DUKE KovichSTUDENT: Jana Kovich

LAW SCHOOL: Duke University School of Law

STATUS: 3L (Class of 2015)

UNDERGRADUATE: B.S., Public Affairs, Public Policy Analysis; University of Indiana, Bloomington

OTHER DEGREE: LL.M. in International & Comparative Law, Duke Law

HOMETOWN: Schererville, Indiana

For Jana Kovich, a 3L at Duke University School of Law, successfully tackling public policy issues is a matter of scale. Studying public affairs and public policy analysis as an undergraduate at the University of Indiana-Bloomington, she said that she often found the issues at hand too large to fully comprehend or decisively resolve.

“You could fashion legislation or regulations to fix one aspect and the issue would break apart somewhere else,” Kovich said in a telephone interview. “I felt so overwhelmed by the complexity of each problem and the realization that there were no perfect solutions — there weren’t even reasonably comprehensive solutions.”

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STUDENT: Beatrice BarenboimNYLAw Beatrice Barenboim

LAW SCHOOL: New York Law School

STATUS: First-year student in new two-year J.D. Honors Program

UNDERGRADUATE: B.A. in Economics (Minor in Spanish), New York University — College of Arts and Sciences

OTHER GRADUATE DEGREE: M.B.A in Finance and Management, New York University – Stern School of Business

HOME: New York City

The law has long beckoned to Beatrice Barenboim, but business has, until recently, intervened. Law is what I always wanted to do since I was a kid,”  Barenboim, a  student in New York Law School’s new two-year, J.D. honors program, said in a telephone interview. She loves the critical thinking, the logic and debate aspects of lawyering as well as the prospect of working with and for people.

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Student: Amanda Michelle SanchezPEPPERDINE SANCHEZ

Law School: Pepperdine University School of Law

Status: 3L, Juris Doctor candidate, 2015; Master’s in Dispute Resolution candidate, 2015; Certificate in Criminal Legal Practice candidate, 2015

Undergraduate: Pepperdine University

Home: La Palma, California

When you ask Amanda Michelle Sanchez about the transformative experiences in her life, she talks about having an autistic brother and attending Pepperdine University School of Law.

“I grew up watching my mother and father often having to navigate the special education and disability law fields on their own, trying to obtain the legal services to which my brother was entitled,” Sanchez, a 3L, said in e-mails and a telephone interview.

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STUDENT: Prad A. GeorgesU AKRON Prad

LAW SCHOOL: The University of Akron School of Law


UNDERGRADUATE: B.A., Theology/French/Spanish Literature, Minor in Psychology, Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama

OTHER DEGREE: Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy, Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale

HOME CITY/STATE: Miami and Orlando, Florida

Prad A. Georges, a 3L in the JD-MBA program at the University of Akron School of Law, has come full circle personally and professionally. In his former career as a therapist, he saw that he could give his clients better lives if he were able to help improve local economies. Now he says he has the law and business skills to do that.

“Working as a marriage-family therapist for several nonprofits, working alongside lawyers in family court, I was counseling people at the lower middle-to-bottom end of the socioeconomic scale,” Georges said. “That’s when I realized that the poor state of local businesses and entrepreneurship was the underlying cause of so much financial distress. I knew, too, that with a law degree and an MBA, I could help these families and their communities turn their situations around.” Continue reading



LAW SCHOOL: Pepperdine University School of Law


UNDERGRADUATE: Illinois State University, B.S. in Finance

HOME CITY/STATE OR COUNTRY: Bloomingdale, Illinois

Scott Sasser’s service in the U.S. Marine Corps became the key to finding a school that would prepare him for a career as a California attorney. Sasser, a 3L at Pepperdine University School of Law, joined the Marines out of a sense of duty to country as well as an obligation to himself.

“I’d grown up in the Chicago suburbs and wasn’t ready to settle into a desk job in my hometown,” he said in an e-mail and telephone interview. “I wanted a challenge.”

As a junior public affairs officer, he wanted initially to stay in the U.S., preferably on the West Coast. The Corps had other ideas. After nearly a year of training in Virginia and Maryland, Sasser was assigned to Okinawa, Japan. While there, he deployed on civil-military operations missions to both the Philippines and Thailand, and one training mission to mainland Japan. He then completed an operational combat deployment to Afghanistan, where he served as a Tactical Psychological Operations Team Leader.

