May 4, 2009
Georgia State Law student Noelle Whitmire recently returned from an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where she was honored by the American College of Bankruptcy, which selected her as its Distinguished Law Student for the 11th Circuit.
"It was awesome, the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Whitmire, who was nominated for the award by Professor Jack Williams.
While in Washington, D.C., for the American College of Bankruptcy's annual meeting, Whitmire also attended several seminars in bankruptcy. The highlight of her trip was the award ceremony held at U.S. Supreme Court, where she met one of the writers of a case she had studied in a previous class.
“The discussions were very interesting," Whitmire said. "They had talks concerning things that are going on now — financial accounting and other topics.”
Whitmire (pictured above, third from left) received a plaque and motivation to continue with the rest of her program. She's looking forward to graduating May 8.
Whitmire, a native of Anderson, S.C., earned her undergraduate degree in business from Clemson University before taking a job in Georgia with Owens Corning. When she started at Owens Corning, the company was going through bankruptcy problems, and Whitmire was able to assist with that process. The company was able to pull itself out of bankruptcy seven years later.
Whitmire said she never would have gone back to school if it weren't for the part-time program at Georgia State. Following graduation, Whitmire will join the law firm of Jones Day, where she hopes to focus on mergers and acquisitions, as well as bankruptcy.
“It makes me motivated to know that there are so many great opportunities in the world,” she said. ”You can always use that motivation when you're studying hour after hour.”
As she prepares to graduate, Whitmire is studying for the bar exam, which she takes July 28. It's been a long four years, but it was worth it, said Whitmire, who has this advice for those students just starting down the path towards a law degree.
“Be focused and driven, be prepared to work hard.” Whitmire said, "If you do it pays off. There are so many things in life you put a lot of effort in to, but for this the opportunities are incredible.”
By Nicole Schimmel