Hometown and Undergraduate School:
Atlanta, Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Campus Activities and Organizations:
Team member last year in the Philip C. Jessup moot court competition in international law. Campus chapter president of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, a national association of progressive lawyers and law students. Past secretary of the Public Interest Law Association.
Why did you choose to study law?
Since I was an undergraduate, I’ve been interested in development in Africa and pursued that fi as a career, returning to Atlanta from Rhode Island to work at The Carter Center. Later, the Center sent me to various assignments in West Africa, and when the post-conflict government of Liberia asked the Center for assistance in reforming its justice sector, the Center hired me to run its programs in southeast Liberia. Two-and-a-half years doing that caused me to be intrigued with the role that rule of law plays in fostering stable societies and sustainable development, which encouraged me to apply to law school.
What specific areas of law interest you most and why?
I am interested in corporate law and criminal prosecution. One of the things I liked about my job setting up legal clinics in rural West Africa was anticipating the problems that might arise as our employees tracked their cases or consulted with attorneys or mediated disputes with their clients. I worked at a law firm last summer and observed that corporate transactional work embodied some of the same characteristics, as it tries to solve problems on the front end. I enjoyed that more than sorting out disputes that could have been avoided through good planning.
I also enjoy my externship in criminal prosecution. When I made the decision to come to law school from Liberia, I promised myself that I would use the opportunity to gain a first-hand understanding of the ways that our legal system brings order – or confusion or disorder, as it may be – into people’s lives. I see all those things happening in criminal prosecution.
How would you most like to make an impact in your chosen field of law?
I would like to gain experience in transactional corporate law and work eventually either pro bono or as my career to assist developing-world governments in securing debt relief with their creditors or in their negotiations with multinational companies so that they get a fair deal when they contract for exploitation of their natural wealth. I am doing independent research at GSU with Professor Jack Williams on mining rights in Guinea.
What is your favorite thing about being in law school?
I enjoy any chance to gain practical experience: I enjoyed my Litigation class much more than I thought I would, and I enjoyed meeting clients in the Tax Clinic. I have chosen to take practical classes such as Advanced Legal Writing and Negotiation. And I am completing a graduate research assistant position with Professor Leslie Wolf that has exposed me to an entire array of skills and research methods that are not usually associated with a legal education.
If you could be invisible for a whole day, where would you go and why?
Whether visible or not, the place I most like to spend a day is somewhere in the woods off the Art Loeb Trail near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Western North Carolina.
What are your favorite attributes of Georgia State Tradition or the College of Law?
Many Georgia state students have initiative that I don’t recognize when I talk to my friends at other law schools. Many students here are interested in working for themselves after they graduate, and the faculty is working with students to teach the skills of lawyering and of the business of lawyering alongside the regular practice of law.
What advice would you give to incoming law students?
I would encourage them to choose a school that will not graduate them with too much debt.
Have you had an internship/externship or other legal work experience? Please describe briefly, if yes.
I am an extern in the federal prosecutor’s office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, where I write legal memos, draft indictments, and have questioned a police officer in my first appearance in court.
What is the best career preparation advice you’ve received from Career Services Office?
I have understood that it’s not realistic to expect the jobs to come to me, and Career Services never lets us forget the importance of networking and networking in smart ways.