LEAD Fellows Bios

Peter Bang, 2015

Peter BangPeter was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. He moved to North Carolina in 2001 so this will be his 12th year in the Triangle. He graduated from Duke University in 2011 after majoring in Political Science. During the off year, Peter interned in Uruguay, applied to law schools and spent time with family in Korea. At Duke Law, he is active in the Asian Law Students Association and the Intellectual Property and Cyberlaw Society. Peter is also a 2L Representative with the Duke Bar Association. This past summer, Peter worked at a law firm in Beijing, China, even though he cannot speak Mandarin (thanks, in part, to McDonald's taking orders in English AND delivering). He also spent the latter half of the summer in Hong Kong at the Institute. In his spare time, Peter loves to play basketball and eat (lots of cookies) and he approves this message. WELCOME TO DUKE LAW!

Leah Barnes, 2015

Leah Barnes Leah was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. After high school, she exchanged the chilly weather for the California sunshine, while she studied political science and Japanese at Stanford University. A lover of traditional Japanese arts, she studied tea ceremony and flower arrangement while studying abroad in Kyoto during her junior year. After graduating in 2011, Leah returned to Evanston for a year to assist in teaching Japanese at her local high school. As a Duke Law student, she currently serves as the External Vice President for the Black Law Student Association (BLSA) and as a researcher for the Refugee Asylum Support Project (RASP). She is spending the first portion her summer working at Bingham McCutchen LLP in Tokyo, Japan and the latter portion attending the Asia-America Institute in Transnational Law in Hong Kong. She loves volleyball, yoga and sushi and is delighted that Durham offers all three! She is looking forward to meeting the Class of 2016!

Adam Berkland, 2015

Adam Berkland Adam grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis, MN and received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he studied political science and economics. After graduating in 2009, he worked for three years as a legislative analyst in Washington, DC, both on and off of Capitol Hill, with a special focus on banking and housing issues. He sought refuge in the South to escape all the hot air in DC (the political kind, of course), and hopes to stay in the area to be near his future in-laws in Cary. This summer he split time working as a summer associate at the Raleigh office of Nelson Mullins and as an intern for the Honorable Donna Stroud on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. In his spare time he enjoys fumbling ground balls for his section’s softball team and hiking the area’s many trails with his fiancée and his dog, Ginny.

Sophia Carter, 2015

Sophia Carter Sophia is an aspiring global citizen that grew up just outside of New York City, in White Plains, NY. Sophia graduated from the George Washington University in 2011 where she studied International Affairs, Theatre and French. After graduating and deciding that professional acting was definitely not an option, she spent several months working in an international boutique investment bank. In October 2011, Sophia transplanted herself (back) to France to work as a teaching fellow in an inner-city school near Chartres. At Duke, Sophia is involved in several organizations. She is currently the Merchandise Coordinator for the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF), the International House Coordinator for VITA as well as Treasurer of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). Temporarily satisfying her wanderlust, Sophia split her 1L summer between City Yuwa Partners in Tokyo and Duke's Transnational Summer Institute in Geneva. Sophia enjoys many things but has a special place in her heart for cooking, music, foreign accents and martial arts. She looks forward to welcoming you to the Duke Law family!

Brittany Cassell, 2015

Brittany Cassell Brittany was born and raised in Perry, Georgia, and proudly carried her Southern heritage through to the University of Georgia where she earned Bachelors in both Political Science and International Affairs. Brittany always knew she wanted to go to law school, but just wasn't quite ready when she finished her undergraduate, so she headed out to Colorado to earn a Master’s Degree in International Conflict Resolution from the University of Denver. After two amazing years out West, Brittany was ready to come back home to the South and to Duke University to earn her JD and LLM in International and Comparative Law. At Duke, Brittany serves as Leadership Chair for DBA and President of International Law Society. Brittany spent her 1L summer working at TMI, a law firm in Tokyo, Japan, and studied at Duke Law's Institute in Transnational Law in Hong Kong. Her favorite hobby is traveling, and her favorite places include South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, Italy, and Tanzania. She also loves football (Go Georgia Bulldawgs!), baking (expect delicious homemade treats!), and watching trash TV (Real Housewives of Anywhere!). She is so excited to welcome you to Duke!

Caroline Coates, 2014

Caroline Coates Caroline was born and raised in the "sleepy bayside town" of Havre de Grace, Maryland. Out of love for her home state (and its crabcakes), she stuck around to earn a bachelor's degree in Government and English from the University of Maryland, College Park. Much to the despair of her friends and fellow Terps, Caroline fell in love with Duke Law School and moved to Durham. Although she'll never root for the Blue Devils, she couldn't imagine a better place to study law! At Duke, Caroline is a note editor of the Duke Law Journal, a member of the mock trial board, and also volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem for Durham County. During her 1L summer, she worked at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, and was thrilled to return to D.C. this summer to work at WilmerHale. Welcome to Duke Law School!

