Billy Strickland grew up poor with a chaotic family. He left home when he was just 15 years old to find work so he could survive. After leaving home, Billy worked odd jobs, mostly as a mechanic, to make ends meet. As a young man, Billy was often taken advantage of by unscrupulous people who refused to pay for work done. He had no recourse because he could not afford an attorney to defend his rights. Billy decided if he could not afford an attorney, he would become an attorney. His life’s mission was to become the kind of attorney who would help people defend their rights under the law.
In 1991, Billy enlisted in the SC Army National Guard while still in high school. Graduating high school in 1992 Billy served in the Guard, rode bulls, cowboyed, and worked odd jobs while trying to attend college. In 1995, Billy moved to Castalia near Nashville, NC, to work in ranching and farming. While there he and his roommates rode the Eastern U.S. rodeo circuit.
Billy met his wife, Jennifer, at a rodeo competition at the Fayetteville Coliseum. A week later, they went on their first official date at the Waffle House. In 1997, Billy started working for Jennifer’s father on their family farm. Billy farmed tobacco, corn, soybeans, and strawberry crops while Jennifer finished college at NC State University.
While Jennifer finished college, Billy began his college journey by taking classes at Wayne Community College. He was accepted at Campbell University in 1997 and graduated in 2000. Unlike many of his classmates, Billy worked his way through college at odd jobs including Powell Livestock, training horses, and trapping beavers on a local farm to pay for groceries and living expenses. Billy began law school in the summer of 2001 at Regent University where he also worked his way through school. He worked odd jobs as a private process server, he clerked at a local law firm, and yes, he even continued trapping beavers to make ends meet.
Billy and Jennifer were married in 1998, their oldest son, Billy III, was born in 2003 during his final year of law school. After graduating, Billy, Jennifer, and Billy III moved into a mobile home on Jennifer’s family farm in Goldsboro.
Billy was finally an attorney, and his first break came when he was selected as a law clerk for NC Court of Appeals Judge John Tyson. Judge Tyson was one of Billy’s mentors and remains a close friend today.
During his clerkship, Billy and Jennifer welcomed twins, Jack, and Isaac, into their family. After leaving the court, Billy worked in private practice for about year in Goldsboro before moving to Kittrell, NC, to serve as the City Attorney for Henderson, NC, in Vance County.
While Billy was serving as City Attorney, he and Jennifer welcomed a daughter, Alexandria. In 2008, the Strickland family, now comprised of four children four and under, became homesick and decided to move back to Goldsboro to be close to Jennifer’s family.
In October 2008, after recently moving home to Goldsboro, Billy opened his law practice, Strickland Law. In the early days of his practice, Billy continued farming and working as an Adjunct Professor at Mount Olive College to supplement his income while he built his law practice. Today, Strickland Law is a premier law firm in Eastern North Carolina with seven attorneys and multiple offices.
Billy is very active in his community where he supports the Wayne Pregnancy Center, 3HC Hospice, and a local gymnasium program for disadvantaged youth. Billy also provides pro bono legal services to juveniles caught up in the legal system as a way to share his testimony and life story.
Billy is politically active. He is the past Chairman of the Wayne County Republican Party and a lifetime NRA member. Billy is an avid hunter and fisherman and is involved in Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Quail Forever.
While Billy has achieved the American Dream, he has not strayed too far from his humble roots. You will still find him driving a tractor on Jennifer’s family farm, at a livestock auction, and from time-to-time on his cousin’s hog farm.
Billy, his wife Jennifer, and their four children, Billy III, Jack, Isaac, and Alexandria live in Goldsboro, NC, and attend Freedom Baptist Church.