School of Law News

Black History Month Spotlight

Dorothy Hairston-Mitchell

Dorothy Hairston-Mitchell is no stranger to the Office of the Juvenile Defender and juvenile defense in North Carolina. Dorothy graduated from the North Carolina Central University School of Law in 2002 and began her journey in juvenile defense the following year in Durham, North Carolina. She is now the Clinical Associate Professor and Supervising Attorney of the Juvenile Law Clinic at NCCU. Dorothy has both attended and presented at Juvenile Defender Conferences and OJD trainings on various topics such as Interviewing and Counseling and is JTIP (Juvenile Training Immersion Program) Certified to help our NC Juvenile Defense attorney’s in their careers through practical advice and leadership. Lastly, through Dorothy, OJD had the opportunity to also help law students via internships. Her impact within juvenile defense and OJD is far reaching and greatly appreciated.  When asked, “Why is Black History Month important to you & how does that impact your juvenile work?” Dorothy says this:

Black History Month is very important to me because I have a great sense of pride in my heritage and who I am. I want the world to know about the phenomenal contributions Black people have had and continue to have on this society and the world. Although we deserve much more, I am grateful to those before me who fought hard to have Black History Month observance. This impacts my work in that I am very intentional in giving back to my community by educating and serving as an advocate. This is an ideal that is the crux of the Black community. I always keep in mind that our work is never done. Unfortunately, we see the effects of racism and disproportionate treatment of our children and their families in all aspects of our work in the juvenile arena. Keeping my Black history in mind and remembering my Black community's greatness keeps me motivated to fight for all people but especially young minorities who suffer in this way.

Dorothy Hairston Mitchell