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Staff Snapshots | Joyce W. Jones

April 5, 2023

Hometown: Cary, N.C.

Role: Principal Staff Attorney and Health and Human Services Team Lead, Legislative Drafting Division, North Carolina General Assembly

Years of legislative service: 24 total (10 years with the Connecticut General Assembly and 14 years with the North Carolina General Assembly)

Who inspires her: “I’m inspired by underdogs—the people in life who were not expected to succeed or who lost their footing but found their way over obstacles and succeeded greatly against all odds.”

Why did you choose to work at the legislature?

After working in private practice for the benefit of large corporate clients, I was thrilled to be able to serve the public in a way that directly impacts the health and well-being of some of our most vulnerable and historically marginalized populations.

What skill or talent are you most proud of?

I’m most proud that I have been able to provide legal counsel to two state legislatures over the course of my career as a public servant. This unique experience has gifted me with firsthand knowledge about the distinct approaches taken by legislatures in different geographic areas to address similar issues. I have also had the benefit of working with elected officials and staff in two different areas of the country on complex legal issues in the health and human services arena. I have enjoyed learning two styles of legislative drafting and two sets of legislative processes and procedures, and I am proud to say that this background enables me to produce high-quality, legally sound work under often challenging time constraints.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.

What’s one thing you love about your state?

I love the abundance of arts and culture available to us in North Carolina and, of course, I love that the temperatures are usually much milder than in the Northeast, where I was born and raised.

What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?

I read with a book club, and we are currently enjoying “The Light We Carry,” by Michelle Obama.

These email responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. To suggest a staffer for this series, please use the email icon above to contact Holly South.

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