Kirgis Fellows

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 generally second-year law students who mentor a first-year, small-section class. Two Kirgis Fellows are assigned to each small section. The Head Kirgis Fellows are two third-year law students, and former Kirgis Fellows, who lead the program and serve as Kirgis Fellows to transfer 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.

Head Kirgis Fellows

Ryan D’Ercole is a third-year student from Centreville, VA. He graduated from Christopher Newport University in 2016 with a degree in Political Science. After graduation, he worked in marketing and consulting in Washington, D.C. 

During his 1L summer, Ryan interned for the Honorable Anthony J. Trenga at the U.S. District Court—Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, Virginia. In his second summer, Ryan worked in Richmond, Virginia for the Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Appeals Division.

Aside from being a Head Kirgis Fellow, Ryan serves as Executive Editor on the Washington and Lee Law Review, Research Assistant to Professor Nora V. Demleitner, and co-president of OutLaw.

 

Sabrina Matlock is a third-year law student from Pennington, New Jersey. She graduated from American University in Washington D.C. where she majored in Law and Society and minored in Spanish.  

During her 1L summer, she interned with the Northern Virginia Capital Defender Office in Tysons, Virginia. During her 2L summer she worked with the Department of Justice in the Civil Rights Division in Washington D.C.   Aside from being Head Kirgis, she is a research assistant to Professor Susan Carle, and a dedicated member of the Black Law Students Association.

In her spare time she enjoys playing volleyball, cooking, listening to music, and watching Netflix.

Kirgis Fellows

Kobie Crosley is a second-year law student from Hightstown, NJ. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 2018 with a degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law. After graduation, and before law school, he worked in Washington, DC managing personal injury intake for a mid-sized law firm. 

During his 1L summer, Kobie split his time as a summer associate with K&L Gates LLP and the United States Steel Corporation in Pittsburgh, PA. Kobie is a Staffwriter on Law Review and a Research Assistant to Professor Jill Fraley. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, weightlifting, playing League of Legends and discovering new music.

Katie Ferguson is a second-year student from Houston, TX. She graduated from University of Virginia in 2015 with a degree in English and Art History. After graduation, she worked in various roles at Christie’s in New York City before attending W&L Law.

During her 1L summer, Katie interned for the first half for the Honorable Anthony J. Trenga at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, VA and for the second half for the Honorable David Hittner at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston, TX. 

In addition to being a Kirgis Fellow, Katie is a Staffwriter on the Journal for Civil Rights and Social Justice and an active member of the Women Law Student Organization. 
In her spare time, Katie enjoys reading fiction, exploring Lexington, and following her new favorite distraction, Formula 1 Racing.

Peyton Holahan is a second-year law student from Baldwin, New York. She graduated from Roanoke College in 2020 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in U.S. History. During her time at Roanoke, she interned for Senator Tim Kaine’s regional office and spent a semester in D.C. interning for her Congresswoman from New York. 

During her 1L summer, Peyton interned with the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Marshals Service. At W&L, she is a Staffwriter on the Journal for Civil Rights and Social Justice, a Research Assistant to Professor Alexandra Klein, and a member of the Women Law Students Organization.

In her free time, Peyton enjoys listening to music, baking, exercising, and making the occasional trip to Target. 

Charisma Hunter is a second-year law student from Norton, Virginia. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2019 with a BA in Political Science. While at Virginia Tech, she was a Hokie Ambassador for the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, the Vice President of Membership of her sorority, a Diplomacy Lab Researcher for the State Department, and she studied abroad.  Before attending W&L Law, Charisma interned at the United States Fashion Industry Association and worked at a labor and employment law firm in Washington, D.C. 

As a 1L, Charisma competed in the National Black Law Students Association Mock Trial competition and served as the 1L Representative of the Pro Bono Board. During her 1L summer, she worked as a judicial intern for Chief Judge Margo K. Brodie in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of New York. Aside from being a Kirgis Fellow, Charisma is Staffwriter on Washington and Lee Law Review, Historian of the Black Law Students Association, a Research Assistant for Professor Hasbrouck, and a member of the Public Defense Group and the Women Law Student’s Organization. 

