Meet the Graduates - Class of 2010

Students Jessica Childress Serge Martyn Grace Huang Chris Brown Jose Masini

Meet the Graduates
Members of the Class of 2010 talk about their experiences at Virginia Law.

Hometown:  Midlothian, Va.

Who I was then: I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2007, receiving a bachelor’s degree in government and African-American and African Studies. As an undergraduate, I was a counselor on the University Judiciary Committee, an advisor for the Office of African-American Affair’s Peer Advisor Program and a member of the University of Virginia’s Raven Society. Coming to the Law School, I had no idea what to expect, but I knew that I loved the idea of practicing law and that I wanted to use my law degree for the betterment of my community. 

Amazing law school class: My favorite law school class has been the Child Advocacy Clinic. Clinics are an excellent way to gain practical legal experience while also making a difference in the community. In the Child Advocacy Clinic, students have the opportunity to work on interesting and challenging issues in education law and juvenile justice. Using legal skills for the good of others is one of the most rewarding feelings a person in this profession can have. UVA clinics give students the chance to do great legal work early on in their careers.

Outside class: [As a third-year law student], I was a representative on the Student Bar Association, serving as the Law School’s Student Council representative. I was also a national board member of the Black Law Students Association. Additionally, I was an editorial board member of the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, a member of Virginia Law Women, and a member of UVA’s chapter of the Black Law Students Association.
Noteworthy summer job: The summer after my first year of law school, I worked for the law firm Perkins Coie in Seattle, Wash. This was my first time living outside of the Mid-Atlantic region, so my summer was filled with chances to both learn about the law and discover a new part of the country.  
Resume lowdown: I will be clerking for federal district judge Alexander Williams Jr. in Greenbelt, Md.

Who I am now: I cannot believe that seven years in Charlottesville have already passed. I have had wonderful experiences as an undergraduate student and a law student, and I will always reflect fondly on my time at UVA. Leaving the Law School, I have a better understanding of how I will use the law to make a positive societal impact. 

What you should know about Virginia Law: Virginia Law is the most fantastic place that you could consider studying the law. It is no surprise that whenever I speak to UVA Law alumni, they always smile and reflect nostalgically on their time at UVA. Any UVA Law School student or alumnus can attest to the inviting and intellectually stimulating environment that this law school offers. One rarely finds such a combination, and I have been fortunate to have spent three great years in a place where the students and faculty work hard to maintain a collegial community. 


Hometown: Odessa, Ukraine

Who I was then: B.A. in economics and philosophy from the University of Arizona. I immigrated to the United States with my parents when I was 12, and lived in Tucson, Ariz., until moving to Charlottesville. I went straight through undergrad to law school.

Amazing law school class: I really enjoyed “Survey of Intellectual Property” with Professor Dotan Oliar. Professor Oliar continuously challenged us to think beyond the black letter law and to craft creative legal arguments.

Outside class: Hiking the numerous beautiful Virginia trails. Exercising. Swimming. Editor of the Virginia Law Review.

Noteworthy summer job: Spending part of my summer in the London office of my firm, Davis Polk. It was an incredible experience to live in England and to learn about the kind of work American firms perform abroad and to work on some corporate deals that I would later read about in the newspapers.

Resume lowdown: I spent my 1L summer working for Professor Oliar. It was really fun to spend a few months in sunny Charlottesville and relax with my friends.

Who I am now: I will be clerking for Judge Carlos T. Bea on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. After that, I plan on coming back to Davis Polk in New York City.

What you should know about Virginia Law: Virginia Law is an incredible law school that can open numerous career opportunities for you. Whether you aspire to work in private sector, for the government or in academia, Virginia Law will aid you in achieving your dreams. Before coming to the Virginia Law, I never expected to have such an incredible job with one of the best law firms in New York or to have a clerkship in one of the most sought-after courts in the country. Virginia Law has helped me achieve all of my career goals and I will be forever grateful to the Law School for this. 


Hometown:  Virginia Beach, Va.

