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Career Paths:Claire Leonard ’16L

Claire Leonard ’16L is from Washington, D.C. and received her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University. She serves as one of the Managing Editors for the Washington and Lee Law Review and as a student caseworker in the Black Lung Clinic. She is also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. Claire spent her 1L summer as a judicial intern for a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and she spent her 2L summer working as a summer associate for White & Case in Washington, D.C.

claireleonardprofile Career Paths:Claire Leonard '16LClaire Leonard ’16L

Where will you be working after graduation and in what practice area?  

After graduation, I will be working at White & Case in the Washington, D.C. office. I am not yet assigned to a particular practice area, but I hope to be in the litigation group.

Did you know coming into law school that you wanted to work for a big law firm?  

Yes, I did. Prior to law school, I worked at White & Case for two years as a legal assistant. I had a great experience–I worked on a number of complex litigation matters and assisted with two federal trials in the Northern District of California. I was drawn to the fast-paced atmosphere, and I knew I wanted to work in big law after graduation.

Was there anything in your law school or summer job experience that confirmed this choice?  

I think it was a combination of my experience as a legal assistant and my time as a summer associate at White & Case that made me confident in my decision to accept their offer. I was attracted to the firm’s culture and how dedicated they are to their clients. I also really liked that W&C is a truly global firm. They have offices all over the world, and case teams often span different offices. For example, as a legal assistant, I worked on a case with attorneys from the D.C., New York, Palo Alto, and Tokyo offices.

What classes do you think are helpful to take to prepare for a BigLaw job?

It all depends on what type of work you want to do. Personally, I found that the classes focused on legal writing and advocacy skills have been most helpful. No matter what area you practice in, it is important to be an effective communicator. Law school is the time to hone those skills so you are ready to dive in once you start working. For those interested in litigation, Federal Courts and Jurisdiction, Evidence, and Civil Procedure are beneficial. On the other hand, the basic business law classes (CBA, Publicly Held, etc.) are useful for those interested in transactional work.

Can you describe your job search process?

I started my job search process in June of my 1L summer. I had my heart set on returning to the Washington, D.C. area so I focused my search there. I applied to firms through the OCI interview programs, but I wanted to cast the net wide, so I also sent my resume to a bunch of firms not participating in OCI.   I ultimately chose White & Case because of the people. At a big law firm, you are likely going to have many late nights and early mornings, so you need to genuinely like the people you are working with. I love W&C’s team atmosphere–the attorneys work extremely hard and collaborate with each other to produce the best result for their clients. I am very excited to join the White & Case team next fall!

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Career Paths: Caroline Colpoys ’16L

Caroline Colpoys ’16L is from Dallas, TX and attended Rhodes College for her undergraduate degree. At W&L, she is the executive editor of the Journal of Energy, Climate and the Environment and a member of the Powell Lecture Board.

colpoysprofile Career Paths: Caroline Colpoys '16LCaroline Colpoys ’16L

Where will you be working after graduation and in what practice area?

I will be working for Vinson & Elkins in Washington, D.C. after graduation. I have not been assigned a practice group yet.

Did you know coming into law school that you wanted to work for a big law firm?  

Coming into law school I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work for a big firm. I gave the OCI (On Campus Interview) process a try, and I had a positive experience. I enjoyed my time at V&E immensely and I’m thrilled to be working in their D.C. office after graduation. The office has about 80 attorneys, and although it still has the BigLaw atmosphere, I have been able to get to know the other attorneys and staff.

Was there anything in your law school or summer job experience that confirmed this choice?  

I think a big part of finding the right job is finding people you like working with. As much as I enjoyed the projects I completed during my summer with V&E, I am especially grateful to have found a firm with coworkers who I respect, relate to, and can have fun with.

What classes do you think are helpful to take to prepare for a BigLaw job?  

I think the most helpful classes have been my legal writing classes. I also recommend participating in a journal and becoming a research assistant for a professor–the extra writing experience is invaluable. Most of my college classes had a significant writing component, but I also took a year off after graduating and had a job that didn’t involve much substantive writing. Since starting law school, I’ve found that I have to write and edit constantly in order to stay sharp. Communication skills are extremely important and are a major part of how firms evaluate summer associates.

Can you describe your job search process?  

