Dona G. Lewandowski

Lecturer of Public Law and Government

Areas of Expertise

Magistrates' issues (non-criminal law), including summary ejectment, small claims procedure, performing marriages, and appointment and removal matters


Dona Lewandowski joined the faculty of the Institute of Government in 1985 and spent the next five years writing, teaching, and consulting with district court judges in the area of family law. In 1990, following the birth of her son, she left the Institute to devote full time to her family. She rejoined the School of Government in 2006. Lewandowski holds a BS and an MA from Middle Tennessee State University and a JD with honors, Order of the Coif, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After law school, she worked as a research assistant to Chief Judge R.A. Hedrick of the NC Court of Appeals.

Michael Spinosi

Program Manager, Courts Group


Michael Spinosi is responsible for managing programs that serve magistrates, district attorneys, public defenders, and other groups. Prior to joining the School in 2018, he managed projects and events for Harris Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Michael earned a BA in history, political science, and entrepreneurship from The Ohio State University as well as certification in project management strategy from the University of Chicago.

Other School of Government faculty who specialize in courts and criminal justice issues — including their areas of interest — are listed below:

Mark Botts Mental health law, including involuntary commitment law and procedure; privacy of behavioral healthcare records; local government responsibility for publicly funded mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services; administration and governance of area authorities; legal responsibilities of area boards; psychotherapist liability for dangerous patients; advance directives for mental health treatment
Shea DenningDirector, North Carolina Judicial College; motor vehicle law, including legal aspects of driving while impaired and driver’s license revocations
James DrennanJudicial ethics; judicial administration; legal responsibilities of clerks of court; pattern jury instructions; North Carolina constitution
Cheryl HowellCourts; family law; judicial education
Jamie MarkhamCriminal sentencing; corrections; community corrections; jails and prisons
Jessica SmithCriminal law and procedure; judicial education; bail and pretrial release; evidence; post-conviction procedure
Jeff WeltyCriminal law and procedure; evidence; prosecutor training; police attorneys
Public Officials - Courts and Judicial Administration Roles