Poyner Spruill Welcomes Education Law Practice Group

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Grace Sykes Pennerat

t: 919.783.1153 f: 919.783.1075

Grace advises local boards of education, superintendents, and central office personnel regarding student, employee, and community matters. Grace also assists clients with employment- and family-based immigration matters.

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Grace began her career as a research assistant and course administrator for the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Public Policy. During law school, Grace externed with the Legislative Analysis Division of the North Carolina General Assembly, researching and drafting education legislation. This experience sparked her interest in education law. Grace frequently presents to education organizations about the current state of education law and recent changes in state and federal law that impact education. Grace is also a trained Title IX investigator and decision maker. Grace’s passion for education runs deep, and she recently earned an M.A. degree in Higher Education Administration. In addition to education law, Grace also helps clients sponsor prospective employees for non-immigrant visas and green cards and attract and enroll international students. Additionally, Grace assists clients with family-based immigration needs, from K visas through permanent residence to naturalization.

Areas of Focus



Appalachian State University, M.A., 2022

Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D., 2017

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A. (Political Science and Global Studies and a minor in Art History), 2013

+Notable Accomplishments

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® “Ones to Watch” (Education Law) 2024


American Immigration Lawyers Association, Member

National Association of College and University Attorneys, Member

North Carolina Bar Association Education Law Section, Member

Wake County Bar Association, Member

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