Dustin Carter is an associate attorney at CLG whose legal practice focuses primarily on workers’ compensation cases.
Dustin grew up in Durham, North Carolina, where he developed an interest in legal proceedings at a young age. In elementary school, he wrote a short story called The Trial of Mr. Mold in which the title character was charged with the murder of the Bread Man. While Dustin was far too young at the time to be familiar with the legal concept of mens rea, the jury in his story ultimately acquitted Mr. Mold because he lacked criminal intent. Little did ten-year-old Dustin know, it was an argument he would make dozens of times in his legal career.
Dustin earned his undergraduate degree in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at UNC, he played several intramural sports, was a chapter founding member of his fraternity, and he played saxophone in the university’s Wind Ensemble. For a year after college, Dustin taught GED students. He loved the feeling of helping his predominantly underprivileged students achieve their goals, and the experience steered him towards a legal career advocating for the rights of the disadvantaged.
As a law student at the University of Richmond School of Law, Dustin served as a Manuscripts Editor for the Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business. With a goal of becoming a trial lawyer, he seized every possible opportunity to gain courtroom experience and interned in the Richmond Public Defender’s Office and the Central Virginia Capital Defender’s Office. He also served as a Student Associate in the law school’s Children’s Defense Clinic where, in addition to representing juveniles charged with criminal offenses, he completed a research project on how to run a trauma-informed legal practice.
Dustin’s first job after graduating from law school was in the Fredericksburg Public Defender’s Office. Over nearly four years in the office, Dustin advocated before both judges and juries for more than 1,200 indigent defendants charged with felonies, misdemeanors, and probation violations. Dustin found the work challenging but rewarding and says, “while very few of my clients were innocent of their charges, every one of them deserved someone who would zealously advocate for them and who would uncover and present mitigating evidence to help them achieve the best possible outcome.”
Dustin left the public defender’s office to join Commonwealth Law Group in 2020, and he has carried into his workers’ compensation practice the same client-centered approach he used in his criminal defense work. Dustin strives to be accessible to his clients and to help them understand every step of the frequently lengthy and complex progression of worker’s compensation cases.
Outside of work, Dustin loves living in the fan district where nearly everything is just a short walk away. Dustin is an avid sports fan, and he stays active by running, biking, and playing tennis. While at home, he enjoys reading, watching true crime shows, and playing his saxophone.