In a career spanning death penalty work, civil litigation, policy advocacy, criminal appeals, and now environmental justice, David has remained dedicated to working for a more just and equitable judicial system. At SELC, he advocates for clean and affordable energy solutions at the North Carolina Utilities Commission, pushes for cleaner transportation and land use options before state policy makers, and appears in court on behalf of people who face environmental discrimination.
This is the best place for me to use my legal training in the fight for equitable climate solutions in my home state of North Carolina and the South more broadly.Senior Attorney David Neal
Highlights of David’s SELC work include: preventing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s proposed compressor station in the historic, predominantly Black Union Hill community; fighting back efforts by big public utilities for sharp increases to fixed charges on customer bills, something that harms low-income households and works against energy efficiency and rooftop solar; securing millions of dollars from regulated electric utilities (including Duke Energy and Dominion Energy South Carolina) for low-income energy efficiency investments.
SELC is his first experience in the environmental and energy sphere.
“This is the best place for me to use my legal training in the fight for equitable climate solutions in my home state of North Carolina and the South more broadly,” says David, whose hometown is Winston-Salem. A favorite getaway is Linville Gorge, for its “beautiful mountain peaks, river, and waterfall surrounded by wilderness.”
- Fair Trial Initiative, executive director
- Center for Death Penalty Litigation, staff attorney
- Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP, associate
- William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations
- Peace Corps Volunteer, Turkmenistan
- J.D., University of North Carolina School of Law, Order of the Coif, Davis Society
- B.A., Oberlin College, high honors
- With SELC since 2015