Lydia Ellen Lavelle
Adjunct Instructor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

Lydia E. Lavelle, born in Athens, Ohio, graduated with a B.A. from St. Andrews University. She earned a Master’s of Recreation Resources from North Carolina State University and worked in the field of parks and recreation administration for several years.

A 1993 graduate of North Carolina Central University School of Law's evening program, Professor Lavelle clerked for the Honorable Clifton E. Johnson on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 1993 to 1995. She returned to NCCU School of Law in 1996 where she held various administrative positions, including serving as Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, before joining the faculty where she now serves as a full professor.

She has taught Civil Procedure, State and Local Governmental Law, Sexual Identity & the Law, Transgender Rights & Social Justice, and Gender Law & Policy. Professor Lavelle has also taught Legal Writing II, Advanced Legal Writing I, and Street Law. She has served as a chair or member of the Law School’s Curriculum Committee, Relations and External Affairs Committee, and Student Disciplinary Committee. Her memberships include the 18th Judicial District Bar (NC), the North Carolina Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys (NCAWA), the National Lesbian and Gay Law (LGBT) Bar Association, and the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Attorneys (GALA). She is a past president of NCAWA. She is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and Ohio.  In 2018 she was appointed to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s Commission on Inclusion.

For many years, Professor Lavelle was involved in public service, including nearly a decade as a member of the Durham Open Space and Trails Commission. After being elected to two terms on the Carrboro (N.C.) Town Council, she served as mayor for four terms from 2013-2021.

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