Overview

A Board-Certified Specialist in Immigration Law, Penni was named in the 2004 Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite” as the top employment attorney in North Carolina. She has been nationally recognized by inclusion in “Best Lawyers in America” for both Immigration Law and Employment Law, and by "Chambers & Partners" and "Super Lawyers" as a leading immigration attorney. She has also been listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and The International Who’s Who of Professional & Business Women. Penni has also been a speaker on both immigration law and employment law before such organizations as the American Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the North Carolina Bar Association, the South Carolina Bar Association, the American Home Furnishings Association, the Georgia Employers' Association, and the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America® (2001-2018)
  • Best Lawyers in America® Employment Law - Management "Lawyer of the Year" in Greensboro, NC (2016)
  • Best Lawyers in America® Immigration Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Greensboro, NC (2015)
  • Chambers USA Guide®, Top Tier (2003-2017)
  • Leadership Volunteer of the Year, American Red Cross, Northwest North Carolina Chapter (1991, 1997)
  • Legal Elite “Hall of Fame,” Business North Carolina (2005-2016)
  • Legal Elite, Business North Carolina (2004)
  • Marquis Who's Who
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers 
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent®
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers® (2007-2017)
  • Top 100: Attorneys in North Carolina (2007-2017)
  • Top 100: North Carolina Super Lawyers® (2012-2014)
  • Top 50: Women North Carolina Super Lawyers® (2007-2015)
  • United Way Community “Volunteer of the Year” (2007)

Professional & Civic Associations

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Nominating Committee (2000-2002)
    • Membership Chair (1990-1993)
    • Newsletter Editor (1989-1990)
    • Employment Law Section Secretary (1987)
    • Immigration and Nationality Law Committee (1989-1992)
    • Practical Skills Course Committee (1986-1989)
    • Steering Committee on the Bar Review Course (1984-1985)
  • North Carolina State Bar, Committee on Specialization (2010-present); Chair (2015-present)
  • Forsyth County Bar Association
  • CareNet of the Triad, Board of Directors (2006-2008)
    • Chair (2007)
    • Vice Chair (2006)
  • Center for Exceptional Children, Board of Directors (2016-present)
  • CrimeStoppers, Board of Directors (1984-2004)
  • Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, Inc., Founding Member, Board of Directors (1981-1986)
    • Chair (1986)
    • Vice Chair (1985)
    • Secretary (1982-84)
  • Forsyth Technical Community College Foundation, Board of Directors (2006-2012)
    • Chair (2011)
    • Vice Chair (2010)
  • Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina, Inc., Board of Directors (1993-2013)
    • Chair (1997, 2004)
    • Vice Chair (1996, 2003)
  • Greater Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors (2001-2005)
    • Executive Committee (2002-2005)
  • Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County, Founding Member, Board of Directors (1984-1987)
    • Vice Chair (1985-1986)
  • Northwest North Carolina Chapter American Red Cross, Board of Directors (1985-1998)
    • Chair (1995-1997)
    • Vice Chair (1993-1994)
    • Treasurer (1989-1990)
    • Secretary (1987)
  • Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem, Board of Directors (2004-2010)
  • Salvation Army Girls' Club, Advisory Council (1983-1995)
    • Chair (1990-1991)
    • Vice Chair (1988-1989)
    • Secretary (1984-1987)
  • Summit School, Board of Trustees (2015-present)
  • United Way of Forsyth County, Chair of Legal Division for Annual Campaign (2008)
    • Secretary (1997-1999)
    • Board of Directors (1992-1999)
    • Executive Committee (1992-1999)
    • Legal Advisor (1992-1999)
    • Chair, Community Problem Solving Committee (1995-1997)
  • Winston-Salem Symphony, Board of Directors (2008-2011)

News & Analysis

  • "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation."
  • Aristotle

Practices

Practice Emphasis

  • Immigration
  • Employment Law

Education

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • J.D., with honors, 1980
  • Morehead Fellow
  • Order of the Coif
  • Research Editor, North Carolina Law Review

Randolph-Macon Woman's College

  • A.B., American Studies and Religion, magna cum laude, 1977
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Bar & Court Admissions

  • North Carolina, 1980
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • North Carolina Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Claims
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
Back to Page