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Howard J. Cummings

Criminal defense Attorney at Raleigh, NC

Not yet reviewed
  • Licensed for 43 years
    State NC
    Acquired 1980
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Howard

Learn Howard’s areas of practice.

Practice area

Howard Cummings is a tenured criminal litigator who served as Deputy Assistant District Attorney for Wake County for nearly three decades. He brings a wealth of knowledge, resources, and insight to the criminal defense team at Tharrington Smith.

Licensed to practice in North Carolina in 1979, Howard was a private practice lawyer in Pitt for several years before moving to Raleigh and joining the DA’s office. During his tenure, he saw the DA’s office expand from 15 attorneys to several dozens. Through thousands of criminal matters, Howard has been known for fairness and compassion, which he displayed to victims and offenders alike. Upon his retirement from the District Attorney’s office in late 2018, Governor Roy Cooper bestowed to him fellowship in the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in recognition of his service to the state.

Howard is the winner of the 2016 Gilchrist Award from the North Carolina Bar Association. The prosecutorial companion to the Wade Smith Justice Award, it is given annually to one lawyer since 2008. Howard has enjoyed fellowship in the American College of Trial Attorneys since 2017.


Tharrington Smith LLP
150 Fayetteville Street
Suite 1800
Raleigh, NC, 27601

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AVVO RATING 8.3 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Wake County District Attorney’s Office
  • 1989 - 2018
  • Attorney
  • Private Practice
  • 1983 - 1989
  • District Attorney
  • Pitt County District Attorney’s Office
  • 1980 - 1983


  • Campbell University
  • J.D.
  • N/A
  • North Carolina State University
  • B.S.
  • N/A


  • Wake County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1989 - Present
  • North Carolina State Bar
  • Member
  • 1980 - Present
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1980 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1980 - Present
  • Pitt County Bar
  • Member
  • 1983 - 1989
  • Wake County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1980 - 1983
  • 10th Judicial District Bar
  • Member
  • 1980 - 1983
View all associations

Honors and Awards

  • Order of the Long Leaf Pine Fellowship
  • State of North Carolina
  • 2018
  • Peter Gilchrist Award for NC Prosecutor of the Year
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • 2017
  • Fellowship
  • American College of Trial Attorneys
  • 2017

Attorney endorsements

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Endorse Howard
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Howard J. Cummings is an extremely experienced prosecutor with extensive knowledge in NC criminal law and procedure. Howard J. Cummings is fair, impartial and understanding attorney."
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Raleigh Criminal defense Lawyer Howard J. Cummings
Howard J. Cummings
Criminal defense Attorney
Raleigh, NC
Licensed for 43 years