Faulk '01 Joins Admissions Office

October 14, 2009

Cordel Faulk is a politics buff, so it seems natural that his first interest in attending law school at the University of Virginia developed while writing his undergraduate thesis, when he counted up the number of governors in recent history who had attended.

Cordel Faulk
Cordel Faulk

Faulk, who graduated in 2001, is back at the Law School, this time as director of admissions.

"When I first got the job it seemed kind of scary because you really have someone's life in your hands, " he said. "Then I realized, we don't really admit anyone to the School of Law — you admit yourself."

Faulk joins a team including his classmates Jason Wu Trujillo '01, senior assistant dean for admissions and financial aid, and Jason Dugas '01, also director of admissions.

"Cordel will bring his wise judgment, his mentoring nature, and a love of people to this position — all desirable traits in a director of admissions, " Trujillo said. "I have known Cordel since we were students together and very much look forward to working with him in his new capacity."

As a law student, Faulk worked with former admissions and financial aid dean Jerry Stokes to recruit students across the country. He realized he enjoyed talking to prospective students about how to make themselves competitive applicants.

"For some reason the application process stuck very vividly in my mind, " Faulk said. "You really do have to go visit and meet the people, because the cultures are very important. Just because a school is highly ranked doesn't mean that's where you're going to fit in. Finding that right match was fascinating to me."

Although he was attracted to Virginia for its reputation in producing political leaders, Faulk attended because of the community spirit he found here.

"When I found out what the Law School is about, there was just nowhere else I wanted to go," he said.

Faulk clerked for federal Judge Henry C. Morgan Jr. of the Eastern District of Virginia after graduation, then became an associate at Baker Botts in Dallas, and later at Hunton & Williams in Washington, D.C. As an attorney he focused on intellectual property, trademark, copyright and trade regulation issues.

"IP was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the subject matter a lot, " he said.

But Faulk wanted to return to an academic environment. He began working at his undergraduate alma mater, Virginia Tech, in their University Honors Program as an adjunct professor, where he taught about Virginia politics, Supreme Court justices and the nature of power. He also advised pre-law students about the law school application process.

"That's what I enjoyed at Tech — helping kids walk through the process of 'These are the schools I'm going to apply to, ' and once you get your offers back, 'These are the schools I'm going to go to.'"

Most recently Faulk was director of communications for the University of Virginia Center for Politics, where he led the organization's communications efforts and served as a political analyst for the media.

He also wrote a monthly column for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Faulk said he enjoys analyzing political campaigns, which are more programmed than they appear.

"Everyone tries to do it in a way that looks spontaneous, and it's really a Kabuki dance, " he said. "Demystifying politics was really the best part of that job for me."

Faulk will now turn to demystifying the admissions process and educating applicants about the Law School.

"I hope to help applicants feel calm and in charge of the application process, " he said.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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