Meet the 2017-18 Kirgis Fellows
Kirgis Fellows Program
The Kirgis Fellow program is a mentoring program designed to assist first-year and transfer students with the adjustment to law school by providing guidance and advice about academics, the job search process, and life in Lexington. The Kirgis Fellows are upper-level law students who mentor a first-year, small-section class, with two Kirgis Fellows, one male and one female, assigned to each small section. Transfer students also have Kirgis Fellows, which include both former transfer students as well as second-year students.
Kirgis Fellows play a large role during Orientation and share their perspective as experienced students throughout the year. Over the course of regular meetings, Kirgis Fellows meet with first-year students to discuss study strategies, summer jobs, law school exams, coping with the stress of law school, and the traditions that make W&L Law unique. In addition, Kirgis Fellows are available throughout the year to answer questions and to provide support to first-year students. Students are encouraged to keep in touch with their Kirgis Fellows and ask for help and advice as they encounter questions and challenges during their first year of law school.
Kirgis Orientation Handout (PDF File)
The goals for the different phases of the Kirgis Fellow program are as follows:
- Understand the role of your Kirgis Fellows
- Understand the basic structure of the US legal system
- Understand the court hierarchy for the Virginia legal system
- Understand the court hierarchy for the Federal legal system
- Understand your learning style/preference
- Understand the implications of your learning style/preference
- Learn and practice how to read a case
- Learn and practice how to brief a case
- Understand how to prepare for a law school class
- Understand the Socratic Method
- Understand how to effectively engage in classroom discussion
- Understand how to effectively manage law school-related stress
- Get to know the other students in your small section as well as your larger class
- Develop a class-wide statement of professionalism
- Understand the resources (Academic, Health, Extracurricular) available to W&L students
- Learn about Lexington and the surrounding area
First Semester Goals
- Understand how to navigate and to succeed during the first weeks of law school
- Understand how to approach and to interact with professors
- Understand how to synthesize notes
- Understand how to make an effective outline/to organize course material
- Prepare a professional resume
- Prepare a professional cover letter
- Understand how to conduct a professional job search
- Understand how to effectively manage law school-related stress
- Learn how to utilize and to manage time effectively in law school
- Understand how to approach, to prepare for and to take law school exams
Second Semester Goals
- Understand the journal write-on and moot court processes
- Learn about the MPRE
- Feel confident about selecting classes for your second-year of law school
- Build a relationship with a professor/recommender
Head Kirgis Fellow
Kendall Manning is a rising third-year law student from Norfolk, Massachusetts. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 2015 and came straight through to Washington & Lee University School of Law. While at UD, Kendall studied English, with a concentration in Professional Writing. She served as Treasurer of Students for Haiti and traveled twice to Haiti through that organization. Kendall also served as a Volunteer Coordinator forthe Student Association for Young Children and was a member of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society. During her senior year, Kendall studied abroad in South Africa. While there, she studied the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its relationship to crime in the country.
At Washington & Lee, Kendall is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Society and the Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society. She is also a member of the Women's Law Students Organization and the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. She serves as the Symposium Editor for the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice. Kendall has worked as a Research Assistant for Professors Michelle Drumbland David Baluarte. She enjoys reading, and volunteers as a reading tutor for the local library's Youth Literacy Program.
During her 1L summer, Kendall worked at the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office in Brockton, MA. She is spending her 2L summer in Charlotte, working as a Summer Associate at McGuireWoods, LLP. When she returns to W&L in the fall, Kendall will work in the Immigrant Rights Clinic. In the spring, Kendall will travel to Tanzania as a participant in the International Human Rights Practicum.
Head Kirgis Fellow
Katie Sheild is a rising third-year law student from Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014, where she majored in Spanish and International Studies, and minored in Women's Studies. While at UNC, Katie was an ESL tutor, a mentor to exchange students through UNC EASE, a study abroad peer advisor, and a small group leader in a campus ministry group. She studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador at La Universidad San Francisco de Quito. Following graduation in 2014, Katie interned at Gibbs Houston Pauw, an immigration law firm in Seattle, WA. She then got a TEFL Certificate in Barcelona, Spain and taught English lessons there. During the summer before law school, she taught ESL and a Citizenship Test Prep Class at International House, a non-profit organization in Charlotte.