I started looking into firms in June of my 1L Summer. I applied to some firms that were not coming to W&L for OCI or were not participating in the regional interview programs. I focused on firms in locations that I had a connection to and applied to those offices that had a practice group I had an interest in.  When W&L released the names of the firms that would be interviewing, I reached out to all the contacts I knew to express interest and get information. I can’t overstate the importance of using whatever contacts you have–there are so many applicants for these positions that it’s important to distinguish yourself however you can. I interviewed with Vinson & Elkins at the Washington, D.C. regional interview program and completed a callback for their D.C. office.

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Career Paths: Aria Allan ’16L

Aria Allan ’12, ’16L grew up in Montgomery, Alabama and attended Washington and Lee University for her undergraduate studies in Spanish and English Literature. At W&L Law, Aria served as the Executive Editor of the German Law Journal and as Vice Chair of the Moot Court Executive Board and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. After graduation, she will clerk for the Honorable Callie V. S. “Ginny” Granade of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, and for the 2017-2018 term, she will clerk for the Honorable Joel F. Dubina of the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

ariallanprofile Career Paths: Aria Allan '16LAria Allan ’12, ’16L

Who will you be clerking for, and what will your responsibilities be?

First, I will be clerking for Judge Callie “Ginny” Granade in the Southern District of Alabama in Mobile. I will be one of three term clerks in chambers, and along with the career clerk, I will review cases, draft bench memos, opinions, and orders, and will assist Judge Granade on the bench. Judge Granade rules on a wide variety of cases, from criminal law to civil law, including complex torts and contract claims, admiralty law, and everything in between.   For the 2017-2018 term, I will clerk for Judge Joel Dubina on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. On the appellate level, I will work with Judge Dubina’s other clerks to prepare for oral argument by submitting bench memoranda to the judge; after oral arguments, I will draft either published or per curiam opinions, depending on the panel’s decision. The Eleventh Circuit hears all appeals from the federal district courts in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

Why are you interested in clerking after graduation?  

I have always been drawn to the research and writing aspect of my academic career. I first clerked for Judge Dubina during my 1L summer, and the wide variety of cases that came into chambers was appealing to me because it allowed me to explore so many discrete areas of law. In addition, it’s the perfect experience to continue honing legal writing skills and to learn how to be an advocate, not because you are advocating but because you are watching and learning how those decisions are made by judges.

How did you secure this clerkship?  

I worked closely with the Clerkship Committee to target my applications to judges in a geographical region. Professor Seaman made sure that Judge Granade was on my short list, as she has hired W&L graduates in the past and because her husband, a practicing attorney in the Mobile area, is also a W&L Law alumnus. It also helped that I was born and raised in Alabama and had the geographic connection to the area. I submitted my materials once Judge Granade’s application window opened, and she asked me to interview in chambers.  Judge Dubina, whom I am lucky enough to call a mentor, had already taught me so much during my summer clerkship with him. After he found out about my clerkship with Judge Granade, he asked me to submit my application to his chambers for the following term. He called me about a week later with the offer, and I accepted on the spot.

Which W&L classes and/or experiences do you think were most helpful in preparing you for clerking?  

It’s hard to chose only one or two classes, as so many of W&L Law’s offerings directly helped me prepare for working in chambers. Constitutional Law is one of the most helpful courses, but I think W&L Law’s Third Year experience is the best preparation for my clerkships. In my third year, I clerked for Judge G. Steven Agee on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the type of work I did for Judge Agee will be the same type of work I will do for Judge Dubina. Even though it is not direct experience in the district court setting, it was an incredible opportunity to review opinions and orders issued by district courts and to see how those issuances were treated by a reviewing court.

How is clerking linked to your career objectives?  

Clerking is an unparalleled opportunity to observe effective advocacy, both in written and oral form. In my two years of clerking, I will get to see excellent advocates, unskilled advocates, and everything in between. This experience will be invaluable to me as a practicing attorney. Although I would love to work at a firm for a while, I am also considering looking for a position as a career clerk, and having term clerkship experience will be necessary if I select that career path.

What are you most looking forward to about this clerkship position?   There are so many incredible aspects of clerking, but one of the most important is the mentor relationship you build with your judge. I am truly looking forward to learning from Judge Granade and Judge Dubina, as they both have had awe-inspiring legal careers (Judge Granade has a criminal background, while Judge Dubina worked as a civil litigator before joining the bench).

