Editor’s Note: The following student profile highlights one of Campbell Law School’s current first-generation law students as part of its new free First-Gen Blueprint Virtual Program, the only one of its kind at a law school. The program is designed to arm first-gen students with the knowledge to successfully prepare for law school admissions and law school in general. To learn more about the program or to register, visit this link: https://cuweb.wufoo.com/forms/1st-gen-blueprint-virtual-program
Ellen Dubis ’21 is a native of Hillsborough, North Carolina. She discovered her eagerness for law school when she was working as a part-time office manager at two law firms. Dubis has spent the past two summers interning for the Wake County Clerk of Court as well as volunteering for multiple Pro Bono Projects including the Campbell Law Innocence Program. As a first-gen law student, she has found her motivation in labor and employment law.
Where are you from and where did you study for your undergraduate degree?
I grew up in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and earned my bachelor’s in anthropology at North Carolina State University.
Describe any experiences prior to law school that influenced your decision to go to law school.
During undergraduate, I had made a friend who wanted to be a lawyer and in doing so, I had gotten a part-time job as an office manager at two law firms to discover what they do day-to-day to see if I would enjoy it. Eventually, that became a major influence in my decision to go to law school.
What types of internships or jobs have you had during law school?
I have been a summer intern for the Wake County Clerk of Court within the Special Proceedings Division as well as a volunteer for multiple projects including the Campbell Reentry Project and the Campbell Law Innocence Program. I also had opportunities in communicating the law to the public when I worked as a research assistant with a Campbell Law professor. Having the opportunity for an externship as a legal intern equipped me with more experiences with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) judges that I loved.
What advice would you give to a first-gen student?
“Network, network, network. Chances are you don’t have family or family friends in the legal world who could potentially employ you as a back-up. So networking is very important. I look at it now as building relationships with people who could help my clients or whose clients I could help. It shouldn’t be too stressful an experience.”