During her 1L summer, Katie interned at Ayuda, a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. that provides legal representation to individuals in deportation proceedings and those applying for immigration relief. She also worked as a contract intern on an asylum case for the firm, Henson Pachuta & Kammerman in Fairfax, VA. She spent her 2L summer down in Texas at the Houston Immigration Court, where she has a position through the Summer Law Intern Program in the U.S. Department of Justice.
In addition to being a Head Kirgis Fellow, Katie is a Lead Articles Editor for the German Law Journal, a Hearing Advisor, a Research Assistant, and the Treasurer and 3L Representative for the Transnational Law Institute-Student Anti-Corruption Consortium. She is also an active member of the Women's Law Students Organization, the Christian Legal Society, and Phi Alpha Delta, and serves as the Historian for Phi Delta Phi. Katie enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her family, and watching Tar Heel basketball.
Matt Bass is a second-year law student from Mahopac, NY. He came straight through to W&L after graduating from the University of Delaware in 2016 with degrees in Economics and History, and a minor in Advertising. While at UD, Matt was a pitcher for the UD Club Baseball Team and Treasurer of Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society.
During his 1L summer, Matt served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Vincent L. Briccetti of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in White Plains, NY, and a research assistant to Professor Moliterno. In addition to being a Kirgis Fellow, Matt is a Sports Czar, Hearing Advisor, staffwriter for the Washington and Lee Law Review, Junior Editor for the German Law Journal, and the Auction Chair of Phi Alpha Delta. In his free time, Matt enjoys playing golf, grabbing a meal with friends, watching the Patriots win Super Bowls, and playing in the weekly law school pickup basketball game.
Cara Brown is a second year student from Fort Mill, South Carolina. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio in the fall of 2015 with a double major in Psychology and Cognitive Science. While at CWRU, she was a research assistant in the department of organizational behavior and an executive member of the Academic Integrity Board.
Before law school, Cara worked as an office assistant and receptionist at a boutique tax and financial planning firm in Fort Mill, South Carolina. During her 1L summer, Cara interned at Berger & Kindberg Law, PA in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Aside from her role as a Kirgis Fellow, Cara serves as a Hearing Advisor. She chose W&L for it's close community and proximity to the Virginia mountains. Outside academia, Cara spends her time outdoors, cooking and wishing she had a puppy.
Hugh Brown is a second-year law student from Roanoke, VA. Hugh graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 with a degree in Psychology. While a student at Virginia Tech, Hugh was a Volunteer Note Taker for Services for Students with Disabilities, a member of the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, and a talented bartender.
Before law school, Hugh interned for the Investment Adviser Association in Washington, D.C., and worked in an investment management firm.
Kelly Cunningham is a second year student from Newnan, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2016 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in English. While at UGA, Kelly worked in juvenile court as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for Children. In this role, she advocated for children in the foster care system, ensuring that their best interests were represented at permanency hearings. Kelly also interned with the law firm Hall Booth Smith in Atlanta and wrote for the sports section of her school's newspaper.
During her 1L summer, Kelly worked with Colorado State Public Defenders. At W&L, Kelly is a research assistant, vice chair of Pro Bono Club, and a staffwriter for the Washington and Lee Law Review. Outside of school, Kelly loves reading, eating good, watching football, and playing with her dog, Athena.
Michael DiBiagio attended undergraduate at the University of Maryland, College Park. While there, he joined Phi Delta Theta fraternity and volunteered at the UMD Food Co-op. At W&L, Michael is a member of the Washington and Lee Business and Law Association and was an Honor Board Hearing Adviser. This summer he interned with Judge Richard Bennett at the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
Caroline Diemer is a second-year law student from Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2014 with a B.A. in legal studies and government. While at Georgetown, Caroline wrote a thesis on experiential based learning in legal education and interned with in-house counsel of a specialty chemicals company. She also worked as a research assistant for two professors at Georgetown University Law Center. Caroline then worked as a Corporate paralegal for Proskauer Rose LLP in DC for two years before attending W&L.
