Holly Birnbaum Martin

Raised in Chapel Hill, Holly graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998. She attended law school at Tulane, graduating as a merit scholar in 2003, and in that same year, Holly was admitted to the North Carolina State Bar.  

Holly began her legal career as an Assistant Public Defender, where she was assigned to the mental health court and the substance abuse court.  From there, she transitioned into private practice, becoming her firm’s sole family law attorney at that location.  

Later, Holly served as a Social Services Attorney in Gaston County, where she handled child support enforcement, child abuse and neglect, and adult abuse and neglect, including adult guardianship hearings.  

In 2014, Holly moved to Colorado and was admitted to the Colorado State Bar.  In Colorado, Holly’s practice centered around divorce and custody actions.  In 2018, Holly moved back to Durham and focused her career on estate planning, litigation and guardianships.  

Holly’s current practice focuses on complex family dynamics, including families in crisis—whether due to the loss of a loved one, an individual suffering from mental illness or age-related decline, parents of an adult child with a disability, or guardianship and estate-related family disagreements.  She strives to serve her clients with compassion and integrity, helping them navigate both legally and emotionally challenging periods in their lives.

Areas of Practice

  • Adult Guardianships due to Mental Illness
  • Adult Guardianships due to Age-Related Decline
  • Guardianships for Adults with Disabilities
  • Trust and Estate Litigation
  • Special Needs Planning 
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Administration

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina, 2003
  • Colorado, 2014


  • Tulane Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana
    • Juris Doctorate – 2003
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Bachelor of Arts, Sociology – 1998

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • North Carolina Bar Association (Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law and Family Law Sections)
  • Durham County Bar Association
  • Durham Orange Estate Planning Council
  • American Bar Association

Pro Bono Activities

  • Fundraising Committee, Lerner Jewish Day School, 2018-present
  • Fundraising Committee, Judea Reform Congregation, 2018-present
  • Fundraising Chair, Congregation Har Shalom, 2016-2017
  • Fundraising Committee, Congregation Har Shalom 2015-2016