Stella A. Boswell

Assistant Dean, Public Interest and Career Development, Office of Public Interest & Pro Bono


Stella Boswell directs the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono.  The Office promotes values of service and community leadership for all students and the broader Duke Law community.  Through the Pro Bono Program, the Office partners with nonprofit advocacy groups, government entities and private attorneys to provide law related work in a broad array of areas, thus giving law students the opportunity to develop their legal skills while in service to others.  The Office also: (1) oversees the law school’s public interest funding for summer internships, interview travel and conferences; (2) initiates and supports public interest programming and events, including an annual public interest retreat, a speakers’ series, and a public interest and pro bono recognition dinner; and (3) administers and provides structure for the Certificate in Public Interest and Public Service Law.  

Stella also works closely with the Career and Professional Development Center to provide  career counseling, resources, educational programming, and networking events for students interested in government and public interest summer positions and careers.

Stella joined the law school as a counselor in the Career and Professional Development Center in 2004 and in 2014 became the Assistant Dean in that office.  In 2016, she moved into her role as Assistant Dean of Public Interest and Pro Bono. 

Stella received her undergraduate degree from Duke University.  Following graduation, she was the Director of Advocacy and Professional Training at the Orange/Durham Coalition for Battered Women where in addition to training volunteers, law enforcement and medical professionals, she served as a court advocate.  She then earned her law degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law before joining a mid-size civil litigation firm in Durham, working on cases at both the trial and appellate level.  When she left her litigation practice in 1999, Stella became the Legal Affairs Counsel for the North Carolina Advocates for Justice; in this role, she ran the amicus curiae program, worked as a lobbyist, and oversaw a statewide high school mock trial program. Stella was a long-time board member and is a Past President of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys and is a long-time board member and executive committee member for the NC Legal Education Assistance Foundation, a law school loan repayment organization for public interest attorneys in North Carolina.