During her 1L summer, Caroline interned in the Office of Chief Staff Attorney at the Supreme Court of Virginia. Here at W&L, she is a Junior Editor for the German Law Journal in addition to being a Kirgis Fellow. School aside, Caroline most enjoys: hiking, running on the beach in Kiawah, and her yellow lab, Omaha.
Claire Flowers is a second year law student from Perry, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English with an emphasis in Advanced Studies in English and a minor in Political Science. At the University of Georgia, she was an active member of her sorority, Delta Delta Delta, and a variety of other student community groups and honor societies. Claire came straight through to W&L Law after her graduation from UGA.
During her 1L summer, Claire worked as a judicial intern for the Honorable Judge John T. Laney, III in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Georgia. She also worked as an intern in the in-house legal department of AFL, a telecommunications company located outside of Greenville, South Carolina.
Outside of her role as a Kirgis Fellow, Claire is a Staffwriter for the Washington and Lee Law Review, Vice President of Events for the Women Law Students Organization, and an active member of the Christian Legal Society. In her free time, Claire enjoys cooking, traveling, watching UGA football, and enjoying Sunday breakfast with friends at the Pink Cadillac Diner in Natural Bridge.
Maya Ginga is a second year law student from Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated in 2014 from Elon University in North Carolina with a degree in Political Science. She spent two years in between undergrad and law school backpacking through South American and working for a bio-pharmaceutical company in Cambridge, MA.
During her 1L summer, Maya worked at the Kraft Group, the holding company for all of the Kraft family businesses, including the New England Patriots. In addition to being a Kirgis Fellow, she is also a staffwriter for the Washington and Lee Law Review and an executive board member of the American Constitution Society. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, spending time with friends, and listening to live music.
Mary Nobles Hancock
Mary Nobles Hancock is a second year law student from Birmingham, Alabama. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2016 with degrees in Human & Organizational Development and Child Studies. At Vanderbilt, Mary Nobles served as Vice President of Chapter Development for her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, and was a Site Leader for Alternative Spring Break.
During her 1L summer, Mary Nobles was a Summer Associate for Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP in their Birmingham, Alabama office. In addition to being a Kirgis Fellow, Mary Nobles is a Staffwriter for the Washington and Lee Law Review, Secretary for the Christian Legal Society, and Treasurer for Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. In her free time, Mary Nobles loves baking, hiking, and watching a whole lot of college football.
Sally Harper is a second year law student from Oklahoma City, OK. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a major in Marketing and a Nonprofit Organizational Studies minor. While at OU, Sally started the campus chapter of a student led nonprofit called Dream Outside the Box. She was a member in the JCPenney Leadership Program in the business college and through that organization spent time serving on local nonprofit boards that served the Norman community. Sally spent a summer au-pairing in Italy and a semester studying French and International Business in Paris.
Sally spent the first half of her 1L summer interning in the District Attorney's office in the Juvenile division in Oklahoma City. In July, she split her weeks between an immigration firm and a guardian ad litem nonprofit.
In addition to being a Kirgis Fellow, Sally is a member of the Women's Law Students Organization and the Christian Legal Society. She enjoys participating in flag football with the law school in the fall and cheering on the Sooners every Saturday. Sally likes traveling, hiking, and day trips to Charlottesville to go to Target.
Spence Howden is a second year law student from Austin, Texas. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2015 with a B.B.A. in finance. While at UT, Spence was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and the Silver Spurs.
Spence worked for a year at a law firm in Washington, D.C. before starting law school. During his 1L summer, Spence clerked at Jackson Walker LLP in Austin.
In addition to serving as a Kirgis Fellow, Spence serves as a staffwriter on the Washington and Lee Law Review and is a member of the Business and Law Association. He enjoys watching Texas Longhorns football, playing golf, and good breakfast tacos.
Kathy McLaughlin is a second year law student from Seattle, WA. She graduated from Washington State University in 2014 with a major in strategic communication specializing in public relations. While at WSU, she was a resident advisor and a study abroad peer mentor. Kathy spent the entirety of her sophomore year abroad in Krakow, Poland studying Eastern European history. She also speaks Polish at a conversational level. Following graduation, she worked in marketing for two years before coming to W&L Law.