What are your plans after your clerkship?

After my clerkship with Judge Dubina ends, I am planning to join Smith, Currie, & Hancock, a mid-sized law firm in Atlanta, Georgia focusing on construction law and government contracts.

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Career Paths: Brooke Weedon ’16L

Brooke Weedon ’16L, from Richmond, Virginia, is a 2013 graduate of the University of Virginia. Brooke is an Executive Editor of the Washington and Lee Law Review and a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. After graduation, she will clerk for the Honorable Frederick P. Stamp, Jr. on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. After clerking, she will join McGuireWoods LLP in Richmond, Virginia, as an associate.

brookeweedonprofile Career Paths: Brooke Weedon '16LBrooke Weedon ’16L

Who will you be clerking for, and what will your responsibilities be?   

In August I will begin as a term clerk for Judge Stamp on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. My primary responsibilities will include reviewing cases, drafting bench memos and opinions, and assisting Judge Stamp on the bench. The district has a diverse docket, and I will work on a wide variety of criminal and civil cases.   

Why are you interested in clerking after graduation?     

It was not until some point during my 1L summer that I figured out I was interested in litigation. I have never really enjoyed public speaking, and getting up in front of a jury had always been the center of my perception of litigation. I spent my 1L summer at a small tax law firm that did both transactional tax work and a small amount of tax litigation. I quickly discovered that I had no interest in the transactional side of the work and, fortunately, was able to spend the summer writing briefs for a U.S. Tax Court case. I had so much fun with the writing side of litigation and, since then, I have learned that actually going to trial is a very small part of most litigation lawyers’ day-to-day work, especially at big law firms. So, eventually, I sought out a clerkship for two reasons: First, I wanted an experience that would further develop my writing skills in the litigation context. I hope that reading other lawyers’ writing everyday and discussing it with a judge will help me become more effective in my own writing. Second, I wanted an experience that would teach me how to be a better oral advocate in a low-stress setting. I hope to learn from observing other attorneys advocate before the court and discussing what worked and what did not work with the judge. I think that, after this experience, I will be a lot more excited than I am now about advocating for a client at trial myself.   

How did you secure this clerkship?     

W&L’s Clerkship Committee helped me identify federal district judges who had previously hired W&L graduates. I sent out my applications to those judges in late January of my 2L year. Judge Stamp was one of the first judges to get back with me, and I had my interview in the beginning of March and accepted the offer within a week or so after the interview.   

Which W&L classes and/or experiences do you think were most helpful in preparing you for clerking?     

The most helpful experience by far has been my time on the Law Review as a staffwriter last year and as an Executive Editor this year. Working on the Law Review has immensely improved my writing and editing skills, both of which are essential to being a good clerk. I also feel much better prepared having spent this year externing for a judge on the Court of Appeals of Virginia. Understanding the appellate court process, even at the state level, has given me a better idea of the significance of what happens at the trial court. As for classes, I know that the material I am currently learning in Federal Jurisdiction & Procedure will be invaluable. I remember speaking to Judge Stamp’s clerks during my interview and learning that one had taken a Federal Courts class and the other had not. The clerk who had not taken Federal Courts said that was one class he regretted not taking in law school, and the clerk who had taken the class said it had made her transition to clerking a lot smoother. Additionally, I am sure that I will be glad to have taken Criminal Procedure when I begin my clerkship-I have already used what I learned in that class on many occasions during my externship this year.   

How is clerking linked to your career objectives?    

I mentioned before that I am interested in litigation. With that interest in mind, I spent this past summer working as a summer associate at McGuireWoods in Richmond, Virginia. By the time I began that experience, I was already pretty set in what I wanted to pursue and had already accepted my clerkship offer. So I spent the summer working with as many litigation lawyers in as many different litigation-based practice groups as I could. It did not take long to learn that hiring at big law firms is extremely competitive these days and, for hiring into litigation groups, a federal clerkship is almost a requirement. It also did not take long to figure out why so many lawyers and firms view clerking as such a critical experience. There is a significantly shorter learning curve for new litigation associates who come from clerkships, and the value of understanding what a judge might think about what you write or say cannot be overstated.   

What are you most looking forward to about this clerkship position?     

