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Elon Law alumnus Daniel Watts L15Daniel Watts

Class of 2015

Undergrad:
Elon University

Current:
Law Clerk, Judge Robert N. Hunter, Jr.
North Carolina Court of Appeals
 

ELON LAW IN THREE WORDS:

“Daring, Dynamic, Encouraging”


AT ELON LAW:

Honors & Activities

Presidential Scholar; Leadership Fellow; Editor, Elon Law Review; Member, Moot Court Board; President and Co-Founder, N.C. Advocates for Justice, Elon chapter 

Experience

  • Full-time Legal Extern: Wake County District Attorney’s Office, Felony Drug Unit, Raleigh, N.C. - First extern to win a felony jury trial in Superior Court as lead counsel 
  • Legal Extern, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Appellate Division, Raleigh, N.C. 
  • Judicial Clerk, Sr. U.S. District Court Judge W. Earl Britt, Raleigh, N.C. 
  • Judicial Clerk, N.C. Business Court Chief Judge James L. Gale, Greensboro, N.C. 
  • Legal Intern, SAS Institute, Office of Ethics & Compliance Legal Counsel, Cary, N.C. 
  • Legal Intern, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Raleigh, N.C.
     

 

INSIGHTS:

On Elon Law:

“The culture here dares you to dream big and then it helps you connect the dots to actually make those dreams a reality.”

On the value of full-time law practice experience as an Elon Law student: 

“There’s a certain value in doing. You can sit in court all day and watch a thousands cases, you can assist and prepare with an attorney for a thousand cases, but there’s nothing like actually handing a case yourself.”

On the knowledge gained through real-world experiences while at Elon Law: 

“Knowledge of Fourth Amendment issues of searches and seizures, and just the general criminal process all the way from indictments to pre-trial motions to trial and even guarding against some issues on appeal. Anything related to criminal law or criminal procedure or even constitutional law was at play every single day. Ethics and professional responsibility too, and exercising discretion.”

On practical experiences accelerating learning in the Elon Law classroom:

“I clerked for Judge Britt, a senior status federal judge, in the Eastern District of North Carolina. I clerked for Judge Gale here in the law school at the Business Court. I worked at SAS Institute in Cary, North Carolina at their global head quarters, and I worked at the Eastern District U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh, writing appeals for the Fourth Circuit. All of those were tremendously advantageous to me as a student and as a young lawyer in that it provides a baseline to relate course work to. It makes you a better writer, it makes you a more effective researcher, and an analytical thinker for class. Drawing on those skill sets and being put under pressure for different projects in different offices for different bosses, I found made me a more agile young lawyer and certainly established more drive.”
 

INTERESTS & ACTIVITIES:

• Golf, college basketball, fly fishing, autobiographies, cultural documentaries