D. Cole Phelps, Founder
Attorney and Counsellor at Law
- North Carolina Central University School of Law, Juris Doctor (cum laude), 2013
- East Carolina University, Bachelor of Science in Family and Community Services (magna cum laude), Minor in Political Science, 2009
- Creswell High School, Diploma, 2006
- North Carolina State Bar, 2013
D. Cole Phelps, is a proud graduate of North Carolina Central Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude with a juris doctor degree. He was the managing editor of the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Law Review, vice president of his class, and recipient of the Floyd B. McKissick leadership award. Phelps is the founder and counselor at law at The Law Office of D. Cole Phelps, PLLC in Plymouth. His expertise is in criminal law, small business start-ups, family law, traffic tickets, estate planning, and real estate.
Phelps is a native of Washington County, and he returned to his home community to serve and give back. After winning his first primary election with over 62% of the votes, he later became the youngest county commissioner at the time of his election to serve in any of North Carolina’s 100 counties. During his first term of office, he was selected by his fellow board members as vice chairman and then chairman. Currently, he is serving his second term of office as a member of the Washington County Board of Commissioners representing the residents of District 1. During his public service, Phelps has established a stellar reputation for being a champion for education.
As a graduate of East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in Family and Community Services with a minor in Political Science, the East Carolina University Division of Student Affairs Office of Development recognized him with the prestigious 40 Under 40 leadership award. Dedicated to higher education, he returned to East Carolina University, where he has served on the faculty as an adjunct professor instructing courses in Family Law and Public Policy. Receiving high student reviews, Phelps sees his role in higher education as inspiring the next generation of leaders.
He was the first in his family to graduate from college. Realizing the challenges of access to higher education and the need to help first-generation college-bound students, Phelps formed the D. Cole Phelps Scholarship Foundation. Through his Foundation, Phelps has awarded annual scholarships to high school students in eastern North Carolina counties.
- Criminal Division Private Assigned Counsel Chair, North Carolina Advocates for Justice
- Founder, D. Cole Phelps Scholarship Foundation, Inc., 2013 – Current
- Founder, D. Cole Phelps Holiday Invitational Tournament, 2019
- Trustee, Beaufort County Community College 2020 – 2021
- Member, Epsilon Chi Lambda Chapter, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, 2020 – Current
- Trustee, North Carolina IOLTA Board, 2023-2026
- Member, Indigent Defense Committee for the Second Judicial District
- Member, Recovery Court Committee for the Second Judicial District
- Adjunct Professor, East Carolina University, 2014- 2020
- North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society Award, Supreme Court of North Carolina, 2013 – 2022
- Nationally Ranked Top 10 under 40 Attorney Award, National Academy of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2020
- Lawyer of Distinction, Recognizing Excellence in Criminal Defense, 2020
- North Carolina Central School of Law Leadership Award for the top 40 Alumni under 40 years old, 2020
- East Carolina University Department of HDFS, Most Valuable Professor, 2019
- Citizen of the Year, Golden Crown Lodge #253 and Love and Union Temple # 150, 2018
- North Carolina Lawyers Weekly Leaders in the Law, 2018
- East Carolina University Leadership Award for the top 40 Alumni under 40 years old, 2015
- Floyd B. McKissick Award for Leadership and Scholarship, 2013
- County Commissioner, Washington County Board of County Commissioners, 2012 – 2020
- Democratic Nominee, North Carolina Senate District One, 2017-2018
- Third-Vice Chair of the First Congressional District, North Carolina Democratic Party, 2013 – Current