I am very fortunate to be clerking for a judge who I admire both professionally and personally, and am excited to spend each day of my clerkship working with and learning from such an extraordinary person. I am also grateful to have my clerkship as somewhat of a transition period between law school and jumping into life as an associate at a big law firm. Especially because I did not work at all between college and law school, I think that working primarily with just the Judge and the other clerk will be a good way for me to develop into a better lawyer in a less intimidating setting.   

What are your plans after your clerkship?   

I have accepted an offer from McGuireWoods to join their business and securities litigation practice group. I will be working in their Richmond, Virginia office.

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Career Paths: Paul Judge ’16L

Paul Judge ’16L went to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant out of ROTC. He is now a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army. He will enter the Army JAG Corps following his clerkship.

pauljudgeprofile Career Paths: Paul Judge '16LPaul Judge ’16L

Who will you be clerking for, and what will your responsibilities be?

I’m clerking for Judge Margaret Ryan at the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. I will work with two other clerks assisting her by writing draft opinions for all of the cases that come before CAAF, a five-judge federal appellate court that deals with a mostly criminal docket. CAAF is the highest military appellate court in the country and its decisions can only be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Why are you interested in clerking after graduation?    

First, clerking is a mark of prestige on a resume. Pick any lawyer in a position of prestige or power in the federal government and most of the time you’ll find that they have one or two federal clerkships in their background. Second, I’m clerking for a judge in Christiansburg right now, and I have loved it. Getting a behind-the-scenes look about how a judge thinks and operates is invaluable experience, and a clerkship is really the only way to get it.

How did you secure this clerkship?    

Andrea Hilton in Career Services told me that some judges on CAAF were accepting applications for clerks. I mailed in my application and interviewed in November. The interview was pretty relaxed, and I was offered the job on the spot.

Which W&L classes and/or experiences do you think were most helpful in preparing you for clerking?  

CAAF deals almost exclusively with criminal appeals, so all of my criminal procedure classes will be helpful. I would not want to clerk for any appellate court, however, without having taken Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure and Conflicts of Laws. Those classes gave me the tools to understand some of the more complicated procedural issues that appellate courts often wrestle with.

What are you most looking forward to about this clerkship position?    

I love discussing legal issues and hate working in a solitary environment. My favorite part about the law is chewing over tough legal issues with other smart, passionate lawyers. I look forward to doing that with Judge Ryan and my fellow clerks.

What are your plans after your clerkship?  

I have been accepted to serve in the US Army Judge Advocate General Corps.

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Study in Contrasts W&L students partnered with Augusta Correctional Center inmates for a new class that opened eyes and challenged stereotypes

“Meeting this guy who has this horribly sad story, who I share so much in common with ideologically — all that challenged every image I previously had.”

— Thomas Joyner

Augusta-Correctional-Story-large Study in ContrastsProfessor Kelly Brotzman’s class at Augusta Correctional Center

MarQui Clardy was a father of four, a Navy veteran and a college student when he committed a series of armed robberies that resulted in a prison sentence of five life terms. That was 2009, and he was only 25 years old.

Clardy, a Portsmouth, Virginia, native who has endeavored to better himself while incarcerated, figured he’d never see the inside of a college classroom again. But that didn’t prevent him — along with 10 fellow inmates at Augusta Correctional Center — from recently earning college credits from Washington and Lee University.

The unusual opportunity came about through Professor Kelly Brotzman’s spring 2015 class, “Incarceration and Inequality,” which allowed nine W&L students to team with prisoners at Augusta and study issues such as juvenile justice, sentencing and quality of life in prison. Brotzman, a 1995 graduate of W&L, is a visiting assistant professor in the university’s Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability.

“There is essentially nothing in terms of college education in prison now unless a college has a special outreach, and that is not very common,” Brotzman said.

It seemed even less likely that the inmates would be able to earn W&L credits for the class. They received certificates at a small prison ceremony in June 2015, but in terms of actual credits, Brotzman said, “I thought there was about a 50/50 chance … I also worried that some faculty would feel like it was watering down the brand.”

Instead, University Registrar Scott Dittman strongly supported the idea, and faculty members agreed. Now, each inmate has a transcript with four credits. Six are signed up for this spring’s incarnation of the course, “Freedom and Unfreedom.”

