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Career Paths: Stefani Evans ’19L

Stefani Evans was born in Kingston, Jamaica and graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish. After graduation, she worked for Wells Fargo Bank in the Greater Philadelphia area. While at W&L, she represented inmates seeking parole through the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse Clinic (VC3). She actively participated in W&L campus life as a member of the Black Law Student Association (BLSA), the Public Interest Law Student Association (PILSA), and the Student Coalition for Campus Change. 

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

I will be clerking for Judge Steven S. Smith on the Thirty-First Judicial Circuit Court of Virginia. After I complete my clerkship, I plan to work in criminal defense either at a Public Defenders Office or at a firm.

Did you know coming into law school that you wanted to clerk?

No, initially I wanted to work as a Public Defender. But after my second year of law school, I interned at the Public Defenders Officer in Fairfax and spoke to several attorneys who told me about the advantages of clerking.

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

In my first year at law school, a W&L alumnus recommended that I apply to a one-week intensive criminal trial skills program at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. I applied and got accepted. During spring break of my first year I participated in this grueling one-week program, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

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

In addition to my 1L writing seminars, I enrolled in a couple elective writing classes in my 2L year that helped to improve my writing skills. Currently I am taking Virginia Law and Procedure, which has given me a practical understanding of Virginia’s procedural laws.

Can you describe your job search process?

First, I visited W&L’s Office of Career Strategy to find out about the available circuit court clerkships in Northern Virginia. The staff was very helpful and provided a list of upcoming clerkships that would be available on SCORE, our jobs database. I applied to a few clerkships in Northern Virginia and went for interviews. Within a few weeks Judge Steven S. Smith reached out to me and offered me the position.

What are you most looking forward to about working at this job?

I am looking forward to the variety of experiences that a trial court has to offer: attending oral arguments, hearings and trials, conducting settlement conferences, and assisting the judge. Overall, I am looking forward to learning as much as I can from the experience.