Located on the second story of 117 N Churton St., sits the law office of Loftin & Loftin P.A., a family-owned business that overlooks the main street of downtown Hillsborough.
On Wednesday afternoon, John Loftin II was sworn in at the Mural Court Room in Hillsborough, becoming the third-generation Loftin attorney sworn in at the exact location in the last 60 years. Loftin II follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, Dalton Loftin, who was sworn in during the year 1959, and his father John Loftin Sr., who was sworn in during 1989.
Yet neither father nor son thought they would follow the family patriarch in becoming a lawyer, or living in Hillsborough as adults.
John Sr., left North Carolina in 1977, after graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, to obtain a graduate degree at Harvard Divinity School. At the time he made two promises to himself.
“I would never live in Hillsborough and I would never practice law,” John Sr., recounts with a laugh in his office.
His son, meanwhile, wanted to be a stand-up comedian. He first moved to New York, before living in Los Angeles for a few months pursuing work. But one day he had a change of heart and decided to change professions.
“I don't know, I think I started getting more serious, the older I got, and I wanted to, instead of being outside the system and looking for ways to criticize it, I wanted to become a part of it so I could impact it in a way that in my opinion, will hopefully be beneficial for greater society and people who require legal assistance,” John II said.
John Sr., was in his 30’s, teaching religious studies at Elon University when his father asked him to help out by going to law school and working with him. But that wasn’t the only factor in him turning to the profession.
“At that time I had been a professor long enough to know that I'm the sort of person who needed to work for myself,” John Sr., said.
John Sr., attended UNC Law School. By 1989 he was ready to be sworn in, but to this day he continues to teach religious studies and law school at Elon and UNC.
After working with his father for 15 years, John Sr., now will get the chance to be the teacher, with John II serving as the student.
And on Wednesday, all three generations were present in the Mural Court Room to watch John II be sworn in by Chief District Court Judge Joseph M. Buckner. It was a moment that was equally special for father and son.
“We're really proud to have had three generations of lawyers here in Hillsborough practicing law,” John Sr., said.
“Sharing this with my father, and even my grandfather who was there today at the swearing in ceremony is, I can't even put it into words how good it feels,” John II said.
Although John Sr., hopes that Hank, John II’s son, wants to take up the family business and become a fourth-generation Loftin attorney in Hillsborough, for now he’s more focused on pressing matters.
“I'm just looking forward to, mainly, putting my son to work,” John Sr., said.