We Are Cook & James
History is full of feisty female duos that team up and take on the world …Thelma & Louise… Cagney & Lacey… Salt-N-Pepa.... you get the gist. But none of them pair up quite like Kara & Heather. It is hard to say one name without the other. And it’s quite possible that more than a few clients aren't quite sure which is which, but that’s okay.
Fate brought these two women together in 2005, when Heather hired Kara as her legal intern. They immediately hit it off and bonded over the frustrations they were having in their jobs. It became quickly apparent that the only way to have a “dream” practice like the one they envisioned was to create it themselves. And let's be honest, back then they were too young and gung-ho to realize what a crazy crackpot idea that was.
But…. fast forward more than a decade later, and these two have successfully helmed over 100,000 closings across four states (along with a whole lot of help from their amazing staff) and built many lasting client relationships along the way. Their shared vision of a different kind of law firm is alive and well and they rock it every day.
When you start from scratch and do everything yourself, you appreciate the time and energy put into that. So the family at Cook & James has every right to be proud of their reputation they created by being the best in the business. In fact, high fives are a daily occurrence around the office.
Clients will attest that not only is Cook & James on top of their game, but they’re also a blast to work with. So give them a try. Once you do, you’ll wish everything in life was this awesome.
Founding Partner, Cook & James
Kara is one of the founders of Cook & James and brings a ton of real estate law smarts to the table. While she works hand-in-hand with her partner Heather to build and manage client relationships, she also focuses on the financial side of the business, keeping the numbers straight and the lights on. But don’t let her egg-headedness fool you – she can throw a football and hit a golf ball farther than most men. (She double-dog dares you for a challenge.) Kara grew up surrounded by Carolina blue and will happily explain to you what a “tar heel” is.
• Graduated University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and Spanish
• Graduated Georgia State University College of Law, Doctor of Law (J.D.)
• Member of the Moot Court team at Georgia State University
• Won the John J. Gibbons National Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition
• Admitted to the State Bar of Georgia
• Member of the Real Property Section and Young Lawyer’s Division
• Founded Cook & James
Founding Partner, Cook & James.
Heather founded Cook & James with her partner Kara and they work side by side to make closings run like the well-oiled process they were meant to be. Title certifications, document reviews, disbursement and recording – never a hiccup. Heather stays on top of the laws and trends in Georgia through continuing education and attending conferences. (Even the boring ones.) In addition she focuses on the operations and technology component of Cook & James. Though she’s an avid skier, hiker and yoga poser, Heather considers “reading” as her true Olympic talent and is pretty convinced she could win the gold for the USA. Be forewarned, she will randomly shout “WAR EAGLE” at you.
• Graduated Auburn University, Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics
• Graduated Mercer Law School, Doctor of Law (J.D.)
• Admitted to the State Bar of Georgia
• Member of the Real Property Section and the Privacy and Technology Section
• Founded Cook & James
Director of Operations
Brook does so much for the team at Cook & James, it’s hard to nail it all down. So we gave her the amazing title of “Her Magnificence, The Miracle Worker of All Things, The Keeper of Sanity, and The Bringer of Solutions”. However, that didn’t exactly fit on a business card so now we just say “Director of Operations”. Brook works with the partners to make sure everyone and everything is compliant and technologically sound. Brook is also an avid health nut and had a desk built over her treadmill so she can run and work at the same time. Beat that.
• Graduated Washington State University, Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, Minor in Women’s Studies
Chuck is our Office Counsel in South Carolina, North Carolina and Connecticut. He stays on top of the laws in these states to make sure we are in compliance 24/7. In addition, he does title certifications, closings and supervises disbursement and recording. Chuck brings experience as a real estate investor and agent and so far has participated in over 5,000 real estate closings. To counter all that computer screen time and paper work, Chuck is an avid outdoor adventurist who once took a five-month hiatus to hike the entire 2,189 miles of the Appalachian Trail.
• Graduated University of Georgia, BBA, Magna Cum Laude
• Graduated University of Georgia School of Law, Doctor of Law (J.D.)
• Received Attorney’s Title Guarantee Fund Award for Excellence in the Study of Real Estate Law
• Licensed to practice in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Connecticut.
• Agent for WFG National Title Insurance Company
New York Counsel
Elizabeth specializes in all areas of real estate practice and has provided closing services to numerous mortgage lenders, title companies, as well as individuals and businesses. She currently supervises our New York closing department and is our go-to authority for all things New York-ish. Elizabeth is such a law professional powerhouse, she graduated law school, participated in two international law programs and passed the New York State Bar in only 2 and a half years.
• Graduated Cornell University, Bachelor of Science Degrees in Economics and Marketing, Minor in Genetics
• Graduated University of Buffalo School of Law, Doctor of Law (J.D.)
• Completed International Law Review
• Served as Treasurer of Student Bar Association
• Participated in International Law Program at Cornell Law School at de Université Paris-Sorbonne
• Participated in International Human Rights Program at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland,
• Admitted to State Bar of New York
• Member of New York State Bar Association – Real Property Section
• Licensed New York State Title Insurance Agent
Angela is responsible for overseeing all real estate compliance matters, the title team and title clearance matters at Cook & James. Not only does she bring over 20 years’ experience in the field of real estate law, she works as a team player across all of our departments reinforcing our mission and commitment to providing the best (no, really the best) service. Angela is also an avid hiker and is attempting the entire Appalachian Trail by doing different legs of the trail over a period of time. (She and Chuck are Appalachian Trail buddies now.) We are in constant awe of Angela because she volunteers weekly to counsel parents of teens dealing with addiction issues.
• Graduated Georgia Highlands, Law Firm Management and Paralegal program
Carissa is so much more than a paralegal, She is also our Deed Specialist, our Disbursement/Recording Specialist, our Exceptions Specialist, and our Doc Specialist. She has worked in the real estate legal industry for over nine years and is now a valuable member of our team. However before she became a real estate law superstar she tried her hand at cosmetology school. So now we refer to her as our very own “Beauty School Dropout”.