In Charisma’s spare time, she enjoys podcasts, exercising, baking, and thrifting.

Christopher Jablonski is a second-year law student from Orlando, FL. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2019 with a degree in Behavioral Cognitive Neuroscience. While at the University of Florida, Chris was the president of a student organization called Stronger than Stigma which advocated for and educated people about mental health issues.

During his 1L Summer, Chris worked at two mid-sized firms in Orlando, Florida working in both Medical Malpractice law and Trusts and Estates law.  Apart from being a Kirgis Fellow, Chris is the Law School at Large Representative for the Student Judicial Council, the Treasurer of Phi Alpha Delta, and a Research Assistant for Professor Michael Cohen.  

During his free time, Chris enjoys playing sports, reading, and hanging out with friends. 

Mallory Kostroff is a second-year law student from Westchester, New York. She graduated from Lafayette College in 2020 with a degree in International Affairs and a minor in Religious Studies. While at Lafayette, she was involved in the arts on campus, was on the board of Hillel and worked in admissions. 

During her 1L summer she interned at the Fairfax County Public Defender's office. Aside from being a Kirgis Fellow, she is a Staffwriter on the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice, the Vice President of the Public Defense Group, and a Research Assistant for Professor Hasbrouck. 

In her free time, she enjoys going to spin classes and listening to music. 

Colin Manchester is a second-year law student from Binghamton, NY. He graduated from SUNY Albany in 2017 with degrees in Finance and Financial Market regulation. After graduation, he worked in a financial leadership development program at BAE Systems, Inc. in NY, PA, and UT. 

During his 1L summer, he was a summer associate at Levene, Gouldin, and Thompson LLP in Vestal, NY. Colin is a Staffwriter on the Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice, and a Research Assistant to Professor Karen Woody.

In his free time, he enjoys True Crime Podcasts, Reality Television Shows, and walking on the Chessie Trail. 

Glennis McWilliams is a second-year law student from Ridgeland, Mississippi. She graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2020 with a degree in Public Policy Leadership and a minor in Sociology. In the summers prior to attending W&L, Glennis interned in Washington D.C. in her senior Senator's congressional office, as well a lobbying firm. 

Glennis split her 1L summer working at Butler Snow LLP in Nashville, TN and Watkins & Eager PLLC, in Jackson, MS as a summer associate. Outside of her role as a Kirgis Fellow, Glennis serves as the Student Bar Association's 2L Class Vice President and the Phi Alpha Delta Justice (Vice President) of the Staple's Chapter. Glennis is also an active member of several student organizations including the Sports Czars, the International Law Society, and WLSO.  

In her free time, Glennis enjoys a river day with friends at Goshen, running on the Chessie trail, and playing golf or tennis.  

Andrew Nissensohn is a second-year law student from Tampa, FL. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2020 with a degree in both Economics and Statistics. While at the University of Florida, Andrew worked at UF HIllel, working with Jewish students on campus to engage them in programming and leadership workshops.  

During his 1L Summer, Andrew worked as a Research Assistant and for the Office of General Counsel at the University of Hartford.  Apart from being a Kirgis Fellow, Andrew is a staffwriter on the Washington and Lee Law Review, the Executive Secretary of the Student Bar Association, and a Research Assistant for Professor Alan Trammell.

During his free time, Andrew enjoys true-crime, watching The Bachelor on Monday nights, and playing with his dog Gabby. 

Brighid O’Donoghue is a second-year law student from the Chicago suburbs. She graduated from Boston College in 2017 with a Major in International Studies. After college she participated in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, where she spent a year in Atlanta. Immediately before law school she worked as a legal assistant at a small law firm in Chicago. 

During her 1L summer, Brighid worked as a student intern at the Washington and Lee Tax Clinic. Besides being a Kirgis, she is a Staffwriter on the Washington and Lee Law Review and the Treasurer for the SBA.

