Ph.D., UNC Chapel Hill, 2013
J.D, Wake Forest School of Law, 2002
My research explores various aspects of North American legal systems. My interests include examining law school as a ritual of initiation and socialization that serves to condition law students to think in a certain way—like lawyers. I am also interested in the way that legal education shapes the legal profession, and the way that the legal profession, in turn, produces and reproduces itself as it operates. I am also interested in the process of cults, cult formation, state formation, and conspiracy theories—all of which implicate methods through which humans are socialized into various thought processes. In addition, I have been exploring the culture of computer programming and the web. My analytical framework is that of social complexity theory. Finally, I am deeply committed to teaching and take great satisfaction in being in the classroom.
I am currently looking to develop my research in legal anthropology into a broader study of law schools and the legal system, which includes an analysis of North Carolina appellate systems and their interaction with the trial courts. I would also like to broaden my research to include a wider variety of law schools here in North Carolina. At the same time, I am interested in expanding the scope of legal anthropology by taking it out of the classroom and academic settings in which it currently resides and incorporating it into the legal profession through a combination of consulting and education. One of the challenges for anthropology is to broaden its base so that it includes more of the local community in the hopes that it can make a positive impact on the legal profession in particular and social policies in general.