Distinguished History of McElwee Law Firm

The McElwee Law Firm was started in 1935 by William H. McElwee, Jr. in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.  Throughout its 82 year history, the McElwee Law Firm has been one of the most significant and successful law practices in western North Carolina.  William H. McElwee, Jr. helped to incorporate what is now Lowe’s Hardware in 1952, and the firm served as Lowe’s general counsel for over 40 years.  The firm also helped to incorporate and served as general counsel for Holly Farms beginning in 1968.  Today the original law office is still located in North Wilkesboro, in the same location where it has been for over 50 years, and a second office is located in Winston-Salem.  The firm offers a full range of legal services to its clients, including representation in personal injury matters.

Mission Statement/ Core Values

Our mission is to provide outstanding legal representation to our clients at a fair price.  We strongly believe in the principle that “You were injured, not your attorney” and therefore a greater portion of the money ought to go into your pocket.  When considering an attorney, find out how much it will cost you.  Is the attorney wanting 25% or 33% or more of your settlement?  We charge a flat 20% for our representation.  That puts a greater percentage of the money in your pocket at the end of the day.  Isn’t that what should happen?


William H. McElwee, IV is a 1995 graduate of Wake Forest University and a 1999 graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law.  Over the years, Will has successfully represented clients in personal injury, workers’ compensation, disability and medical malpractice claims.  As the third generation of this family-owned and operated business, Will has been helping to continue the legacy of McElwee Law Firm, which was started by his grandfather in 1935. In addition to his role as an attorney, Will is certified by the North Carolina Bar as a Superior Court and Family Financial Mediator.

After several years of representing injured clients, Will began to recognize that a change was needed in the way attorneys charge for their services in personal injury cases.  He saw that attorneys routinely charge 33% and sometimes as much as 40 or 50% contingency fees for their representation.  With insurance companies fighting to minimize claims, and medical providers lining up to be reimbursed, it was not uncommon to hear about clients being left with a very small percentage of their settlement when their case was over.

“I’ve always felt like the client is the person who got injured, not the lawyer.  These high percentage contingency fees were simply not fair, and I wanted to change that.  So, I charge a flat 20% contingency fee for my services.  That’s sometimes half of what I’ve seen other firms charge.  I’m not looking to get rich off of people.  I simply want to make an honest living and be able to help injured folks get back on their feet and back to their lives.  That in itself is fulfilling to me.”

Will has been an active and caring member of his community throughout his career.  He has served as an elder in his church, on the board of the YMCA, chaired the annual giving campaign for the YMCA multiple years, and has been on the planning board for local community charity events including an annual 8k race for the “Communities in Schools” program.  Will is an avid runner and cyclist, and has completed 13 marathons including the Boston and Chicago Marathons.

Contact Us

Have a question? Contact us to see how we can help you.

North Wilkesboro Office

906 Main St.
North Wilkesboro
NC, 28659

(336)838-5069 FAX

Winston Salem Office

1066 West 4th
Ste. 101
Winston Salem, NC 27101
(336)838-5069 FAX


Mon-Fri 830am - 5pm
Sat-Sun Closed