Wallace Driggers, a young woman from Clayton, North Carolina, is the first student to enroll in the NC State and Campbell JD/MSW program! The new JD/MSW dual degree program is a collaboration, which fosters the mutual interest of having students engage in interprofessional education opportunities that takes place in community-based agencies and the “court of law”. This program enables students to earn both degrees in a potentially shortened duration of full-time study, rather than the usual five years.
Following her education at UNC Chapel Hill, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Wallace applied to the NC State School of Social Work MSW program. Shortly after her acceptance, Wallace learned of the JD/MSW program and decided it was the opportunity she had been waiting for. According to Wallace, “I have always loved learning and consider myself a lifelong learner. Going into the MSW program, I knew I would eventually follow up with a terminal degree, I had just previously imagined it would be a Doctorate degree in social work or another social science. When I learned of the possibility of a dual degree with Campbell Law School, I knew I had to pursue a Juris Doctorate.”
In addition to her love of education, Wallace is also pursuing these degrees to help others. “The intersection of a master of social work degree and a juris doctorate degree should ideally provide me with a skill set that will allow me to assist clients not only with interpersonal challenges, but also with legal ones. I also hope to gain a better understanding of the ways in which our current laws affect how people access necessary services and resources,” she said. With this new skill set, Wallace imagines herself working for nonprofit organizations, private civil rights organizations, or a law firm in the future. Regardless of where she works, Wallace hopes to leave the world just a bit better than when she found it.
Though, despite her persistence, the path to her success hasn’t always been easy. Recalling her second day of classes in the JD/MSW program, “I awoke to a call from my mother who told me that my maternal grandmother, my Mema, had passed early that morning. She was one of my closest confidants and best teachers. She was the rock of our family, and anyone who has ever known me, knows how much Mema cared about everyone around her. She is my inspiration for pursuing a career in social work and law. She treated all living things as worthy of care and affection, and if I can live my life with just a fraction of the generosity that she lived hers with, I will consider myself successful. Though she won’t be able to see me walk across the stage to get my next two degrees, she lived long enough to see me start this last educational journey, and I can’t help but think that’s special in and of itself. This dual degree is dedicated to her.”
Currently, Wallace has completed her first year in the JD/MSW program. This includes completing her 1L at Campbell Law School for the 2020-2021 academic year. Moving forward, Wallace will continue her hard work at the NC State School of Social Work for the 2021-2022 academic year.
For more information on the JD/MSW dual degree program, please visit our web page and/or contact our School with any questions.