A calling to protect victims of domestic violence
Samantha Mungro in the Class of December 2017 is the latest to be featured in a series of profiles on Elon Law students whose summer internships offer them new insights and knowledge into the legal profession
Samantha Mungro has known for the better part of her life that she wanted to be a lawyer. The only thing that has changed with time is the “why.”
The Elon Law Leadership Fellow is currently interning with Legal Aid of North Carolina, a summer employment position that allows Mungro to help victims of domestic violence who may lack the resources to hire an attorney.
It’s a role in which Mungro feels at home. As a member of the Pro Bono Board and the Community Service Committee of the Leadership Fellows Program, she’s well aware of just how much need exists in the community for assistance in escaping potentially deadly environments.
And after she graduates in December, Mungro’s goal is simple: provide legal services as a family law attorney for individuals who cannot afford adequate representation, during the most daunting times of their lives.
Mungro – a graduate of Western Carolina University originally from Hickory, N.C. – is the latest to be featured in a series of summer employment profiles that showcase experiential learning opportunities for Elon Law students. The following conversation has been lightly edited.
What inspired you to pursue a legal education and a career in law?
Since I was 8 years old, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I told my parents that I wanted to be a lawyer because I “liked to argue,” but as I grew older, I realized that my goal would be to represent those individuals who could not afford adequate representation.
Tell me about the type of legal assignments you’re completing this with Legal Aid.
I’m working in Legal Aid’s Greensboro office in the domestic violence unit where I have been able to conduct client interviews and interact with parties during negotiations. My summer goal is to lead my own hearing in domestic violence court. Additionally, I am able to shadow several domestic violence attorneys with varying levels of experience. This has allowed me to observe their different negotiating and client interaction styles.
What led you to this opportunity and how does it complement your interest in the law?
Legal Aid caters their services to indigent individuals. This directly aligns with my goal to help individuals who may not have adequate legal representation due to their financial restrictions. I decided to apply to Legal Aid so that I could be a part of providing legal services to those who would otherwise lack appropriate legal representation.
How did your previous residency-in-practice with The Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina prepare you for your approach to this summer internship?
The Children's Law Center exposed me to the domestic violence laws and how they pertain to the temporary custody of minor children. It further sparked my interest in domestic violence work and fueled my decision to pursue placement with Legal Aid in the domestic violence unit.
What are you learning about yourself as a result of this experience that wouldn’t have been possible in a classroom setting?
Each of my placements has helped to strengthen my weaknesses and has pushed me closer to achieving my goals. I’ve grown as an individual, a young professional, and as a future lawyer.
Is this opportunity changing the way you view the legal profession?
This placement has provided me insight into the legal profession and has shown me areas in which it is strong, as well as those areas that could be improved.
What would you like to share with other students about this internship and the skills you’ve developed because of it?
Working at Legal Aid has been extremely rewarding. The attorneys at Legal Aid are incredibly skilled and provide superb guidance that will build your abilities as a young professional and future lawyer.
Visit the Office of Career & Student Development for more information on summer and full-time career opportunities.
Previous Summer Employment Profiles:
Aarin Miles (Class of December 2017)
Brittany Hart (Class of December 2017)
Gabe Mirabelli (Class of December 2017)
Janelle Wendorf (Class of December 2017)
Catherine Bryant (Class of 2018)
Maxwell Baker (Class of December 2017)
Andreas Mosby (Class of December 2017)