Thomas E. Fulghum Attorney at law


Thomas is Board Certified as a Specialist in Immigration Law by the Board of Legal Specialization of the North Carolina State Bar.

Thomas is the Chairman of the Immigration Law Committee of the Board of Legal Specialization

Thomas has represented clients before USCIS adjudication officers, in Immigration Court, and before the Board of Immigration Appeals, and in federal court.

Thomas also practices criminal defense, and has represented clients in state and federal courts and before the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of North Carolina and in both the Middle and Eastern Federal District Courts of North Carolina.

Thomas is fluent in Spanish.

Thomas has received a First Tier ranking in the Raleigh area in Immigration Law by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® for 2017.

Thomas was named the Best Lawyers' 2016 Raleigh Immigration Law "Lawyer of the Year."


Duke University School of Law, J.D. with Honors, 1998
  • Moot Court Board
  • Co-Founder of the ACLU's Duke Law Chapter
  • President of Prisoner Rights Project
University of Arizona, B.A. with Honors in English Literature, 1995
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Clinical externship with Tucson Ecumenical Council for Legal Assistance (Central American Refugee Aid Agency)


  • Private Practice - 2003-Present
  • Assistant Public Defender, Orange County, NC 1998-2003

Professional Associations

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (Chair, Carolinas Chapter, Unauthorized Practice Committee)
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • American Civil Liberties Union

Recent Presentations and Talks

  • Trends in Enforcement Against Alien Criminal Defendants: Durham County Criminal Defense Bar, May 3, 2007
  • Immigration Update: North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers Convention, June 18, 2007
  • Unauthorized Practice of Law: Duke University School of Law Immigration Law Class, 2007-2011
  • Charla sobre Inmigracion (Talk about Immigration), Iglesia Hispana Emanuel, Durham, NC, December 5, 2007
  • "Unlicensed Practice of Law Puts N.C. Immigrants at Risk," N.C. Advocates for Justice Trial Briefs, June 2009
  • Notarios, UPLers and Other Unsavory Characters, American Immigration Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV, June 5, 2009
  • "Battling Against Notarios: Waging War Against the Unlicensed, Unqualified, and Incompetent," Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, 2009
  • "The New Provisional Waiver Program," El Centro Hispano, Durham, NC, February 22, 2013
  • Intensive Immigration Training for Public Defenders, Raleigh, NC, September 6, 2013
  • "Consumer Protection in Immigrant Communities in North Carolina," US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Field Office, March 20, 2014
  • Regional Training for Indigent Defense: Preparing for Convictions, November 4, 2016
  • 2017 Annual Contractors and Assigned Counsel Training, "Immigration Enforcement Primer for Criminal Defense Attorneys," UNC‐Chapel Hill School of Government, June 23, 2017

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