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Professionalism conference helps inform Elon Law students 

Chief Judge Linda McGee and Professor Olympia Duhart of Nova Southeastern University were among the legal voices who spoke at Elon University School of Law in April for a symposium on professionalism and intercultural engagement.

Chief Judge Linda McGee of the North Carolina Court of Appeals

Tiffany Atkins L'11 (left) was recognized April 7 for her public interest legal work. Meghan Smith L'17 presented the award.
Professor Olympia Duhart and Jocelyne Riehl L'16
By Leah Britt L'17

The chief judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals visited Elon University School of Law this month where she encouraged students to constantly meet new people and get involved with professional activities throughout their legal careers.

Chief Judge Linda McGee shared her advice with current students in an April 7 forum moderated by Rachel Blunk, president of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys.

The forum preceded a "Women in the Profession" dinner co-sponsored by theWomen's Law Association and the Black Law Students Association, the kickoff event to a four-day symposium on professionalism and intercutural engagement hosted by Elon University School of Law and the Society of American Law Teachers.

McGee has served on the Court of Appeals for 20 years. Prior to her appointment, she worked with a private practice in Boone, North Carolina.

“You need to be involved, but not too involved. Your work and primary focus has got to be what you are learning," McGee advised current students. "That is what you’re going to use from now on.” She discussed how lucky law students are to have their education, and giving back is necessary for everyone.

At the dinner, Tiffany Atkins L'11 received recognition for her public interest legal work. Atkins offered attendees three pieces of advice:

  • Get involved with public interest if the opportunity presents itself.
  • Be a champion of diversity. 
  • Pursue your purpose.

Atkins explained the importance of diversity and the hardships she has overcome as a female African American attorney. She is currently working at Legal Aid of North Carolina where she focuses on education, family law, public housing, and employment law in various counties in North Carolina. She has worked at Legal Aid since her graduation from Elon Law in 2011.

Professor Olympia Duhart from the Shepard Broad College of Law at Nova Southeastern University in Florida was the dinner's keynote speaker. Duhart previously worked for the Miami Herald and as a high school English teacher.

She encouraged students to forge meaningful relationships in their legal profession, take risks, have resilience, and take time to reflect. She credited her success to her aunt who help raised her, and reminded everyone not to forget from where they came.

The four-day symposium was sponsored by the Elon Law Council on Professionalism & Intercultural Engagement; the Office of Career & Student Development; the Office of Alumni Relations; the Society of American Law Teachers; the Black Law Students Association; OutLaw; and the Women's Law Association.

Blakeney Brown L'16 helped to coordinate various programs in coordination with Associate Dean Faith Rivers James, who oversaw Brown's Leadership Fellows project.


Eric Townsend,
4/9/2016 6:10 PM