Director and Attorney, Immigrant Justice Program
Sharon Dove has been the Director of the Advocacy Center’s Immigrant Justice Program since November 2018. Before then, she served for thirteen years as the Managing Attorney of Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Gastonia office.
At Legal Aid, Dove grew the Gastonia office into a powerhouse for landlord-tenant advocacy. In the years between 2005 and 2012, the Gastonia office received favorable decisions in the following cases at the North Carolina Court of Appeals: Dean v. Hill, 171 N.C. App. 479 (Ct. App. 2005), Lincoln Terrace v. Kelly, 179 N.C. App. 621 (Ct. App. 2006) and Laurel Hill Apartments v. Hall, 219 N.C. App. 651 (Ct. App. 2012). Dove’s other accomplishment at Legal Aid was to vastly expand the Gastonia office’s reach into the immigrant community, with the office representing immigrants in a wide range of housing, domestic violence, benefits and consumer protection cases. Dove accomplished this by hiring a bilingual paralegal and by undertaking Spanish language study on her own.
At the Advocacy Center, Dove has built the Immigrant Justice Program (“IJP”) into a highly skilled and devoted team of attorneys and paralegals who advocate for immigrants in removal proceedings, with a special focus on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and asylum cases. The vast majority of IJP’s clients have come to the United States fleeing violence and extreme poverty in their own countries. The program has received attention from national funders, in particular due to the innovative ways that it has engaged other immigration stakeholders in collaborations that leverage limited resources to serve the maximum number of immigrants. Dove also continues her advocacy in the area of landlord-tenant law. She served as co-counsel in the class action matter of Russell et al. v. Lake Arbor 80M TIC, LLC et al., 19 CVS-11761, which secured $550,000 for low-income tenants who endured years of deplorable living conditions that festered as a result of the Lake Arbor apartment complex’s neglect.
Dove graduated with a B.A. in political science from Johns Hopkins University in 1992. She earned an M.A. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993. She is a 1998 graduate of New York University School of Law.