Detail-Oriented Legal Guidance
In Criminal And Family Law Courts

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Shawna Vasilko

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Practice Areas:

  • Family Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Defense


Shawna Vasilko is currently a practicing family and criminal defense attorney in Wake County. Prior to attending law school, Shawna cultivated extensive experience in the legal arena as a paralegal. She became a paralegal in Memphis, Tennessee in 2003, focusing specifically on criminal defense work. After moving to North Carolina, Shawna continued her work as a paralegal while simultaneously pursuing multiple degrees. Shawna enjoyed expanding her legal experience beyond criminal defense work in both state and federal court to personal injury and bankruptcy law.

Her educational background consists of an associate degree in criminal justice from Vance Granville Community College; a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke; a Juris Doctorate from The Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law; and an L.LM from Nottingham Trent University. The subject of her dissertation focused on restorative justice as a quasi-victim's right. Since graduating, Shawna joined Dobson Law Firm, PPLC, focusing on criminal defense and family law and is currently a junior partner. Within a few months of being barred, she sat second chair in a weeklong jury trial. Her caseload ranges from simple divorces to complex equitable distribution litigation. She is also admitted to the Eastern District of North Carolina and serves on the CJA training panel.

While attending law school, Shawna worked part-time as a paralegal for David Venable focusing on federal criminal defense work in the Eastern District of North Carolina. She also interned with McMillan and Smith, Thorp Law, the Administrative Offices of the Courts and Transitional Support Legal Aid. Shawna also served as a student representative, the Vice-President of Campbell Law Actual Innocence Project (CLIP) and a Wills for Heroes volunteer. She also served as the pro bono chairperson for the re-entry project (now known as the Expungement Project), working in close connection with Legal Aide of North Carolina. Shawna also had the privilege to work in the Blanchard Law Community Clinic serving low-income families needing various legal assistance. While at Campbell, Shawna attended Baylor Law's Academy of the Advocate in Saint Andrew, Scotland where she participated in a two-week intense trial advocacy program.

Shawna married her high school sweetheart in 2003 and they have three children together, ages 17, 15, and 10. She currently resides in Wake Forest where is she an active member of her community. She loves animals and has two beloved dogs.


  • Campbell University School of Law, Raleigh, North Carolina
    • Vice-President of the Campbell Law Innocence Project (CLIP)
    • Project Coordinator for Campbell’s re-entry project in coordination with Legal Aid of North Carolina
    • Trial of the Advocate, St. Andrew’s, Scotland
  • , EnglandNottingham University Department of Law, Nottingham
    • L.L.M., Master of Laws
    • Major: Legal Practice
    • Honors: Vice-President of the Campbell Law Innocence Project (CLIP)
    • Honors: Project Coordinator for Campbell’s re-entry project in coordination with Legal Aid of North Carolina
      Major: Legal Practice
  • Vance Granville Community College, Pembroke, North Carolina
    • Associate of Arts
    • Major: Criminal Justice
  • University of North Carolina, Pembroke, North Carolina
    • A., Bachelor of Arts
    • Major: Criminal Justice

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of North Carolina

Past Positions

  • Law Office of David W. Venable, Law Clerk
  • Administrative Offices of the Court, Intern
  • Transitional Support Legal Aid, Intern
  • Thorp Law, Intern
  • McMillan & Smith, Intern