Some of the students and inmates admit they headed into “Incarceration and Inequality” with preconceived ideas about the other group.

“I automatically (incorrectly) assumed the students were going to be a bunch of snobbish, entitled, rich kids with their noses turned up at the inmates. I was definitely concerned about there being too much of a cultural gap between them and us,” Clardy wrote in an email from Augusta. “I’m aware of the public’s perception of inmates, so just as I had my preconceptions, I expected the W&L students to be coming in with their own assumptions of us being knavish, violent, conniving and all-around criminally inclined. However, after meeting them I almost instantly realized how wrong my assumptions were.”

The students, including Clardy’s study partner, Thomas Joyner ’18, were just as honest about their concerns. They wondered if the prisoners were going to be able to keep up with the class.

“Now that seems so stupid to me,” Joyner said. “I just didn’t give them the credit that they’d be able to maintain the pace that we have in the classroom here. He is just so smart and makes the best points, and he really pushed me to think critically about the issues we were discussing.”

Brotzman said the inmate students were chosen through a process created by Augusta’s then principal, Teresa Bryant. They had to have a GED or high school diploma and 12 straight months of good behavior. They also had to pass a timed writing exercise.

Two of the Augusta students who took the class last year are in for drug crimes, five are serving time for murder, and the rest are in for armed robbery. Four are serving life terms (Clardy’s original sentence was reduced to 33 years). Only three are eligible for parole, and one has been up for parole 28 times.

The class met three days per week from 2 to 5 p.m., a time period between prison counts when inmates had to stay in the same location. A correctional officer was stationed in the hallway outside the classroom, but there was no officer in the classroom.

After signing up for the course, the W&L students went through an orientation at the prison. It included a background check and a day of training that covered topics like the Prison Rape Elimination Act and gang behavior. They also got a full tour of the facility. “It was a level of access that I didn’t expect,” said Emma Swabb ‘18.

Well before the class started, Brotzman prepared some 800 pages of required reading for students, consisting of articles, studies and reports, and delivered them to the correctional center. Like the traditional students, the inmates had to read the materials assigned for each day’s class so they could take part in the discussion. But most had read all of the materials even before the first class — and some had read it all twice.

“There’s not much to do in the housing unit, so being able to gain new knowledge and do actual school work gave me the feeling that I was doing something important and constructive with my time,” Clardy wrote.

Joyner remembers vividly the first day of class, including the moment he met his study partner.

“He walks in and he is this tall, really dark-skinned, huge guy. We are total opposites in every way. I’m this little shrimpy white kid. But he was so lighthearted and kind, he immediately put all my nerves at ease.”

Each study team had a journal that the student and inmate traded back and forth. When it was their turn to write in the journal, each student wrote an entry responding to the readings and what their partner had written.

Clardy and Joyner said they got to know each other so well that as they wrote their journal entries, they could anticipate how the other person was going to react to that particular lesson. They also learned that they didn’t have to hold back with each other when expressing opinions.

Swabb had two in-class study partners because one W&L student had to drop the class. Both men are serving time on drug charges. Swabb said her brother has had drug problems, and although he has never served significant time, his struggles caused her to view her study partners a bit differently.

“I was able to connect with Zach and Jon because my older brother is an opioid abuser,” she said. “I was able to put that in perspective with my brother’s experience versus these guys’, just to see how different it could have gone.”

Learning about topics like justice reinvestment through the eyes of someone living in prison was enlightening for the students, just as discussing and debating the topics with young people on the outside was transformative for the inmates, Brotzman said.

“They got to be teachers,” she said of the Augusta students. “They taught the class. I was there and I made the books, but they taught the class. They had a kind of authority that was cool for them to experience because they have zero authority in the prison.”

Joyner found all of his stereotypes, which had been perpetuated by TV shows and movies that portray prisoners as violent and mean, were turned on end. Some would deem Clardy’s original sentence of five life terms to be unusually harsh for a crime in which nobody was physically injured. Severe financial problems and a fear that he would not be able to afford to finish college were factors in his criminal behavior. That part of Clardy’s personal story affected Joyner.

“Meeting this guy who has this horribly sad story, who I share so much in common with ideologically — all that challenged every image I previously had. I did wonder, what is the ratio? Who does fit that stereotype, and who just made a mistake and just wants desperately to get on with his life?”