Nichole Davis, 2015

Nichole Davis Nichole is from the Bronx, New York and is a huge New York Knicks fan. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College. After graduation, she joined Teach for America and spent two years teaching 8th grade pre-algebra classes in Charlotte, NC, to all girls classes. At Duke, Nichole volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem for Durham County, and is the President of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). This summer, Nichole will be working with Duke Energy Corporation’s General Counsel’s Office, at their headquarters in Charlotte, NC. In her spare time, Nichole enjoys dancing (various styles, performing, and choreographing). She also enjoys reading, cooking, kickboxing, and attending plays/musical theatre performances. Welcome to Duke!

Keegan Drake, 2014

Keegan Drake Keegan was raised an OU Sooner in the heart of Texas. (It’s complicated.) After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, he worked for a member of the U.S. House Rules Committee, then at a commercial real estate firm. Keegan is in his last year of the four-year JD/MBA program, making him either a “seasoned veteran” of higher education or the law school equivalent of a “fifth-year senior.” At Duke Law, he is a Co-Founder and President of the Texas Club, a Past President of the Business Law Society, and a faculty research assistant. He is also active in the Durham startup community. This summer, Keegan worked in the New York office of Debevoise & Plimpton. Among his favorite things are breakfast foods, Thunder and Blue Devils basketball, and arcane provisions in bond contracts (the more obscure, the better!).

Jamie Greenwood, 2015

Jamie Greenwood Jamie was born and raised in Rockland County, New York, which is not upstate. She graduated from Syracuse University (which is upstate) in 2012, with a degree in Magazine Journalism, English, and Political Science. During her undergraduate years, Jamie worked at both the Brooklyn and the Syracuse District Attorney's Offices. This summer, Jamie followed that trend by returning to New York to work at the Queens County District Attorney's Office in the Hate Crimes and Gang Violence Bureau. At Duke, Jamie is a case manager for the Innocence Project and the interscholastic coordinator for the Mock Trial Board. In her spare time, Jamie enjoys playing (and winning) intramural softball with her Duke Law comrades and bowling with the Duke Law bowling league. Outside of Duke-related activities, Jamie enjoys watching Food Network and being inspired to cook interesting things for dinner, exploring North Carolina, finding places to ski and snowboard (she really, really misses snow), and taking advantage of the many things Groupon has to offer. She is excited to meet the new class and welcome everyone to Duke!

Celeste Jackson, 2015

Celeste Jackson Celeste was born in Bucks County, PA. She graduated in 2010 from Duke University with a BA in Political Science. While at Duke she played trombone in the marching band, was active in Jewish life and the Center for Race Relations. Before coming to Duke Law Celeste spent a year living and working in Israel as a Dorot Fellow. Following the fellowship, she spent a year living in Cairo, Egypt where she worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Upon returning to the States she spent her summer in Philadelphia working as a legal intern for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), an organization dedicated to helping undocumented immigrants. At Duke Law, Celeste is involved with the Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA) and the Black Law Student Association (BLSA). Her main hobbies include singing, anything related to food, dancing and flying single engine airplanes. Her biggest joy in life is traveling and learning languages. Celeste has lived in 6 countries, visited about 30 and has studied Spanish, French, Arabic and Hebrew. (Sadly she is proficient fluent in Spanish... but she has a 5 year plan ;p). Over the summer Celeste worked for Microsoft's legal department, in Seattle Washington. Celeste is excited to welcome the incoming class to DUKE LAW!! Congrats.

Juyon Kang, 2015

Juyon KangJuyon was born in Seoul, Korea and moved to New Jersey at the age of 11. She graduated from Duke University in 2011 with a degree in International Comparative Studies and in Spanish. She loved her undergraduate experience at Duke so much that she decided to return to Durham for 3 more years. At Duke Law, Juyon is the co- president of the Haiti Legal Advocacy Project and a board member of the Asian Law Student Association. This past summer, she worked as a judicial intern for Judge Peck in the Southern District of New York. She is very excited to welcome the Class of 2016 and to tell everyone about her love for Duke and the best places in town for sweets!

Darlena Kern, 2015

Darlena KernDarlena was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. She went to Pepperdine University in California for undergrad, where she studied Mathematics. After graduation, she worked for a summer as a waitress in Big Sky, Montana, and then made her way across the country to Duke. At Duke, she serves as the Vice President of Internal Affairs for the Women Law Students Association as well as the Secretary for the Intellectual Property and Cyberlaw Society. Darlena joined the dual degree program for a JD/MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the spring of her 1L year. This summer, she took classes at the Graduate School toward her MS, was a research assistant for Professor Rai, and attended the Geneva Institute in Transnational Law. In her spare time, Darlena enjoys running half marathons (she's doing one in Todd, NC this summer!), eating Cookout milkshakes, and bowling with her Duke Law Bowling League Team. She's really excited for you to be here at Duke!

