June 25, 2015
It didn’t take long for Tulane Law School graduates to start scattering across the country — and the globe — after receiving their degrees May 16. (Watch: Diploma Ceremony Video)
Their opportunities range from military lawyering to maritime work, from criminal defense in West Virginia to environmental enforcement in Kansas. They’ll start at law firms from London to Los Angeles. New jobs are taking Tulanians to Panama, Switzerland, India and Washington, D.C. At least 15 Class of 2015 members will start clerkships with federal and state judges in Louisiana, New Jersey, Maryland and elsewhere.
Victoria Reggie Kennedy (L ’79), attorney, corporate strategist and public policy advocate, urged students to channel their passion into finding “better answers to the challenges of our time.”
Photo by Candid Campus Photography
Before the graduates departed, Victoria Reggie Kennedy (L ’79), featured speaker at the law school’s Diploma Ceremony, urged them to use their Tulane-bred skills to find “better answers to the challenges of our time.”
Kennedy, an accomplished Washington attorney, also has used her legal training as a corporate strategist and advocate on issues affecting families and now is board president of the new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, a learning center dedicated to her late husband’s ideals.
“When you leave here, you’ll be on your way to great things,” she said.
“Whatever you do, I hope you hang on to the skills — and, most importantly, the passion — you’ve learned here. I hope you’ll throw yourselves into the great debates and challenges of our time. Your time.”
Tulane’s 226 May JD graduates included 14 students who earned dual degrees. Almost half the JD graduates added certificates in a legal specialty: 37 civil law, 26 maritime law, 22 sports law, 18 environmental law and nine international & comparative law.
Among graduate students, 58 received LLMs and 1 received an SJD. The Payson Center for International Development awarded 10 Master of Science degrees and one PhD.
Here’s a sampling of where members of the Class of 2015 have headed:
Carlene Service, celebrating with her year-old daughter, Marjorie Joy, has moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, to handle patent issues for an intellectual property firm representing Silicon Valley clients.
— Louisiana native Carlene Service moved with her husband and year-old daughter to Salt Lake City, Utah, to handle patent issues at an intellectual property firm representing Silicon Valley clients. As a child, Service said, she dreamed of being a singer, engineer and lawyer. She earned a computer engineering degree then worked as a patent examiner, where she was exposed to IP in copyrights, trademarks and patents. At Tulane Law, she took IP and technology-law courses and completed an externship at the New Orleans BioInnovation Center. "The personal aspirations I wrote in my journal as a child came to life through law school," she said. "I am finally able to see that in the world of intellectual property, the industries of music, engineering and law actually meet. My dreams were not so outlandish after all."
Kelly Haupt (far right), a U.S. Coast Guard officer, will undergo military justice training in Rhode Island then post to San Diego with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
— After taking the bar exam in Florida, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Kelly Haupt will go through training at the Naval Justice School in Rhode Island then post to San Diego with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. A Coast Guard Academy graduate, she spent five years on active duty before attending Tulane, including three years handling counterintelligence work. As a JAG lawyer, she’ll initially work with the Navy, representing clients facing court martial.
— Aaron Ryan is set to work as a public defender in Charleston, West Virginia, putting into practice what he called “invaluable experience” gained through Tulane’s Criminal Litigation Clinic. “When you do criminal defense, you’re often representing people who have never had anybody willing to listen to them, show them respect or fight for them,” he said. “Indigent clients don’t have the resources to make sure that their rights are protected, so it’s important that they have somebody to do that for them.”
— Another clinic veteran, Demetrius Sumner, who also was moot court chief justice, will join the Philadelphia County District Attorney’s Office in Pennsylvania. Sumner, who grew up with two brothers in a single-parent household, said criminal law gives him “the opportunity to positively impact the lives of youth and adults.” And, he said, he believes he can assist defendants as well as victims and the community as a prosecutor who “pursues only what he believes is fair and just under the circumstances.”
— Bailey Wilson, who grew up surfing in San Diego, returns to England for capital markets work at Latham & Watkins’ London office. She first tackled capital markets during a clerkship in that office in summer 2014 and said that because she had taken Professor Onnig Dombalagian’s Securities Regulation class, she was “able to walk into Latham and understand the big picture of my job on day one.” Tulane courses in corporate finance, bankruptcy and European Union business law also provided “stellar” preparation, she said.
Sarah Faris, a former chef set to work in commercial litigation at Phelps Dunbar, captures commencement day memories with her parents, Kheria and Sadeg Faris.
— Anne Lewis is taking her fluency in French to Hyderabad, India, to work on a document-review project for a French financial company through QuisLex, which also has offices in New York and Chicago. Lewis transferred to Tulane after studying in the law school’s Siena, Italy, summer program that focuses on international law, cultural heritage and the arts and gives students a chance to work with the Cambodian government on artifact preservation. A student comment she wrote for the Tulane Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property has been selected for inclusion in the 2015 edition of the Entertainment, Publishing and the Arts Handbook, an anthology published annually by Thomson Reuters (West).
Uzbekistan LLM Igor Pak (right), who shared Thanksgiving dinner with Professor Oliver Houck, is researching international water law issues at World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C., through an Edmund S. Muskie Internship.
Photo courtesy of Igor Pak
— David Freedman came to Tulane after serving in the Peace Corps in Morocco and opted to stay in New Orleans after graduation. He received a certificate in maritime law in addition to his JD and will join Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert, a firm of more than 50 attorneys with a wide-ranging practice, from business law to personal injury defense to environmental and natural resources law. As Freedman put it, “a firm in New Orleans — with the city’s music, food and culture — what more could a person ask for?”
— Uzbekistan lawyer Igor Pak, who received a Master’s in Energy and Environmental Law, was selected for the State Department-supported Edmund S. Muskie Internship Program and now is researching issues involving international water law at World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. Fellow Fulbright Scholar and LLM graduate Sharaf Asgarova of Azerbaijan is working at the Alliance for Affordable Energy in New Orleans through the Muskie program. While Professors Oliver Houck and Gunther Handl assisted Pak in securing the World Bank position, he said he strongly believes that it was “with the help of God that I got this internship.” Pak called his year at Tulane “a wonderful experience” during which he made friends from many countries. “And New Orleans is a beautiful city to study and live in,” he said. “I feel honored to be part of the Tulane Law School.”