Many graduates of Morehead State go on to professional schools, including law schools throughout the country. We caught up with some recent grads and alumni to see how they’re doing now.
Brandon Bryer (19) is attending the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Law. He was a government major. Bryer was actively involved on campus while at MSU, serving in the Student Government Association (SGA) all four years and as president his senior year. He was a member of the MSU Rifle Team, Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, the Pre-Law Society and served as a residence hall advisor.
While Bryer hasn’t chosen a specialty field of practice, he said he is interested in civil litigation and said he hopes to one day work as a general counsel in higher education. Law school students are ranked by performance at the end of each school year, and Bryer said he has been working hard to earn a top spot on the list. He said that, while many students don’t like the competitive nature of law school, he thrives on it.
“You don’t just learn the surface stuff; you have to dig deep down into the material. It always comes down to who can rise to the top. In the end, it brings out the best in us,” he said.
While Bryer admits the workload can be challenging, he said MSU prepared him to meet the challenges he now faces. He said the curriculum of his classes gave him solid foundational information that made the transition to law school easier. He praised Dr. William Green, professor emeritus of political science, for using teaching methods that are used in law school like “cold calling,” where a professor fires questions at students to make sure they’ve read and understood their coursework.
“The way he approached it is the same way we do it in law school,” he said. “He knew just the way to prepare us. I had a thorough, broad academic experience at MSU that could not have prepared me better for this.”
Lincoln Caudill (13) is in his second year at the Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. He earned three degrees from MSU, an associate degree in construction management in 2011, a bachelor’s degree in university studies in 2013 and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) in 2015. He was active in Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and the Interfraternity Council (IFC), SGA, Student Alumni Ambassadors (SAA), the Photography Club and the MSU Young Democrats.
While Caudill has not yet chosen a specialty, he said he’s interested in business and property law. His goal is to return to Morehead and either become a partner or start his own local law firm. Caudill said the thing he enjoys most about law school is that it isn’t easy.
“I embrace the rigor and challenge because it allows me to grow intellectually,” he said. “Antiquated and complex legal theories are the base of most legal study but it is important to understand where the law we use today originated, why it has changed, and how to apply it to real-world scenarios in the hopes that the outcome comports with traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. I love that it is hard. It makes me feel like I earn every grade and I truly appreciate the things that I have learned.”
Caudill said that one thing he finds particularly challenging about law school is learning to decipher “legalese.”
“The vocabulary used in most of my legal reading has been difficult to get used to. Latin is sprinkled generously into most casebooks and legal ‘terms of art’ are important to understand because once they appear in the law, they often continue to be used,” he said, adding MSU prepared him for law school by teaching him the value of working hard and sticking with a task until it’s done.
“The experiences of many engaging and thought-provoking classes gave me the best preparation. The bottom line is that law school is tough and very challenging, mentally and physically,” he said. “I never expected it to be easy but perseverance and hard work, two things I picked up on early at MSU, have gotten me through a lot in life and have gotten me this far in law school. I know that what I am able to accomplish in the future will be because of the foundation and support I have received from the people and practices of Morehead State University.”
Kennedy Womack (17) is also attending the UC College of Law. She was a double-major in government and philosophy and was active in numerous student organizations, including serving as president of the Pre-Law Society and as vice president for finance and executive vice president of SGA. She was also a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and was a two-time member of the MSU Homecoming Court.
Currently in her third year of law school, Womack is specializing in criminal law, international law and civil rights law, and she interned at the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington in Seattle. Her goal is to work as a public defender, but she’s also interested in international human rights work or high-impact civil rights litigation. Womack said she loves the hands-on aspects of law school.
“UC Law offers externship and clinic opportunities, which give students the chance to work in a field of interest and work with clients directly,” she said. “It is wonderful to see firsthand what being a lawyer really is like, and I think it puts things into perspective for why a person chooses to attend law school in the first place, which for me is to represent those who often are slighted or written off by society.”
Womack said one of the most significant challenges she’s dealt with while in law school is learning how to dig deeper into a subject to fully understand the concepts it entails, but her work at MSU prepared her well for the rigors of law school.
“A lot of times in undergrad, you just need to memorize or be able to understand things at a surface level,” Womack said. “In law school, the objective is to be able to grasp concepts in a much deeper capacity and apply them to real-life problems. Those courses in my department jump-started my knowledge of case-reading, analyzing hypothetical situations and statutory interpretation.”