Willis P. Whichard

Phone: (919) 636-6908

Joining the firm as a partner in 2013, Willis P. Whichard brings decades of experience in the law to Tillman, Whichard, and Cagle, PLLC. He is the only person in the history of North Carolina who has served in both the state House and the state Senate and also sat on both the Court of Appeals of North Carolina and the North Carolina Supreme Court. Beth Tillman was his law clerk twenty years ago when he served on the North Carolina Supreme Court. They have remained friends ever since.

Prior to beginning his political career, Willis Whichard was in private practice in Durham for many years. During that period, he acted as the Public Administrator for estates and the Public Guardian in Durham County. Much of his work focused on estate planning and probate. His enjoyment of his private practice during those years, as well as his friendship with Beth Tillman, inspired him to return to those roots and join our firm. Much of his time will be spent practicing law as he did when he first began his career: serving clients by crafting estate plans and overseeing probate matters. In addition, he will continue to serve as an arbitrator, mediator, and consultant on litigation matters, especially appeals.  These are skills that he honed in more recent years as a partner with Moore & Van Allen’s RTP office.

Whichard and Tillman are glad to be working together again, closing the circle that they began to draw twenty years ago. All of our lawyers value longevity in their own relationships and work to craft estate plans that reflect and promote the same for their clients. It is part of our mission because we have felt the benefit of it in our own lives and we see the value of it in our clients’ lives. Willis Whichard is a wonderful part of that mission.

Areas of Practice

Estate Planning and Probate, Appellate & Constitutional, Commercial Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution


  • North Carolina, 1965
  • All North Carolina Courts
  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court



  • J.D., University of North Carolina, 1965; Board of Editors, North Carolina Law Review; Order of the Coif; Phi Delta Phi
  • LL.M., University of Virginia,1984
  • S.J.D., University of Virginia,1994
  • A.B., University of North Carolina, 1962, Phi Beta Kappa; Order of the Golden Fleece;  Order of the Grail; Order of the Old Well


Professional and Community Memberships / Honors

  • Member, North Carolina House of Representatives, 1970-1974
  • Member, North Carolina Senate, 1974-1980
  • Judge, North Carolina Court of Appeals, 1980-1986
  • Associate justice, North Carolina Supreme Court, 1986-1998
  • Dean and professor of law, Campbell University, 1999-2006
  • Christopher Crittenden Award, North Carolina Literary and Historical Association
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Distinguished Service Medal, University of North Carolina General Alumni Association
  • Outstanding Appellate Judge Award, North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • American Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Durham County Bar Association
  • UNC Law Alumni Association (President, 1978-79; First Vice President, 1977-78; Second Vice President 1976-77; Board of Directors, 1971-73; 1979-82)

Phone: (919) 402-1740

Fax: (919) 240-7040

Email: assistant@tillmanfirm.com

Office: 501 Eastowne Drive, Suite 130,
Chapel Hill, NC  27514-6224