Volunteer work and community involvement while in law school helped, Tyler Conklin, L’11, recognize the importance of giving back to society. As an appellate division public defender with the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, Conklin now has the opportunity to give back to his community on a daily basis.
“While at Elon I participated in several projects within the community such as Habitat for Humanity,” Conklin said. “Participation in these types of projects allowed me to fully appreciate the fact that there are people who need assistance in various facets of life. Often these people don’t have a voice, and attorneys are in a position to help them.”
As an appellate division public defender, Conklin spends most of his time appealing felony criminal convictions in the Georgie Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court.
“Strictly practicing appellate law is unique because the interpretation of the law is shaped by appellate courts. It’s interesting playing a role in cases that will have an impact on other cases in the future,” Conklin said. “Being able to advocate on behalf of a person who finds him or herself in a grave situation is very gratifying.”
Prior to attending law school, Conklin attended Clemson University, where he earned a degree in business management and information systems. While at Elon, he was a member of the Delta Theta Phi fraternity and was certified as a Volunteer Income Tax Assistant. Conklin worked as a summer associate for two summers at Chesney & Baskin, LLC in Lake Oconee, Ga. After law school he worked as a pro bono attorney with the Office of the Georgia Capital Defender where he assisted with all aspects of capital appeals.
Conklin advises students to take advantage of networking opportunities offered by Elon and to seek out opportunities to learn and meet people within the community.
“Take advantage of opportunities Elon provides outside of the classroom and network with preceptors, professors and Elon law alumni. In addition, take advantage of the local courts by going and watching court proceedings whenever you get a chance to observe how the legal system functions beyond what is contained in casebooks,” Conklin said. “During your job search, consider volunteering as a legal intern. That is the path that I took and it led to my current full time position.”