Lauren Kole, 2015

Lauren KoleLauren was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, home of the world renowned Rock N Roll Hall of Fame and the Browns. She attended (The) Ohio State University where she studied Business Administration and Marketing. At Duke, Lauren served as a 1L DBA class representative and as social chair. After her 1L year, Lauren returned to Cleveland to work as a summer associate for Squire Sanders. Outside of law school she enjoys running, reading, and ice cream. She is looking forward to meeting the incoming class!

Jana Kovich, 2015

Jana Kovich Born and raised in Northwest Indiana, Jana is a Hoosier through and through. Before earning her BS in Public Policy Analysis, Jana had the pleasure of winning the 25th Annual Women's Little 500 bicycle race at Indiana University in 2012. A few short months later, she traveled down south to the land of the pine to pursue her JD/LLM in International and Comparative Law. During summer 2013, Jana will work at K&L Gates' Frankfurt, Germany office before attending Duke's Transnational Summer Institute in Hong Kong, but can't wait to get back to Durham. Although an Indiana Hoosier & IU basketball fan to her core, Duke has stolen Jana's heart. When she returns in the fall, she will resume her post as Treasurer of DBA and take over as the Alumni and Social Chair of the Moot Court Board. She also serves as the Honor Board Advisor for the Duke chapter of Delta Gamma. When she's not catching up on Grey's Anatomy or rewatching the entire Harry Potter series, Jana enjoys playing softball, cycling and running. Jana looks forward to meeting you in the fall and welcoming you to the Duke Law family!

James Lambert, 2015

James Lambert I graduated from Duke in 2010 and then went to teach English in Athens, Greece. Originally from New Jersey, I spend most of time in law school defending the greatness of my home state. However, I have found time for other things. I played first base for my section's softball team and enjoyed a successful season with my teammates thanks in large part to our considerable fear of disappointing our beloved captain. I am also a Co-Chair of Street Law- Youth Home and spend some weekday nights teaching local Durham youths about legal issues that are hopefully interesting to them. This summer I worked for Blank Rome in their New York office and I am excited to be back at Duke for my 2L year! Welcome to Durham!

Elyse Lyons, 2014

Elyse Lyons Elyse is the proudest Iowan you'll ever meet! After growing up in Des Moines (and mastering Iowa trivia as a tour guide at the state capitol) she first moved out east to attend Georgetown University, majoring in English and Government and graduating in 2011. At Duke, Elyse is the incoming President of the Duke Moot Court Board, a member of the Mock Trial Board, and senior note editor for the Duke Forum for Law and Social Change. She also volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem for Durham County and previously served on the executive board of WLSA and as co-director of the Street Law Mock Trial program for middle school students. Elyse spent her 1L summer at a law firm in Des Moines, and this past summer at Jones Day in Dallas, TX. She is so excited to welcome you to Duke Law!

Ryan Marcus, 2015

Ryan Marcus Born and raised in Rhode Island, Ryan earned his BA from Columbia University in New York City. There, he studied History and Political Science, ran track, and co- founded a group that provided legal assistance to rural Panamanian farmers. Coming straight through to Duke Law, he currently serves as Co-Chair of the Innocence Project’s Outreach Team and the Law Firm and Law Students Chair for PILF. He spent 1L summer interning with Judge Finkle of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Rhode Island. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys fishing, golfing, watching his beloved Red Sox, and touring Durham’s best local bars and restaurants. He’s excited to meet the incoming class and welcome everybody to the Bull City!

Om Pandya, 2015

Om PandyaOm Pandya was born near Nashville but later moved to Florida, where he grew up pampered in the sunshine and warm weather. He did his undergrad at NYU, where he majored in political science and economics and bought his first real winter jacket. After graduation, Om came straight to Duke where he majors in softball and is involved with the Federalist Society, National Security Law Society, and Street Law, while also studying law on the side. This summer Om is working as an associate at Bilzin Sumberg in Miami. In his free time, Om enjoys camping, fishing, spending time at the beach, or anything else in the great outdoors. He is excited to meet you all and introduce you all to Durham.

