I am a native of rural North Carolina and a citizen of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. I am also a writer and scholar of rural legal issues. My interest in solving these issues is deeply personal. I grew up in an impoverished community and saw many of the consequences of the these disparities firsthand. I have seen the impact of Jim Crow, the rural lawyer shortage, and even the infrastructure gap. My desire to solve these problems comes from my own experiences with them.
My research focuses on the consequences and causes of these inequalities with a focus on disparities in access to justice. I am a regular contributor to The Daily Yonder and Legal Ruralism and my work has appeared in The Washington Post. I have presented at conferences, including the annual American Anthropological Association conference and the University of Maine's Rural Law Symposium. My work was recently published in the University of Maine Law Review and I previously worked as a research assistant in the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University.
I received my Bachelor's from Dartmouth College in Native American Studies and Sociology modified with Public Policy, my Juris Doctor from Michigan State University, and my Master of Public Administration with a focus in Community and Economic Development from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
I have a wealth of experience serving rural communities. While in college, I interned for the mayor of hometown of Rowland, North Carolina. I also interned for New Hampshire governor John Lynch. I was also a grassroots organizer in rural New Hampshire. These positions allowed me to see the impact of state and local government on the lives of rural residents.
In law school, I spent two summers as the Martin Luther King Jr. Intern in the Pembroke office of Legal Aid of North Carolina. While there, I primarily worked with clients in housing and unemployment benefits appeals. This position allowed me to see the impact of power imbalance in my home community and the ramifications of the inability to access resources on a largely impoverished population.
After graduating law school, I have worked as a disability rights advocate in rural Maine, consulted for a non-profit on how to improve college retention rates in colleges in North Carolina, and am currently the program and social media coordinator for The Alliance for Lawyers and Rural America, which seeks to create a space for rural practitioners and researchers to collaborate on the pressing issue of access to justice.
Here is just a small sampling of what I have written:
Idealizing Rural America, The Washington Post, June 14, 2019
Analysis: In Rural New England, A Crisis in Legal Representation, The Daily Yonder, May 28, 2019
Rural America is Growing ... but there's a caveat, Legal Ruralism, April 21, 2019
Voting Corruption in the NC 9th - The Daily Yonder, March 20, 2019
A la carte legal services - can this help solve the rural lawyer shortage?- Legal Ruralism, July 10, 2018
Separation of children in Indian Country - The boarding school experiment - Legal Ruralism, July 1, 2018
Location, location, location: rural law schools and their role in the rural lawyer shortage - Legal Ruralism, July 14, 2017