Challenging ourselves to meet and exceed expectations

Laura J. Ray

Laura J. Ray is a Fannin County native and a graduate of Fannin County High School.

After graduating from high school, Ms. Ray was accepted to the University of Georgia in Athens with a music scholarship.  While at UGA, she studied music and history.  She enjoyed her time marching with the Red Coat Marching Band and highly values her employment with the University of Georgia Anthropology Department, where she was able to learn from and interact with leading authorities in the fields of history and anthropology.

After graduating from the University of Georgia, she obtained employment with a private school in Cobb County.  In that capacity, Ms. Ray supervised and managed the school’s art and music program.  Ms. Ray enjoyed her time working at the school; however, her goal was to pursue a legal career.

She began her legal studies in 1997 at Mercer University School of Law in Macon, Georgia.  While in law school, she obtained an internship with the Bibb County District Attorney’s Office, working primarily in the area of domestic violence crimes.  She was later employed by a private practice firm in Cartersville, Georgia, as a law clerk and was offered employment as an associate attorney after graduating from law school in 2000.  In that capacity, Ms. Ray represented clients in general practice law, including matters in both federal and state court; criminal and civil matters; real estate litigation and transactions; probate court matters; personal injury cases; bankruptcy; workers’ compensation; and corporate law.  While practicing law in Cartersville, Georgia, Ms. Ray also served as a court appointed attorney for the Juvenile Court of Bartow County, representing both parents and children in various matters, including deprivation and delinquency proceedings.  In addition, she served the Federal Court of the Northern District of Georgia, Rome Division, as a court appointed attorney in federal criminal cases.

After working seven years in the legal industry, five years as a licensed attorney, Ms. Ray returned to her hometown and opened her own firm in 2005.  Ms. Ray’s diverse legal background makes her a knowledgeable advocate for her clients.  Ms. Ray is admitted to practice law in Georgia and Tennessee.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her son on their farm and gardening.

Admissions to Practice Law:

State Bar of Georgia, 2000
United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, 2001
State of Georgia Court of Appeals, 2002
Supreme Court of Georgia, 2002
State of Tennessee, 2012

Ali J. Wanner

Ali J. Wanner is the paralegal and office manager for the firm.  Ms. Wanner manages the firm’s civil matters, including estate planning, family law and business law.  As office manager, Ms. Wanner supervises staff, manages vendor contracts and services and generally ensures the smooth day to day operations of the firm.

Ms. Wanner began working for the firm in 2010.  She has proven herself to be a wonderful asset and takes excellent care of our clients. Ms. Wanner has worked for law firms and in the legal industry for thirty-five years and earned her paralegal studies certificate in 2000.  Her extensive legal background and knowledge make her an invaluable resource for our clients as well as our staff.

Ms. Wanner is an Ohio native and grew up in a large farming community.  After she married, she and her husband moved to Florida, where they raised their family, worked and lived.  The North Georgia Mountains served as her family’s favorite vacation destination for many years.  Nearly two decades ago, she and her husband were able to permanently relocate here.

In her free-time, Ms. Wanner and her husband enjoy bird watching and rescuing cats.  They have rescued, fed, sheltered and provided a loving home to a number of cats over the years.

Ms. Wanner’s email address is:

Marie Long

Marie Long is a legal assistant for the firm and provides support in our civil and real estate departments.  Ms. Long is also responsible for real estate post-closing matters, including recording deeds and other instruments, preparing title insurance policies and managing the firm’s title bank.

Ms. Long’s background is in lending and short term loans.  Her foundational knowledge in lending and finance proved to be an asset in our practice, where a large portion of our legal services includes real estate purchases and finance.

Ms. Long was born in Tacoma, Washington, where her father was stationed with the U.S. Army and grew up in Stockbridge, Georgia.  She is a proud mother to her two children, a son and daughter.   She and her family had been visiting Fannin County for several years prior to making the decision to permanently relocate here in 2021.  Ms. Long obtained employment with our firm shortly after her move.  Ms. Long has an adventurous spirit and, in her free time, she enjoys photography, traveling through the mountains with her family and all types of outdoor recreation.

Lara “Addie” Deal

Lara “Addie” Deal is a paralegal and our firm’s real estate closer.  In that capacity, Ms. Deal manages the firm’s real estate closing files from intake until closing.  She ensures we meet client deadlines, that we exceed client expectations and those involved in the real estate closing have a professional and positive experience working with our firm.

Ms. Deal became employed with the firm in 2022 and later received her paralegal studies certificate in 2023 from the University of Georgia’s Paralegal Certificate Program.  While Ms. Deal works primarily in the real estate department, she enjoys various areas of law and is often found apprenticing in our general civil files with the firm’s senior paralegal.  She enjoys working in the legal profession and, particularly in our community, where she has the opportunity to help families through the process of buying their dream home.

While growing up, Ms. Deal had the opportunity to experience most of the southern United States, including Texas, Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina and Georgia.  She attended North Carolina State University and the University of North Georgia.  After having lived and worked in larger cities, she moved to Fannin County nearly ten years ago to escape the city hustle and reside in a community with a more relaxed pace of life.  Fannin County fit her ticket perfectly and she loves residing in a beautiful and peaceful mountain town.  She is a proud mother to two beautiful daughters.  In her free time, she enjoys cooking and hiking with her husband, daughters and their dogs.

John A. Ray

John A. Ray serves as our office assistant.  In that capacity, he assists with filing and inventory, greeting clients, and  supports the staff to ensure our office runs efficiently.

Mr. Ray practically grew up in the firm.  He is homeschooled and is particularly interested in literature.  He enjoys working with our team and is always eager to provide a helping hand where needed.  Mr. Ray is also a key team member in special events and holiday planning for the firm.

In his free time, he enjoys playing piano, riding his four-wheeler and working on his family farm.


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