Jack Pararas, 2015

Jack Pararas Jack grew up in the Boston area, where he spent the better part of a quarter of a century. After graduating from Harvard University with a degree in Government, Jack worked as the Athletics Director and a humanities teacher at a high school in Boston through Teach for America. At Duke, Jack is the 2L Representative on the Lateral Faculty Appointments Committee and a member of the Mock Trial Board. Jack spent the past summer in Los Angeles working at a class action litigation firm. When he's not learning to love the law, Jack enjoys exploring Durham's fine arts and dining scene; he is currently in search of Durham's best chocolate chip cookie

Lucy Partain, 2015

Lucy Partain Lucy was born and raised in Dalton, Georgia. After graduating from Dalton High School (Go Big Red!), she headed up to Charlottesville, Virginia for four perfect years at the University of Virginia (Wahoowa!). After graduating from U.Va. in 2010, Lucy went to Charlotte, North Carolina to serve as a high school English teacher with Teach For America. After an incredibly challenging and fulfilling two years at Vance High School (Go Cougars!), Lucy decided she still wasn’t ready to say goodbye to summer vacations and moved to Durham (Let’s Go Duke!) to start pursuing her lifelong goal of becoming a prosecutor. When she’s not studying in her favorite seat on the second floor of the library, Lucy enjoys eating at NanaTaco and Local Yogurt, watching terrible reality television, and getting really excited to meet her new LEAD group. Welcome to Duke!

Casteel Scherger, 2014

Casteel Scherger Casteel was raised in Findlay, Ohio. She received a Bachelor of Arts from The Ohio State University and continued straight through to law school. At Duke, Casteel is a member of the Moot Court Board, the Mock Trial Board, and is the External Managing Editor for the Duke Forum for Law and Social Change. She also volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem for Durham County, and is actively involved at the Summit Church. Casteel is a proud teammate of the Duke Law Intermural Volleyball Team and is looking forward to defending the championship for a third year in a row. In her previous years at Duke, Casteel has been involved in Street Law Mock Trial, the Public Interest Law Foundation, and the Innocence Project Outreach Team. During her 1L summer Casteel interned at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in Columbus. She spent her 2L summer back in Columbus at Jones Day. Casteel welcomes the incoming students and encourages them to take time away from the law school to explore the Triangle area. She especially recommends running the Al Buehler Trail, or skipping the workout and going for ice cream at Maple View Dairy.

Patrick Spaugh, 2015

Patrick Spaugh Patrick was born and raised in North Carolina and hails from Walnut Cove (not Grove which is Little House on the Prairie). He grew up a Duke fan, but attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and immediately fell in love with the school; especially after celebrating the ’09 National Championship his freshman year on Franklin Street. Patrick’s blood permanently bleeds Carolina blue, but he pulls for Duke when they aren’t playing UNC (Carolina has a supremacy clause for his affection). He came straight from undergrad to Duke Law. Patrick immediately threw himself into the social environment with an open-mind and a passion for building relationships and having fun. He was a Campout champ and his section softball team, which he captained, won the regular season championship. Patrick also served as a Duke Bar Association 1L representative and on an Innocence Project Investigation Team. He is presently the Duke Bar Association Internal Vice President and is working at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP as a Summer Associate in their Winston-Salem office. Always down for a good time, tailgating for football games, some "friendly" athletic competition, and a foray into Chapel Hill, Patrick looks forward to interacting with the new 1L class and making their experience enjoyable!

Jake Unger, 2015

Jake Unger Jake was born and raised in Acton, Massachusetts. Despite growing up a huge Duke Basketball fan, Jake switched allegiances soon after he stepped foot on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill, where he majored in American History and Communications. Before coming to Duke, Jake took time to backpack around Europe and worked as a Project Coordinator/Analyst at a boutique healthcare consulting firm in the Boston area. He will be spending this summer working for Brann & Isaacson, a firm in Maine. During his 1L year Jake competed with a team of MBA students in the Wasserman Media Case Competition at the Fuqua School Business and placed first, receiving a trip to the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. He currently serves as a Duke Bar Association 2L Class Rep, the Finance Chair for the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, and plays left-center field for, Acquit While Your Ahead, the softball team heavily favored to win the law school league next season. Welcome to Duke.

Sandra Yoo, 2014

Sandra Yoo Sandra was born and raised in Lancaster, PA (shout out to Professor Haagen) and graduated from Penn State University in 2007. After graduating, she spent a year working as a business analyst at IMC where she helped implement databases and workflow systems. Then she moved to the Bay Area to work as a compensation analyst at Google where her proudest non-work-related achievements include meeting Conan O’Brien and Ina Garten. After a few sunny years in Cali, Sandra returned to her East Coast roots (and pale complexion) to begin law school at Duke. Last summer she interned at Kim & Chang law firm in Seoul, South Korea where she supported the intellectual property’s chemical department. She will be spending her 2L summer at Clifford Chance’s New York and Hong Kong offices. She enjoys traveling, snowboarding, hiking (but not camping), and eating cereal for dinner. She’s looking forward to welcoming the incoming class!