Posted in: Lawyers None


North and South Carolina attorney Rachel Carr has always been interested in real estate. Her passion for working with first-time home buyers, the cases she's worked on, and her real estate law experience are what inspired her recent SC Lawyer article.   

After spending her undergraduate years in the mountains, Carr moved to the coast for warmer weather at the Charleston School of Law. Carr's interest in law stemmed through an internship at a children’s home, where her mentor showed her that law school could open doors to whatever her passions may be.   

"I was an intern for an executive of the school who is a lawyer, a member of my church growing up, and my former summer camp counselor when I was a child. He has been a mentor for me over the years. While I was an intern, he encouraged me to go to law school. He showed me that there are so many things you can do with a law degree besides trial court cases," Carr said. "Before working with him, I had a preconceived notion that lawyers were in a courtroom handling criminal offenses or child custody disputes which was just not something I imagined doing. I was inspired because he took something that he was passionate about and used his legal skills in a nontraditional way, and he credited his law degree for creating his path."  

Growing up in Charlotte during the 2008 financial crisis, Carr saw the impact firsthand through several friends and their parents. As she listened to her own parents' concerns about their home value decreasing and their concerns throughout the crisis, Carr realized just how important it is for first-time buyers to understand their loans and documents.   

"I enjoy working with first-time homebuyers especially. I think about how much I did not understand when signing for my first mortgage and buying my first house. I use the questions that I had to guide my clients through their closing," Carr said. "When I work with families in this market who have been in many multiple offer situations and are so desperate to find a house or to get moved in, it reminds me of how important it is for them to understand their loans."  

Loans and documents are not the only things first-time homebuyers face. Buyers also need to worry about the moving company they choose and what will happen if their personal belongings are damaged in the moving process. Part of Carr's motivation for this article was a Carmack claim case that came through her office. 

"I started looking into the case law to see what the result may be for this client. In the process, I realized that this was not a negligence claim, and I was astonished at the law," Carr recalled. "The statute is unintuitive in places and runs counter to the principles most lawyers would begin with—especially on issues of liability and claim period. I just kept thinking that a lawyer could get into trouble if they do not realize the timeframe; they must file a Carmack claim. The Carmack Amendment is likely something that many lawyers have never heard of. Since I had already done the research, I felt that I should write about the law so that maybe other lawyers would know how to spot this issue early, in the hope that they can timely and correctly navigate their clients through the process."  

With situations like this, Carr says the best thing attorneys can do to prepare is to stay current with the work other attorneys are producing.   

"As attorneys, we are faced with new facts for each client that we have to navigate,” she says. “One of the best ways we can prepare is to read what other attorneys are seeing in their practice and learn from each other. This scenario came through my office and will likely go through someone else's."   

Carr makes time for writing new articles through a busy and exciting work schedule, reading SC Lawyer magazine, and working on home improvement projects. When it comes to writing for SC Lawyer, Carr reflected on her experience.   

"SC Lawyer's editors were so efficient, and I had such a great experience. I've been asked multiple times how I fit the time commitment to write an article. But really, I already had the research because of the work I was doing. SC Lawyer made it an easy process from there," Carr said. "I would encourage any lawyer who finds some area of the law that we need to be educated in to write about their experience. I enjoy reading SC Lawyer and seeing what my colleagues have been working on."