)
  • North Carolina Appellate Practice: Preserving Issues/Avoiding Missteps/Perfecting Your Appeal, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, Young Lawyers Section, CLE Speaker, July 2012
  • Litigating Disputes Relating to Closely Held Corporations in the Business Court, North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, Commercial Law Section, CLE Speaker, June 2010
  • Effective Appeals from Experienced Advocates: A Review of North Carolina Appellate Practice, CLE Course Planner & Speaker, February 2010
  • The Carlsbad Exception to an “Unappealing” Rule: The Supreme Court’s Ongoing Struggle with Appellate Review of Remand Orders, The International Association of Defense Counsel Appellate Practice Newsletter (Nov. 2009)
  • The Brave New World of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure, The Litigator, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Oct. 2009)
  • E-Discovery: Give & Take, CLE Speaker, April 2009
  • Have a Little Faith – Just Not the “Bad” Kind, The Litigator, Vol. 28, No. 3 (July 2008)
  • Advanced Litigation Strategies for Trial and Beyond: Avoiding Common Pitfalls and Coming Out on Top, CLE Course Planner, April 2008
  • North Carolina and Foreign Judgments, CLE Speaker, February 2008