Morningstar Law Group – Raleigh Law Firm – Durham NC Attorneys

Mack Paul is a real estate attorney who focuses on zoning, land use, environmental permitting, public financing, and public policy. He specializes in obtaining regulatory approvals for large, mixed use developments and urban infill projects, negotiating public-private partnerships, and securing public financing for infrastructure to support development projects.

As a land use lawyer, Mack represents owners, developers, coalition groups and businesses in all types of development and infrastructure issues such as negotiating a joint agreement with a major city and conservancy to develop a destination park and utilizing innovative financing tools to fund structured parking in connection with a conference center and hotel in a resort town.  In addition, Mack represents local governments, property owners and environmental groups on a variety of coastal issues involving fisheries, sea level rise, coastal development, and large infrastructure projects such as inlet relocations.

Mack is active with green building and smart growth initiatives. As a founding member of Triangle Growth Strategies and the Triangle Smart Growth Coalition, he works to bring together environmentalists and home builders on common growth principles. He has also been instrumental in helping develop guiding principles for the region’s future growth, including transportation plans.

Outside of the office, Mack has a passion for politics. He has participated in numerous political campaigns and political activities at the local and state level, including serving as chairman of the Wake County Democratic Party. His strengths: fundraising, coalition building, and advising on transportation and urban issues.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
You are a function of your environment, so surround yourself with really smart people who have their priorities right.


  • Best Lawyers: Lawyer of the Year – Litigation – Real Estate (2022)
  • Best Lawyers: Lawyer of the Year – Land Use and Zoning Law (2021)
  • Best Lawyers: Land Use & Zoning Law (2008-2024), Real Estate Law (2013-2024), Litigation – Land Use and Zoning (2018-2024), Litigation – Real Estate (2019-2024)
  • Chambers USA: Real Estate – Zoning/Land Use (2015-2016, 2018, 2020-2021, 2023-2024)
  • Green Building Certification Institute: LEED Accredited Professional (LEED-AP)
  • Super Lawyers (2016-2024)

Representative Experience

  • Represented developers in approval by a municipality and Local Government Commission of the first two Special Assessment Districts in the State of North Carolina to finance infrastructure to support large, mixed use project.
  • Represented developers in obtaining zoning approvals for a 400-acre traditional neighborhood development, including partnerships with the county schools, city parks and community college.
  • Represented numerous developers in redevelopment of historic properties in Downtown Raleigh.
  • Represented developer on a significant land swap at coast, requiring approvals by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State Property Office.
  • Advised a major city on a policy framework for generating affordable housing in connection with market rate projects

Presentations & Publications

Mack is a frequent writer and speaker on urban planning, transportation and policy matters.


  • Columbia University School of Law, J.D. (1991)
  • University of Southern California, M.S., Education (1988)
  • Dartmouth College, B.A., History (1985)


  • State of North Carolina (1991)


  • NC Mining and Energy Commission: Local Government Study Group
  • NC Bar Association: Zoning, Planning and Land Use Section
  • NC Building Code Council, past member
  • Urban Land Institute
  • Common Cause North Carolina, Board Member
  • Hope Center: Board of Directors
  • Wake County Sustainability Task Force
  • Wake County Democratic Party: past Chairman
  • Triangle Tomorrow: past Chairman
  • NC State University: College of Design, past Board Member
  • Special Transit Advisory Commission