Who I was then: I grew up in Virginia Beach, and went through the public school system. I studied cello and pursued tennis and was active in student government as well. I attended Princeton University, where I majored in politics with a concentration in international relations and a minor in East Asian studies. I began to use my summers and extracurricular activities to figure out what type of career might interest me. I did policy research one summer, worked in legal aid for another summer and applied to social work positions after college as well. I ultimately found that law was the best fit, and instead of taking a year off, I went directly to UVA after Princeton. Coming back to Virginia was an easy and clear choice for me.

Amazing law school class: While not exactly fields of law that I find the most interesting, Evidence and Civil Procedure were probably my favorite law school classes — mainly because of the dynamic teaching style of Professor [Greg] Mitchell

Outside class: Trying out the amazing restaurants in Charlottesville — favorite is Continental Divide; member of Trinity Presbyterian Church; Law Christian Fellowship.

Noteworthy summer job: After 1L year, I split a summer between being a summer associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and an extern for Judge David H. Coar, Northern District of Illinois. After 2L year, I worked as a summer associate for Covington & Burling.

Resume lowdown: Managing board for the Virginia Law Review; clerking on the Seventh Circuit for Judge Kenneth Ripple.

What you should know about Virginia Law: Spend time getting to know the people around you at UVA — whether in your classes, administrative staff or your professors. I have found that people take a genuine interest and are eager to help when possible. Also, Charlottesville is a great location — take advantage of the events happening around town and the restaurants in the area, and enjoy the nature here. Legal education is a means to an end, but enjoy the process as much as you can!


Hometown:  Portland, Ore.

Who I was then: 
A.B. in economics from the University of Chicago.

Amazing law school class:  Civil Procedure with Caleb Nelson. Most people wouldn't place Civ Pro among their favorite law school memories, but take any class from Professor Nelson, and you will learn. Oh, will you learn.

Outside class: 
Lile Moot Court Competition (made it as far as the quarterfinal round); managing board of the Virginia Law Review; John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics; pro bono work for the Veteran's Legal Advocacy Program; poll watching in the 2008 and 2009 elections for the nonpartisan Election Protection Coalition; and helping to organize an international law panel for the Conference on Public Service and the Law during my 1L year. When I have the time, I also love hiking and camping in Shenandoah National Park.

Noteworthy summer job:  I interned with a federal district court judge in Alexandria, Virginia the summer after my 1L year. Watching cases being argued by real attorneys, day after day, brought to life everything I had learned in the basic 1L curriculum, from Civil Procedure to Contracts. On top of that, the opportunity to be mentored one-on-one by a federal judge was invaluable beyond description.

Resume lowdown:  Interned for Judge T.S. Ellis in the Eastern District of Virginia after my 1L year, and then worked for the Washington, D.C., office of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton after my 2L year.

Who I am now: 
I'll be clerking next year for Judge Karen Henderson in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

What you should know about Virginia Law:  Don't let the bucolic environs deceive you; if you come to UVA, you'll meet world-class faculty and some of the most brilliant and interesting law students anywhere. And — speaking as a city person myself — Charlottesville is really a lovely place to spend three years.


Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Who I was then: B.A. in history, Harvard University.  Between college and law school I worked as a high school history teacher at a Boston inner-city school. I also worked as a life coach back in San Juan and traveled abroad. 

Amazing law school class: The Criminal Defense Clinic. There is just no substitute for representing real clients in a court of law.

Outside class: I was a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), investigating cases of child abuse and neglect in Charlottesville/Albemarle County and presenting my recommendations to the local Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. I also presided over the Latin American Law Organization (LALO) and was one of the Extramural Moot Court team captains. 

Noteworthy summer job: Legal Aid Justice Center, 1L summer.  It reaffirmed how much I enjoy doing a job where I can see the immediate social impact on the people I represent.

Resume lowdown: My 2L summer I split my time between Morgan, Lewis in Philadelphia and the Federal Defender Capital Habeas Unit (also in Philadelphia). 

Who I am now: In August [2010] I will begin work as a field attorney for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Baltimore. 

What you should know about Virginia Law:You never imagined law school could be so much work, and so much fun. 

Meet the Graduates: Class of 2009