Joel C. Harbinson attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated in 1977 with an A.B. degree and from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law in 1979 with a J.D. degree. He has been self-employed since 1979 as a criminal, domestic, and personal injury attorney in Taylorsville. In addition, Joel is a certified mediator in Superior Court cases, receiving accreditation from the N.C. Dispute Resolution Commission in 1998, and is a certified arbitrator in District Court cases.
Joel is the former President of the 22nd Judicial District Bar Association (1987-1988, 1999-2000) and a member of the American Bar Association, the N.C. Bar Association, the N.C. Advocates for Justice, and the Phi Delta Phi international legal fraternity. He has received an "AV Preeminent" rating from Martindale-Hubbell, giving him the highest possible ranking by his fellow attorneys and judges in both legal ability and ethics. He has also been recognized as one of the Outstanding Lawyers in America and is listed on the Bar Registry of Preeminent Lawyers.