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Meet Allison Levene

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Degree:  J.D.

Hometown: Stamford, Conn.

The Sunday after graduation, Allison will be getting married and then it’s time to start studying for the bar exam.

Q: What inspired you to pursue law school?

A: As cliché as it sounds, I came to law school so that I could help people. For many people, the law is difficult to understand and they often see the law as something that works against them rather than for them. I want to be able to use my law degree to help these kinds of people. I want to be able to use my knowledge of the law to explain to them their situations and their rights in ways that are easy to comprehend. I want to make the law less scary and actually show people that it is on their side and can be used to their advantage.

Q: What class did you enjoy most and why?

A: My favorite class was the Child Advocacy Clinic taught by Professor Iris Sunshine. I want to work in the child advocacy field. Serving as a Guardian ad Litem and protecting the best interests of children in domestic violence restraining order cases and high conflict custody cases was both a great learning experience and extremely rewarding. I served as an advocate for children in the courtroom, which gave me valuable practical skills that helped to prepare me for a career in this field.

Q: What is your favorite memory from law school?

A: Some of my favorite memories at Wake Forest involve events sponsored by the school in our courtyard. I am not aware of any other school where you can play corn hole with your professors or where professors voluntarily offer to be placed in a dunk tank.

Q: Describe your internship experience.

A: During the summer of 2012, I worked as an intern at the Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina, which is located here in Winston-Salem. I served as a Guardian ad Litem for children in domestic violence restraining order cases and high conflict custody cases. Not only did this internship teach me about legal advocacy for children, but it helped me to hone my interpersonal skills and learn how to explain the law in an understandable way to people, like children, who have trouble comprehending its complexities.

During the summer of 2013, I worked at the North Carolina School Boards Association in Raleigh. This gave me the opportunity to help develop school board policies, which I really enjoyed. There are so many different policy choices that one could make and being able to be a part of that process was both eye opening and a valuable learning opportunity.

Q: Did you have time for volunteer work?

A: During my 1L year, I started tutoring at Hanes Hosiery Community Center in Winston-Salem through a program run by the Wake Forest School of Law’s Youth Advocacy Group. During both my 2L and 3L years, I served e as the tutoring coordinator for the program. The children that we help are those that might not otherwise have someone to help them with their homework or to study for tests. These kids are so much fun to be around and they are so thankful for our help. There is no greater feeling than hearing them say “thank you” or when they bring their improved report card. The people at Hanes Hosiery Community Center have become like a family to me.

Q: Who are your biggest cheerleaders?

A: My fiancé and my parents have been my biggest cheerleaders. My fiancé has given up so much so that I could come to law school. He moved 600 miles away from his family and has been so understanding of how much time I have had to devote to school. He and my parents have been so great at providing encouragement and support during these past three years.

Q: What is the most dramatic change you’ve undergone during your graduate studies?

A: My time at Wake Law has helped me come to realize that it is not important how much money I make as long as I am working in a career that I love. The administration, faculty and staff have done an amazing job of showing their support for people who chose to work in public interest careers and I am extremely grateful for that support.

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