you chart the course.

do you know how many lawyer jokes are out there? three. all the others are true stories.

we're relatable.

Lawyers are notoriously difficult. We understand that going to a lawyer’s office ranks just below “root canal” on the list of things you want to do. Whether you’re talking about the sensitive issue of your own death or navigating the complex jargon of business planning, we’re here to help. Forget “lawyer speak.” We use plain English, visual aids, and talk you through every step of the process so you understand exactly what the plan is. It’s how working with a lawyer should be.

Who has hours upon hours (during the work day, no less) to spend in a dreary law office? Not you. When you work with helm, everything’s on your schedule. Learn about us, our experience, and our process on your own time, then schedule an appointment to discuss your plan with your attorney via secure web conference. You can even lay the foundation using the online tools we give you so you can come prepared with questions and concerns. Our attorneys offer after-hours and weekend appointments because it’s your time - don’t give it to a lawyer.

we're convenient.

we're affordable.

Can’t afford an attorney on an annual retainer? Enter: helm. Whether you want occasional legal advice or ongoing planning assistance as you set up your business, we’re here when you need us. Ideal for small businesses, helm’s business services are nimble and customizable. Why risk your future on questionable online legal advice when a consultation with a real attorney is so affordable? We can’t think of a good reason, either.

our crew


Craig Johannesmeyer

Craig Johannesmeyer

Licensed in: NC & SC • Main Office: Fort Mill

Craig lives just south of Charlotte, in Fort Mill, SC. He married his wife, Catherine, in April of 2000 and has 4 kids. Craig worked for 10 years in banking and consumer finance before deciding to go to law school, where he was Dean's List all semesters, graduated Cum Laude, and was a member of the Order of the Crown Honor Society. His business experience offers him a unique perspective on traditional legal offerings.

Today, Craig works primarily out of the Fort Mill, SC office, focusing on residential real estate transactions. He can also be seen for many appointments in Ballantyne.

Craig enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf (although he's better at driving the cart than driving the ball) and coaching his kids’ sports teams. He does have dreams - being on either the Amazing Race or Survivor, playing in the major leagues, and caddying a PGA tour event. Above all, Craig enjoys being a dad, and spends most of his free time with his family.

Bobby Sawyer

Bobby Sawyer

Licensed in: NC, SC, & TN • Main Office: Gastonia

Bobby has represented individuals, companies and local governments.  While Bobby began his career in litigation, he now focuses on estate planning, business law and helping families put the proper tools in place to ensure the continuation of the families’ legacies.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Bobby served in the United States Army Corps of Engineers as a combat engineer platoon leader and executive officer.  He was deployed to Iraq with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Unit, and he was awarded the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal for his service.

Bobby and his wife Katie have lived in Belmont, North Carolina since 2005.  They are kept busy with their 3 kids: Tripp and the twins, Gavin and Audrey.  Katie is a fellow attorney, practicing in Cleveland County as an Assistant District Attorney.


Joanne Ballou

Joanne Ballou

Originally hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, Joanne has called the Carolinas home for over 20 years. She received her B.A. in economics from the University of Texas and her law degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Joanne is primarily focused on a residential real estate practice. She is based out of the Lake Wylie office, but handles closings in the firm’s other offices as well. She enjoys helping guide clients through the home buying process and achieving their home ownership goals. Building relationships with home buyers and realtors is one of the most rewarding parts of her job.

Joanne and her husband Dan, also an attorney, have lived in Rock Hill, South Carolina since 1994. They have two daughters, Emilia and Mary Hope. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family and pets. She is actively involved with her daughter’s school and various other volunteer committees.

Trent Womble

Trent Womble

Licensed in NC & SC • Main Office: Fort Mill

Trent began his legal career working in legislative affairs with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.  In this role, he worked with the Governor’s Office to advocate for changes in state law impacting a range of issues, including the state’s Medicaid program, Child Support Enforcement agency, and areas in Public Health.  In the fall of 2015 he relocated from Raleigh to Charlotte to begin working as a family law attorney in Mecklenburg County. Trent gained experience working in a litigation setting to protect his client’s personal and financial interests. 

Currently, Trent’s practice focuses on residential real estate, and he handles transactions out of the Fort Mill, SC office and the Ballantyne office. He enjoys building relationships with his clients and the real estate agents and lenders who he works with on a daily basis.   

Trent is a North Carolina native and lives in the Blakeney area of Charlotte with his wife Jackie and one-year-old son Grayson. When he is not working, Trent enjoys running, playing basketball and spending free time with his family in Cary, NC and Charleston, SC.