Attorney, Pilot, Dancer, Philanthropist—Carolyn Woodruff Does It All

It isn’t easy catching up with Carolyn Woodruff. When she isn’t managing her busy firm, Woodruff Family Law Group, she can be found either twirling on a ballroom dance stage, whirling overhead aboard her twin-engine Beechcraft or participating in a dizzying array of family and youth charities. She and her husband are founders of the Captain Green Eyes Dance Troupe for youth. She also gives back through support to Operation Smile, Family Services of the Triad, the Women’s Resource Center, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and many others.

“I’m a high-energy person, and I get bored easily, so I have to keep moving,” she says. “I always want to experience every piece of life that’s available.”

Carolyn discovered dance at age 40 and quickly became a major figure on the international ballroom dance scene. She has won the Fred Astaire National Championship at the highest category so many times she has trouble remembering the exact number—six, she says, after giving it some thought. In June, she performed in Moscow for a program that aired on 80 million TVs across Russia and Europe.

But don’t imagine for a minute that the glitz, glamour and joie de vivre Carolyn exhibits in her free time are the mark of a frivolous spirit. When we did manage to capture some time on her busy calendar, we were delighted to discover a charming, intelligent woman with a calm, reassuring demeanor and a tendency to choose her words carefully. In short, she possesses all the qualities suitable for a family-law attorney. 

“Divorce is a dance,” she says. “You need movement and balance as you move forward.”

Carolyn, who is also a CPA, began her career as a tax attorney and subsequently became a partner in the Tuggle Duggins firm before discovering family law was a better fit.

It’s hard to imagine this petite dynamo ever slowing down, but if she did, Carolyn says she would spend her days learning Russian and indulging her passion for writing. She offers legal advice through books, her blog and a column for “The Rhino Times.” Most of her books concern family law, but she and her husband recently enjoyed writing and publishing “The Seven Nights of Santa,” an illustrated adventure to help children who have to be in different homes during Christmas week.

The definition of a life well-lived, according to Carolyn?

“To me, it’s living every moment to its fullest, embracing friends and family—including three happy grandchildren—and a happy marriage. I couldn’t imagine life without my buddy,” she says.

“To me, it’s living every moment to its fullest, embracing friends and family—including three happy grandchildren—and a happy marriage. I couldn’t imagine life without my buddy.”