During her 1L summer, Kathy worked at the Seattle Unemployment Law Project representing clients in administrative unemployment hearings. She also completed a research project for USAID New Justice in Kiev, Ukraine focusing on the importance of legitimizing law schools through the implementation of advisory boards.
In addition to being a Kirgis fellow, Kathy is a Junior Editor for the German Law Journal, Vice President of Media for the Women Law Students Organization, Board member for the American Constitution Society, and a law student ambassador. In her free time she likes to read for fun, go to concerts, and watch ice hockey.
Micaela is a second year law student from Clinton, New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Miami in 2016 and received her B.A. in Political Science and Sports Administration. During her four years at Miami, Micaela was Captain and Public Relations Officer of the Sunsations Dance Team. She performed on the sidelines of all home football and basketball games, traveled to post-season basketball tournaments including NCAA March Madness, ACC, and NIT, and remained involved in various charitable events throughout the South Miami community. Micaela also served as Director of Social Awareness for her sorority, Delta Gamma, worked as UM's campus marketing representative for the corporate headquarters of SoulCycle for one semester, and interned under marketing for her university's athletic department during the spring baseball and tennis seasons of her senior year.
During her 1L summer, Micaela served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Mark P. Ciarrocca in the Superior Court of New Jersey.
In addition to being a Kirgis Fellow, Micaela is the Marketing Editor of The Law News, a Staff Writer on the Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice, and a member of both Phi Alpha Delta and the Sports, Entertainment, and Intellectual Property Law Society. Outside of law school, she enjoys running, cooking, watching sports, and fishing with some country music playing in the background.
Daniele San Román
Daniele San Román is a rising second-year law student originally from Long Island, New York. She graduated from Penn State University in 2015 with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. At Penn State, she volunteered extensively for the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON), served as an undergraduate research assistant, camped out for front row seats at every football game, and volunteered as a tour guide. Daniele worked as a paralegal at the Department of Homeland Security for a year before attending W&L.
During her 1L Summer, Daniele was a Judicial Intern for the Delaware Courts, splitting the summer between the Superior Court and the Court of Chancery. She also was a research assistant to Professor Christopher Seaman. She will spend her 2L summer as a Sumer Associate for Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett, & Dunner, LLP in their Washington, D.C. office. Daniele is also a Junior Editor for the German Law Journal, a Hearing Advisor, a Law Ambassador, a Westlaw Student Representative, Treasurer for SEIPLS, and a chair for the WLSO Symposium. Outside of class, Daniele enjoys running, hiking, and watching Penn State Football.
Malory Thelen is a second-year law student from Edgewood, Kentucky. She graduated from Transylvania University in 2016 with a B.A. in Political Science. While attending Transylvania, Malory worked in the Admissions Office as a tour guide and served as Vice President of Student Government Association. She also studied abroad in both Greece and Israel and Palestine.
Malory spent her 1L summer clerking at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Birmingham, Alabama. At W&L, she is active in the Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity and enjoys participating in intramurals. In her free time, Malory can be found hiking, spending way too much time Instagramming said hike, and keeping a watchful eye out for free food at the law school.
Kasia Wiggins is a second year law student from Newport News, Virginia. She graduated from Old Dominion University in 2016 with a B.S. in Political Science and came straight through to W&L. While at ODU, she was on the board of Blue Key Honor Society, Pre-Law Association, and the National Society for Collegiate Scholars. Kasia also participated in the Peer Advisors Program, where she mentored freshman and sophomore students during the academic school year.
During her 1L summer, Kasia worked with Transitions Family Violence Services in Hampton, Virginia where she observed civil protective order hearings and criminal domestic violence trials. In addition to being a Kirgis Fellow, she is also a member of the Public Interest Law Student Association and Women Law Students Organization. She is also the Secretary of the Black Law Students Association and competed in the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition during her 1L year.
Outside of school, Kasia enjoys watching horror films and stand-up comedy, reading, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends. Kasia attended W&L because of the practice-based third year curriculum, and the amazing professors, and the outdoorsy town of Lexington.