Going into the course, Swabb said, the W&L students knew that inmates weren’t getting any credit, “which we all thought was unfair, but we had a lot of faith in Dr. Brotzman.”

An inmate who is scheduled for release in 2019 told Brotzman that he wants to enroll in community college when he gets out, so four credits will save him both time and money. For other inmates, taking the class was rewarding enough.

“I was elated when I learned that Washington and Lee had decided to issue college credits to the other inmates and I, but honestly I would’ve been content without them,” Clardy wrote. “Out of the entire ACC population, only 10 of us were chosen to participate in the class, so we already felt honored to have been accepted.”

Lessons from “Incarceration and Inequality” have already had an impact outside the W&L campus and the prison walls. Swabb was inspired to start a branch of the Nabors Service League called Strong Returns, which collected hundreds of books for the Rockbridge Regional Jail library. She got the idea during a tour of the jail.

“When we saw the library that they had, we were like, ‘Oh my God, it’s not a library — it’s a shelf full of old Westerns that are falling apart’,” she said.

Joyner and Clardy are still pen pals. Clardy has emailed his college friend asking about his summer or how the other W&L students are doing. Joyner fills him in, but he said it makes him a little sad to share details about fun experiences on the outside.

Meanwhile, Clardy says he has “fallen back into the stagnation of prison life,” so he eagerly awaits receipt of the piles of homework he’ll get to do for the next class.

“I was told this class will be more philosophical than the last one, so I’ve already started dissecting the concept of freedom and how it’s affected by various factors,” he wrote. “This is a topic that can be analyzed from an infinite number of facets, so I’m very eager to hear some of the other students’ theories and to share my own. I can’t wait!”

— Lindsey Nair | lnair@wlu.edu

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Career Paths: Julianne Freeman ’16L

Julianne Freeman ’16L is from Goshen, NY and attended Cornell for her undergraduate degree. She spent this past summer as a Law Clerk at Norfolk Southern Corporation in Norfolk, Virginia. She is a Lead Articles Editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review.

freemanprofile Career Paths: Julianne Freeman '16LJulianne Freeman ’16L

Where will you be working after graduation?

I will be working at Norfolk Southern Corporation in Norfolk, Virginia.

Did you know coming into law school that you wanted to work in house for a corporation?

Before entering law school, I was interested in working as in-house counsel, but I assumed I would need to work in a law firm first. During the summer after my first year, I worked in-house as a legal intern with Major League Baseball. This was a wonderful experience, and it confirmed my ultimate preference for being in-house.

How did you find this job?

I found this job through OCI. I was thrilled to see that Norfolk Southern was recruiting 2Ls for summer positions. I accepted a summer position as a Law Clerk and had a great experience. This past fall, I accepted an offer to return to Norfolk Southern following graduation.

Which W&L classes and/or experiences do you think were most helpful in preparing you for this job?  

My experience at Washington and Lee School of Law has prepared me for this job by giving me both traditional legal education and hands on experience. Having a strong foundation in some of the core areas–including contracts, property, and constitutional law– allowed me to handle assignments and further develop my research and writing skills throughout the summer. This will no doubt continue throughout my employment. Further, my experience with the 3L program, particularly my work with the Immigrant Rights Clinic, has helped me to develop my persuasive writing, legal research, and critical thinking skills. I feel confident that my experience with the clinic will serve me well in my post-graduation employment.

What are you most looking forward to about this position?  

Although I will be sad to leave W&L Law, I am absolutely delighted about my job following graduation. I will be doing challenging, engaging legal work, and I’m lucky to be joining an incredibly talented group of attorneys. Additionally, I am hopeful that I can give back to the law school as an alumna in the future because I have had such a great experience.

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Nicole Eldred ’18 Crowned 2016 Alaska Cherry Blossom Princess

Nicole Eldred, a member of Washington and Lee University’s Class of 2018, currently graces the front page of Alaska Rep. Don Young’s website. She represented her home state of Alaska in Washington, D.C., as the Cherry Blossom Princess during a weeklong cultural festival, in April, celebrating the friendship between the U.S. and Japan.

Nicole, who was nominated by Young, said, “It’s been an absolutely wonderful week and unforgettable experience that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do, if it weren’t for Congressman Young.”

