Jump to Navigation

Laura Stephenson Irwin

Laura Stephenson Irwin

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Laura Irwin has served families transitioning through divorce for over ten years. She started her own law firm in May, 2001. Irwin Law Firm, PLLC was created to help families approach divorce in a way that maximizes the potential for positive change, successfully manages the negative forces that led to divorce in the first place, and seeks to permanently resolve the financial and family issues that arise with separation and divorce.

Laura specializes in assisting her clients move on with their new lives through an array of techniques. She has developed strategies for meeting clients where they are, helping them to create the situation they want to be in, and supporting them throughout the transition. Laura and her staff have assisted clients throughout the Research Triangle area as they transform lives that weren't working into new lives of their own creation-even when divorce was not their choice.

Before opening her own firm and beginning her mediation and collaborative practices, Laura successfully held associate positions in two of the most aggressive family law litigation firms in her area. Laura saw that seeking to win the battle at all costs often left a family depleted of financial resources, struggling with significant traumatic damage to the family relationships, and stuck in a court imposed one-size fits all arrangement. She observed that the "winner" was often as dissatisfied with the outcome as the "loser". Over time, Laura began to implement techniques used in mediation and collaborative law in her litigated cases. Her clients have reaped the rewards of Laura's training in these areas. Laura is convinced that her solution based approach results in cases-even litigated cases-costing less, taking less time, and yielding a better result because fewer issues end up being tendered to a judge.

Laura is a two time graduate of the University of Florida. She is a native of the Durham-Chapel Hill area and attended Durham Academy and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro public schools before attending high school in Florida after her parents' divorce. Laura earned a degree in Psychology and a law degree before returning home to establish a legal practice in Orange, Durham, Chatham, Wake, Granville, and Person counties. Laura has been active in the past in the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties and is a former board member of Girls on the Run of the Triangle, Inc. For over ten years she has been a committed volunteer for The Women's Center of Chapel Hill, providing her time to Legal Information Service calls, fundraising support, serving as an ongoing legal resource and assisting in developing a family law lecture series. Other volunteer activities have included supporting Family Violence Prevention, Legal Aid, NCCASA, the Durham Crisis Response Center, and presentation of Pro Bono CLE at the North Carolina State Bar Association. Laura currently serves as a volunteer mediator at The Dispute Settlement Center in Carrboro and at Deep River Mediation in Chatham County. Laura and her husband are raising three children together in Chapel Hill.

Areas of Practice

  • Family Law
  • Child Support
  • Custody & Visitation
  • Divorce
  • Mediation and Collaborative Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Adoption


  • University of Florida College of Law, Gainesville, Florida
    • J.D. - 1998
  • University of Florida
    • B.S. - 1994
    • Major: Psychology

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Dispute Settlement Center, Carrboro, NC, Volunteer Mediator
  • Dispute Settlement Center, Carrboro, NC, Presenter, March 2008 Continuing Education Seminar for Volunteer Media
  • Deep River Mediation, Pittsboro, NC, Volunteer Mediator