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Tate Helms


Wingate, NC

A native of Wingate, N.C., Tate attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar and graduated in 2001 with highest honors in economics and political science. As a student, he served as the president of the Young Democrats of North Carolina. After graduation, Tate worked as an investment banking analyst for Morgan Stanley in New York City and later as a business analyst for Bank of America in Charlotte.

As an Autry Fellow, Tate established the EITC Carolinas campaign to publicize the Earned Income Tax Credit and to assist low-income taxpayers with obtaining free or low-cost tax preparation services. He also devised a self-replenishing “Individual Development Account” to promote savings and homeownership by the working poor.

Through these experiences and his work with the Program for the Rural Carolinas, Tate learned about the process of community decision-making and building consensus, which he has continued to draw from in subsequent positions.

Following his fellowship, Tate attended UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law, graduating in 2006 with honors. After law school, he volunteered as a translator and assistant at Schiller Lexconsult, S.A., a law firm based in Madrid, Spain. Tate later worked as an assistant district attorney in Monroe, North Carolina, and then as an assistant public defender in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since then, Tate has established The Helms Law Firm, PLLC, which has offices in Charlotte and Monroe.