The North Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense Services is pleased to announce that its members voted to appoint Dorothy Hairston Mitchell as chair at its October 29, 2021 meeting.
“The Commission and IDS staff are grateful to Ms. Mitchell for her willingness to lead,” said Mary Pollard, Executive Director of the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services. “The Commission and staff also extend their deepest thanks to outgoing Chair Darrin Jordan, who is presently serving as the president of the North Carolina State Bar.”
Mitchell is a clinical associate professor of law at North Carolina Central University School of Law where she teaches criminal law, and teaches and supervises students in the Juvenile Law Clinic. She also serves as the director of the Social Justice and Racial Equality Institute and as the legal director at the Center for Child & Family Health.
She is admitted to the North Carolina State Bar and the United States Middle District of North Carolina. Mitchell graduated in 1999 from North Carolina Central University with a bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science. She graduated from North Carolina Central University School of Law in 2002. She has primarily focused her legal work in the areas of juvenile and criminal law, as she loves working with children and families.
Mitchell has been a state bar councilor for Durham County since 2017. She has served on the Indigent Defense Services Commission since 2017 as the representative of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys. She serves on many other boards and commissions and is committed to community service and advocacy.
The Commission also voted for Art Beeler to serve as vice-chair. Beeler, a retired warden from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, consults with the North Carolina Division of Prisons and has taught as an adjunct professor at North Carolina Central University, Duke University, and North Carolina Wesleyan College.
The Commission also voted to welcome Karen Franco as a new member. Franco works for the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs.