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About Dawn


Dawn Baxton

Dawn Baxton was raised in Roper, North Carolina by her grandparents. At age 13, Dawn decided that she wanted to become a lawyer. With that objective in mind, Dawn became a first-generation college graduate when she received a Bachelor of Arts in English, and a Minor in African American Studies from North Carolina State University.  After obtaining her degree from North Carolina State University, Dawn became the first lawyer in her family when she received her Juris Doctor from North Carolina Central University School of Law. During law school, Dawn was very active with the Trial Advocacy Board, where she developed her passion for being a zealous advocate. In addition to serving as president of the Trial Advocacy Board, Dawn won local and regional competitions, and was a member of the first team to be invited to the prestigious Tournament of Champions.  As a result of the work of Dawn and her teammates, North Carolina Central University School of Law was recognized as having one of the best trial advocacy programs in the country.


Dawn began her legal career as an Assistant Public Defender in Durham County in 1999.  Shortly after joining the Public Defender’s Office, she was promoted to Superior Court where she obtained extensive felony trial experience in matters ranging from Breaking and Entering, Drug Offenses, Robbery, Felonious Assaults, Sexual Offenses, Capital First Degree Murder, and Non-Capital First Degree Murder. In 2006, Dawn was promoted to the position of Senior Assistant Public Defender.  As the Senior Assistant Public Defender, Dawn has the additional responsibility of managing the office and supervising the staff in the absence of the Chief Public Defender.


In addition to being the Senior Assistant Public Defender, Dawn is also dedicated to training future lawyers as an Adjunct Professor/ Trial Advocacy Coach at North Carolina Central University School of Law, and as an Attorney Advisor to J. D. Clement Early College Mock Trial Team. Dawn is also a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government Trial School, where she assists in training fellow Assistant Public Defenders and Private Court Appointed Attorneys on how to prepare their cases for trial.


After making Durham her home, Dawn served the community for many years as the Vice Chair of the Legal Redress Committee of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People.  She was also appointed to serve on the North Carolina State Board of Elections, and the Durham County Board of Elections. As the minority member of the Durham County Board of Elections, Dawn consistently worked in a bi-partisan fashion to maintain the integrity of the electoral process, and to ensure that voters had unhindered access in exercising their right to vote.   


She is a member of The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, The People’s Alliance,  North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers, George White Bar Association, and Union Baptist Church.  As a member of George White Bar Association, Dawn serves as the Chair of the Black History Committee where she develops programs designed to inspire and encourage at risk youth.  She is also a member of the Scholarship Committee.


In her spare time, Dawn enjoys reading and watching classic movies.


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Committee to Elect Dawn Baxton for Judge
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