In her free time, she enjoys crocheting bucket hats, binging Bravo, and going to Heliotrope.

Brenna Rosen is a second-year law student from Saratoga Springs, NY. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 2016 with a degree in Political Science. After graduation, she worked as a paralegal and legal assistant in boutique and corporate firms in New York City. 

During her 1L summer, Brenna received a fellowship with a nonprofit called Compassion & Choices, where she worked virtually on issues surrounding end-of-life health care and patient rights. Prior to starting her fellowship, she also worked as a summer associate in the business group at Sands Anderson in Richmond, VA. 
Aside from being a Kirgis Fellow, Brenna is a Staffwriter on Washington and Lee Law Review and is a Research Assistant to Professor Johanna Bond.

In her free time, she enjoys cooking, listening to podcasts, and getting as much sun as possible. 

Leeden Rukstalis is a second-year law student from Columbia, South Carolina. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 2019 with a double major and honors in Philosophy and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and a minor in Politics and International Affairs. After graduation, she worked on the Jaime Harrison for South Carolina Senate Campaign.  

During her 1L summer, Leeden interned with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in their Ethics Office. In addition to being a Kirgis Fellow, she is the 2L Class Representative for the Executive Committee, a Staffwriter on the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice (JCRSJ), and a Research Assistant for Professor Todd C. Peppers.

In her free time, Leeden enjoys mid-afternoon strolls, listening to vinyl records, curating niche Spotify playlists, and meandering through the aisles of the Bookery. 

Maddie Schaffer is a second-year law student from Collegeville, PA. She graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2018 with a degree in Business. After graduation, she worked as a paralegal in Atlanta, GA.

During her 1L summer, Maddie interned for the Honorable Karen S. Martson at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. At W&L, Maddie is the President of the Environmental Law Society, a Staffwriter on Washington and Lee Law Review, and a member of the Women Law Students Organization.

In her free time, she enjoys walking her dog Westley, listening to podcasts, and eating Napa Thai. 

Nikolaus Smith is a second-year law student from Port Deposit, MD. He graduated from Hood College in 2019 with a degree in Business Administration and Political Science. After graduation, he worked as a social media research analyst for Bank of America in Baltimore, MD. 

During his 1L summer, Nik interned with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Suva, Fiji. Aside from being a Kirgis Fellow, Nik is a Law Student Ambassador, Staffwriter on the Washington and Lee Law Review, and member of the International Law Society and Pro Bono Board.

In his free time, Nik enjoys working out, reading, traveling, cooking, and playing with his cat, Archer. 

Brian Warren is a second-year law student from Las Vegas, Nevada. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2019 with a degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Brookings Public Policy. While at UNLV, Brian was a varsity member of the debate team and part of Phi Beta Sigma, Fraternity Incorporated. Before attending W&L Law, Brian worked as an Outreach and Marketing Coordinator at UNLV helping first-generation students adjust to college life. 

As a 1L, Brian served as the volunteer chair for the Washington and Lee Veterans Advocates. During his 1L summer, he worked as a judicial extern for Colonel Elizabeth Walker at the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals. Aside from being a Kirgis Fellow, Brian is a Staffwriter on Washington and Lee Law Review, Research Assistant for Professor Parella, and a member of the National Security and Military Law Society and the Latin American Law Students Association. 

In his free time, Brian enjoys playing with his roommate's dog Loki, working out, and becoming a better chef. 

Lexi Weber is a second-year law student from Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2020 with a degree in English and minors in Philosophy and Religious studies.  While at U.Va she was involved in the University Honor Committee, Chi Omega sorority, and served as a moderator for Sustained Dialogue. 

During her 1L summer, Lexi interned with the Honorable David J. Novak for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division.  Aside from being a Kirgis Fellow, Lexi is a member of WLSO, a research assistant, and law student representative on the University Board of Appeals.   

In her free time, Lexi enjoys listening to podcasts, trying new recipes, going on long walks around Lexington, and spending time with her cat, Archibald Lewis.