“It’s been an honor to nominate Nicole as our 2016 Alaska Cherry Blossom Princess and join her throughout this annual celebration honoring our nation’s close relationship with the Japanese people,” said Young. “Nicole, an accomplished young woman in her own right, joins the ranks of so many others, including Sen. Murkowski, who have so honorably represented our state in this celebration of nations. As a valued member of my staff last summer, Nicole proved to be a remarkable ambassador for Alaska — something she has continued throughout this year’s festival and will do long into the future.”

Nicole is studying philosophy at W&L, where she is a resident advisor.


W&L Enters Partnership for Oxford Study Abroad Program

Washington and Lee University has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mansfield College, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford, that will allow W&L students to take classes in England for a period of one year, in a select field of study, with an assigned tutor.

Mark Rush, director of international education at W&L, said the first round of nominations for the Mansfield Visiting Student Programme will take place in the 2016–2017 school year, with the hopes that the first group of W&L students will study at Oxford in 2017–2018.

“It’s just an outstanding opportunity to get the U.K./Oxford tutorial-based experience, which is quite different from ours,” Rush said.

The agreement puts Washington and Lee on the list of Mansfield’s partner universities, which also includes Barnard College, Boston College, Georgetown University, Wheaton College, George Mason University and the College of the Holy Cross.

Rush said W&L will nominate up to five students per year, and the nomination process will be highly competitive. The application process will be open to all students, but they must have at least a 3.7 GPA.

A faculty committee will be established at W&L to fine tune the details of the program. Rush said more information about the application process and the program will be announced in fall 2016.

Washington and Lee had a faculty exchange program with Oxford that was discontinued several years ago. Rush said this new opportunity is “a nice first step toward rebuilding a bridge with Oxford.”


Sam Calhoun Named Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics

Sam Calhoun, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been named the Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics. As the holder of a term professorship, Calhoun will have the position for a three-year period.

The Class of 1960 Professorship seeks to honor and recognize a W&L faculty member whose teaching and scholarship include ethics, honor, integrity, honesty, and applications of ethical reasoning in addressing contemporary issues. In addition to teaching contracts, sales, and legal writing, Calhoun teaches and researches on the legal and religious issues implicated by the controversy over abortion. His recent articles in this area have addressed the case of Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell, as well as partial-birth abortion. He has also critiqued Justice Lewis F. Powell’s vote with the majority in Roe v. Wade.

“Sam Calhoun is an obvious and excellent choice for this prestigious term professorship,” said Provost Marc Conner. “As a scholar, a teacher, and an academic citizen, his career at Washington and Lee has been defined by a commitment to and study of ethics and the interplay of religious belief and moral values in law and society.  I cannot think of a better person to inhabit the Class of 1960 Professorship in Ethics.”

The professorship, which the Class of 1960 established at its 50th reunion, stems from the Institute for Honor, which the class inaugurated for its 40th reunion. The chair includes serving on the Institute for Honor Advisory Board, taking a leading role in conceiving and organizing Institute for Honor symposia, and planning and executing a number of additional programs and projects in honor and ethics during the duration of the professorship.

“I am honored and very pleased by my selection as the Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics,” said Calhoun. “I look forward to helping promote programming that emphasizes the crucial significance of honor and integrity, values of particular importance to W&L.”

Calhoun joined the W&L Law faculty in 1978. He taught previously at the University of Wyoming and the University of Puget Sound. A highly-regarded teacher, Calhoun has twice been awarded with fellowships recognizing excellence in the classroom. In 2013, he spearheaded the W&L Law Review Symposium commemorating the fortieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Calhoun has also written about the role religion played in the beliefs and actions of Abraham Lincoln.

“Sam is uniquely well-suited to receive this honor,” said Brant Hellwig, Dean of the Law School. “Throughout his remarkable tenure of service to the Law School and the University, Sam has exemplified the traits the chaired professorship seeks to promote – ethics, honor, integrity, and honesty.”

Calhoun is currently wrapping up a three-year stint as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, where he spearheaded curricular initiatives, oversaw the staffing and scheduling of all law classes, served as the primary liaison between the faculty and dean of the law school, and coordinated preparation for the ABA’s fall 2015 reaccreditation inspection of the law school.

Prior to entering the legal academy, Calhoun was an associate with King & Spalding in Atlanta. He received his J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law and his B.A. from Harvard.

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