Alumni highlight strengths of Elon Law
Seven Elon Law alumni who are excelling as attorneys in law and consulting firms, corporations and government agencies offer reflections on valuable aspects of their legal education, including the school’s small class sizes, students’ close relationships with faculty, the scope of professional networking opportunities offered at Elon and the law school’s emphasis on trial advocacy and communication skills development. Insights from these alumni are featured below in four videos.
The seven alumni featured are pictured clockwise from top left: Jason Burton L’11, associate attorney with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP in Raleigh, NC; Samantha Gilman '08, L’11, research consultant for The Lewin Group in Washington, DC; David Morrow '07, L’10, regulatory attorney at BuckleySandler LLP in Washington, DC; Annie Nastasi '07, L’10, compliance manager in the Office of the Chief Compliance Officer at American Express in New York, NY; Ashley Shelton '07, L’10, staff attorney at Clark Construction Group, LLC in Bethesda, MD; Leslie Lasher '06, L’09, associate attorney with Teague, Campbell, Dennis & Gorham in Raleigh, NC; and, Nicole Patterson L’10, labor and employee relations specialist at the Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Rockville, MD.
Alumni credit skills development at Elon Law for professional successes
In the video below, Elon Law alumni connect the law school's emphasis on practice-based learning and its focus on communication and trial advocacy skills development with their early successes in the legal profession. Elon’s small class sizes allow students to receive prompt and personalized feedback on both writing and oral advocacy skills. Elon’s Leadership Program emphasizes group-work and gives students an opportunity to work with peers to analyze and interpret practical legal issues. Elon’s litigation classes, because of the small class sizes and faculty expertise, allow students to work through trial situations in a realistic manner with practical and incisive insights from faculty and peers.
“Looking back, the trial advocacy program at Elon over-prepared me above and beyond what I could have expected, especially knowing what I know now. Being here [in practice] and having the opportunity to really do the research, do all of the writing and then go make it happen in the courtroom, as some of my professors would have told me, really brings it full circle, lets me really trust that I was getting an amazing education.”
Preceptor Program bridges gap between studying and practicing law
Elon Law’s Preceptor Program pairs students up with local attorneys early in their first year, providing a professional resource for career goal setting and advice. Preceptors serve as mentors who provide insights about how to succeed in law school and how course content applies to various facets of law that students may be interested in practicing. Additionally, Preceptors draw from their legal networks to introduce students to other attorneys, expanding the breadth of advice and insight available to students about particular areas of law and pathways to success.
“Being paired up with somebody from day one in the practicing legal community helps you, as a student, bridge the gap between the black letter law that you learn in law school and the application of that law in the practice of law. It was nice to be able to call on my preceptor and say ‘tell me how this relates to what I am going to be doing in the future,’ and they were able to do that and it was really a beneficial experience for me.”
Elon Law gives graduates the ability to excel in alternative legal careers
Elon Law provides students with the fundamental knowledge and skill needed to practice law in exemplary fashion, while also preparing students for professional positions outside of traditional law practice. Elon’s Leadership Program offers Elon Law alumni a foundation to apply collaborative and leadership skills that they developed in law school to related fields. Alumni examples of alternative careers include working as compliance officers for corporations, interpreting federal administrative law for states, consulting financial businesses and managing non-profit organizations.
“Elon Law taught me not only how to be a lawyer, but how to expand my leadership skills, as well as skills such as public speaking, networking and negotiating my own future. Elon made clear that I could chart my own path and that a legal career did not have to be boilerplate in one area of law or another.”
Elon Law alumni’s presence is growing in Washington, D.C.
The nation’s capital is an increasingly popular choice for Elon Law alumni. Elon Law’s Alumni Association in Washington D.C. presents future graduates with great opportunities for positive networking and mentorships in many facets of law. Current Elon Law alumni in D.C. offer their support and advice regularly to current students. Future alumni spotlight videos will feature growing alumni communities in other cities and states.
“One of the reasons I really love Washington, DC is because of the alumni network. I think outside of North Carolina, this is the largest alumni chapter. That includes undergraduate alumni, their parents, friends of Elon, and law students and graduate students. It’s a very, very good network.”