“I describe it as the ‘best worst’ experience of my life,” he said. “We could see the difference we were making there. It also gave me a healthier perspective on life, on what’s important, and on what situations are actually worth getting stressed about.”  Continue reading



LAW SCHOOL: Indiana University McKinney School of Law; Indianapolis, Indiana

STATUS: LL.M. full time, American Law for Foreign Lawyers, graduating May 2015

LAW DEGREE: LL.B., Mackenzie Presbyterian University; Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2003

OTHER DEGREES: LL.M., Corporate and Contract Law, Mackenzie Presbyterian University, 2008


It was Fernanda Beraldi’s career as an in-house counsel at aircraft-maker Embraer SA that led her to  Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where she’s earning an LL.M.

Beraldi, who knew she wanted a master’s degree in U.S. law, had narrowed her search to Chicago and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Then a year ago in February, she came to Indianapolis to meet with a client about the sale of a pre-owned airplane.

“I was very impressed with the lawyers with whom I had to work,” she said in a telephone interview. “They were smart, professional and cooperative while at the same time advocating for their client. They weren’t trying to batter us into submission, but rather with every word were clearly trying to get a fair deal done.”

It turns out that not only were they all Indiana lawyers, but they all had attended the McKinney School of Law. Continue reading


Student Name: Michael TiptonUAKRON Tipton

Law School: University of Akron School of Law

Status: 3L

Undergraduate: B.A.; Religion and Business Management; Ohio Christian University

Other Degrees: Master of Divinity, Wesley Biblical Seminary

Home City/State: Circleville, Ohio

Finding the right fit is how Michael Tipton, a 3L at the University of Akron School of Law in Ohio, describes his first years working at a nonprofit.

“I really liked where I was – executive director of Project SPY, which provides emergency home repairs to families in need in southwest Virginia,” Tipton said in a telephone interview. “But I saw how attorneys could both protect us as needed and improve our effectiveness.” Continue reading



LAW SCHOOL: William Mitchell College of Law

STATUS: 1L, Part-time ABA-approved hybrid (online-on campus) program

UNDERGRADUATE: B.A., Social Science Studies, cum laude, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

OTHER DEGREE: Graduate coursework in History, Sam Houston State University; TESOL (Teaching English as a Second or Other Language), St. Cloud State University.

HOME CITY/STATE: Currently in Twin Falls, Idaho; originally from Phoenix, Arizona.

Living outside the U.S. left Colby Jones and his wife, Melissa, with a unique appreciation for the challenges faced by immigrants inside the U.S.

Now, even though they’re no longer abroad, the experience continues to wield an influence. Colby Jones plans to use the law degree he’s obtaining in a singular online-on campus degree program at William Mitchell College of Law to provide community legal training that empowers immigrants and refugees. Continue reading


NORTHEASTERN AdamsStudent: Hannah Adams

Law School: Northeastern University School of Law

Status: 3L

Undergraduate: Vassar College, B.A. in Drama and Art History

Home City/State: From Boston, Massachusetts; living in New Orleans, Louisiana 

The ability to think creatively, work cooperatively and use theater as a tool for social change is what drew Hannah Adams, a 3L at Northeastern University School of Law, into the world of stage production and lighting design as an undergraduate. After five years helping with fair housing enforcement in New Orleans, the ability to think creatively, work cooperatively and use law as a tool for social change is what convinced her to pursue a legal career and starting at a school known for its commitment to and connections in public interest law.

What she didn’t expect was the profound effect of a clinic unique to Northeastern, one based on the principle that justice delayed 70 years or more is justice denied to many generations of a family. Continue reading


Student: Kate DewanSt. Mary's School of Law

Law School: St. Mary’s University School of Law

Status: 3L

Undergraduate: B.A. in Marketing, Southern Methodist University

Other Degrees: Studied abroad at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. Concentration: International Marketing & Management. Studied abroad at University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain. Concentration: Intensive Spanish language training, incorporating conversation, grammar and culture.

Home City/State: Austin, Texas

Kate Dewan was all business – literally and figuratively – when it came to choosing law as a career and the law school that would launch it. The 3L at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas had geared herself over the years for the jobs in marketing she thought she would enjoy and at which she knew she’d do well.

And the jobs did come; the enjoyment did not. “I wasn’t using all my brainpower; I didn’t have to challenge myself,” Dewan said in a telephone interview. “I needed something more.” Continue reading