Adrienne Meddock: Assistant Dean for the Evening Program and Visiting Assistant Professor at North Carolina Central University School of Law, Durham, NC

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   LAW STAR                                                                                      1. 800.973.1177

                            Adrienne Meddock: Assistant Dean for the Evening
                            Program and Visiting Assistant Professor at North
                            Carolina Central University School of Law, Durham, NC
                            [By Jen Woods]
                            Adrienne Meddock, a former member of two alternative bands and at one time an aspiring architect, is now the Assistant Dean
                            for the Evening Program at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) School of Law.

Meddock toured with an 80s punk band, “The         trademark infringement and copyright               “I teach in the evening and late afternoons,
Beef People,” and she was a vocalist for           issues that came up for the band became            in what we call ‘the swing hour,’ a time
“Bloom” from 990 to 992. But she knew            more intriguing than learning new songs, it        when students from the full- and part-time
right away that playing music and booking          was time to stop fighting it and accept my         programs take electives,” she said.
bands wouldn’t pay the bills. “Booking was         calling,” she said.
self-supporting, but the band was always                                                              The school’s Evening Program is designed for
another hungry mouth,” she said.                   Meddock earned her J.D. degree at NCCU             people who want to earn law degrees while
                                                   and accepted a full-time position at the           working full-time. Evening students come
As she began considering different                 school just days after she passed the bar          from many professional fields, including
professions, law originally wasn’t of much         exam in 99. “I had originally thought I’d        academia, medicine, scientific research, law
interest to her, although she always knew          work here for a few years while building my        enforcement, and government.
she would make a successful lawyer. “I had         entertainment law practice, but I fell in love
felt that the law was sort of an obvious field     with working with students and gradually           The Evening Program presents unique
for me, since my writing and speaking skills       stopped practicing,” she said.                     challenges to professors. “One of the most
favored that career, but I definitely ran from                                                        frustrating things about working with the
it,” Meddock said.                                 Meddock is also a visiting assistant professor     Evening Program is the outside influences on
                                                   at the school, teaching global intellectual        the students and program over which none
Meddock decided to pursue a career that            property, intellectual property (IP), relational   of us has much control,” she said. Many of
would make use of her creative ambitions,          injuries, legal writing, and entertainment law     Meddock’s students have had to drop out of
and she enrolled in an architecture graduate       to students enrolled in the Evening Program.       the program because of major life changes. “It
program. However, after one semester of                                                               is always a challenge to accept that there are
school, she realized the field of architecture                                                        some things beyond your control,” she said.
was not a match for her. She found that her          Advice to Young Lawyers:
desire to create far surpassed her talent. She                                                        Many of the techniques that practicing
also wasn’t as serious and passionate about          “Students should think about teaching            lawyers use are applicable to the teaching
the program as most of her peers were.               at all levels as a good preparation for          profession, Meddock said. Lawyers need to
                                                     becoming professors,” said Meddock, who          be able to see problems from the client’s
“I was the youngest and probably the most            tutored students while she attended law          point of view, in the same way that professors
dilettantish of the group. By the end of the         school.                                          need to be able to see problems from the
semester, I vowed I wouldn’t return to school                                                         student’s point of view. Both lawyers and
until I felt about a subject the way my fellow       “While there will always be a need for the       professors need to be able to explain complex
architecture program students felt about             theoretician who churns out thoughtful           information clearly and concisely in order to
that subject. Several folks had given up on          publications, teachers who teach members         effectively engage their audiences.
careers and made real sacrifices to join that        of the community, fellow attorneys,
program,” she said.                                  undergraduates, and even community               Meddock’s favorite course to teach is
                                                     college students are invaluable. Teach           relational injuries because “the torts tend
Meddock eventually started to take an                where you can and who you can to see             to fill the gaps between traditional first-year
interest in the law, as she continued booking        if you have the gift of being able to help       areas of law and provide remedies for harms
bands and playing music. “I knew that when           students learn,” she said.                       to a[n] […] unusual range of interests,” she

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   LAW STAR                                                                                    1. 800.973.1177

said. “You have to love a class whose subject       grasp concepts in class and then put those        former co-chair of the North Carolina Bar
matter spans the very different topics of           ideas into practice as a lawyer,” Meddock said.   Association’s Art and the Law Committee.
defamation, alienation of affections, and
unfair competition,” she added.                     Meddock is also the advisor for the               ON THE NET
                                                    Trademark Moot Court, Intellectual Property
Meddock said it is rewarding to see her             Law Society, and Sports and Entertainment         North Carolina Central University School of
students develop into critical thinkers. “Plus,     Law Society at NCCU.                              Law
working with the non-traditional population                                                 
in the Evening Program, you see folks make          Meddock is a member of the North Carolina
drastic changes in their lives,” she added. For     State Bar and the South Carolina State            The North Carolina State Bar
instance, one of Meddock’s students started         Bar. She is on the board of directors of
off as a paralegal in a small law firm. Now she     the Triangle Intellectual Property Law
is a partner at one of the largest firms in North   Association. She is also a former Volunteer       Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
Carolina. “It is rewarding to see a student         Lawyers for the Arts board member and the


Description: Adrienne Meddock assistant dean for evening program at North Carolina Central University.
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