Phil was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. A lover of the outdoors he enjoys hunting, fishing and hiking and has boated on dozens of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes. Called to serve following 9/11, Phil enlisted in the U.S. Army his senior year of high school as a human intelligence collector. As part of his training he learned Arabic and spent time in Missouri, California and Arizona. Upon completion of his active duty service, Phil enrolled at Dartmouth College where he continued his Arabic studies and joined the ROTC program. Graduating in 2010, he received a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Army and received a deferment allowing him to attend Duke Law before entering the Army as an active duty officer. At Duke, Phil has dedicated himself to extracurricular activities, serving as President of the Federalist Society for 2 years, joining the Moot Court Board and the Alaska Law Review as well as serving as the Public Interest Law Foundation's Auction Manager and Co-Chair. He has also been an enthusiastic member of the Duke Law Softball League and the Duke Intramural Flag Football League. Phil has spent his summers working for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minneapolis, MN and the Army's JAG Corps in Anchorage, Alaska. His life travels have taken him to 48 of the 50 states as well as Italy, Egypt and Morocco. Upon graduating, he hopes to clerk for a year and then join the Army JAG full time.
Larissa grew up on Long Island, New York. She attended the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University where she studied economics and organizational behavior. After graduating in 2008, she worked for a French investment bank in New York City as a Human Resources Generalist. Three brutal winters later, Larissa had no choice but to head south in search of better weather (and better basketball). At Duke, she currently serves as a Duke Bar Association 2L Representative and a case investigation team member of the Innocence Project. During her 1L summer, Larissa returned to New York City as a summer associate at Jackson Lewis. She enjoys spinning, running (and sometimes crawling) the trails at Duke and fro-yo...lots of fro-yo. She is so excited to meet the incoming class and is looking forward to another great year at Duke Law!
Kristie was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and knows firsthand what the phrase “but it’s a dry heat” really means. After high school she left Phoenix for the Bronx, where she studied political science and international political economy at Fordham University. At Duke, Kristie is the events coordinator for the Duke Law Democrats and is involved with the Environmental Law Society. This summer, she worked in the general counsel’s office at U-Haul International. In her spare time, Kristie enjoys playing on the juggernaut law school soccer team, cheering for the Green Bay Packers (go Pack go), running, and single-handedly keeping the local fro-yo shops in business. She can't wait to meet the incoming class!
Anton Brett grew up in New Jersey and attended college at Brown University, where he studied international relations and Slavic languages. Before coming to law school, he lived in New York City for two years, working at a litigation firm and inevitably overpaying for food and drinks. At Duke, he is involved with the Refugee Asylum Support Project (RASP) and the Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA). This summer, he was back in New York City, working with refugees, asylum seekers, and low-means immigrants in the Immigrant Protection Unit at NYLAG, a private non-profit. Some of his hobbies include website & graphic design (check out the new RASP website!), and enjoying Durham’s southern food options (he highly recommends the Refectory's cheese grits!). He hopes you enjoy your first year at Duke!
Hilary is from Sacramento, California. She went to a community college there, then transferred to UC Berkeley to finish a degree in Nutritional Science. Next, she completed a PharmD at UC San Francisco. She traded in Northern California for North Carolina for the last 3 years of her 14.5 year college career (yes, really), and she LOVES it! Don’t worry, she does actually have a plan beyond being a lifelong student, but for now, she is focusing on getting involved in anything and everything at Duke Law – PILF, the Health Law Society, faculty/student committees, and more. In her spare time, she likes to find fun things to do in Durham, like volunteering at the Durham Academy of the Arts, the Museum of Life + Science, and at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. She also likes replying to emails at 3am and learning how to bake new things for her classmates – her repertoire now includes scones, cinnamon rolls, pound cake, bagels, and soft pretzels. Hilary is currently having a fantastic time teaching criminal law and trial procedure to at-risk 9th graders in New York City, but she can’t wait to come back to Durham to meet the class of 2015!
Sam was born and raised in McLean, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. She attended the University of Delaware where she majored in Art History and Material Culture and spent her winters studying abroad in France, Chile, and China. After a busy four years of academics and internships, Sam left the United States and moved to Paris, France where she became a jeune fille au pair, flâneuse, and absolute glutton for all foods French. Sam returned to the East Coast and spent a year “inside the beltway” before coming to Duke as a 1L. Over the summer, Sam worked in the Office of General Counsel at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. During the school year Sam spends her free time exploring Durham with friends, pretending to do aerobic exercise, perfecting her omelette-making skills, and channeling her inner Picasso. She encourages you to check out the Nasher Museum and the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on campus for occasional breaks from studying.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, and a southerner all of his life, Taylor's life reads like the opening lyrics of Wagon Wheel. Sometime around elementary school he made his way to the Land of the Pine, coming of age in the charming town of Gastonia, North Carolina. He is a proud alum of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating in 2010 with a degree in Environmental Studies. Although his many Duke friends have tried to bring him over to the Dark Side, Taylor still bleeds Carolina Blue. After college, Taylor decided to work as a kayak guide on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. For some reason, Taylor decided to leave a life of adventure on the open sea and sunsets on the beach to go to law school. At Duke, Taylor volunteers with the Innocence project and is a member of the Environmental Policy Law Society. He also represents his fellow 2Ls on the Duke Bar Association. Last year, Taylor spent his Spring Break in New Orleans working for the Office of the Public Defender. Over the summer, Taylor worked on environmental policy and litigation at the Washington, D.C. office of Earthjustice and served as a research assistant to Professor Samuel Buell. When in Durham, Taylor enjoys showing newcomers all the great things that North Carolina and the Triangle have to offer especially the great food and drink. Welcome to Duke!
Kate is from Houston, Texas. She is married and has a miniature dachshund named Nutmeg. Her husband works in Houston but spends as much time as possible in Durham. She got her BA in philosophy and theology from The University of St. Thomas. Currently, Kate volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem for Durham County. At Duke Law she is an active member of the Women Law Students Association and works as an Articles Editor for the Duke Law Journal. She spent her first summer interning for Justice Willett on the Texas Supreme Court and attending Duke’s Institute in Geneva. Kate enjoys reading good novels, cooking, taking amateur dance classes, and finding delicious local restaurants. She is so excited to welcome everyone to Duke!
Celia grew up down the road in Greensboro, N.C., and is a Double Dukie. As an undergrad, she majored in Economics and Math and played for the Women's Club Soccer team, which she now coaches. After graduation, Celia joined the Milwaukee corps of Teach for America and spent two years teaching high school math. At Duke Law, Celia is involved with the Innocence Project and is an interscholastic coordinator on the Moot Court Board. Over the summer, she worked as a summer associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York. As a proud pet owner of four-year-old Labrador Buddy, Celia would be happy to share any information about the Durham dog scene, or to let Buddy show you the Al Buehler running trail while she is at CrossFit. Welcome to Duke!
Raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Matt earned his BA from the University of Florida, concentrating on Political Science and Religion. Upon graduation, Matt worked as an organizer for the Obama campaign, beginning with the Iowa caucuses, and later joined the Presidential Transition Team. Afterward, Matt entered the private sector to work for The Nielsen Company as the Outreach Coordinator for the state of Florida. At Nielsen, Matt had the pleasure to provide community organizations and local causes with corporate dollars and resources. At Duke, Matt has been involved with the Innocence Project and the Hispanic Law Student Association. For his first summer, Matt returned to Nielsen to work on privacy and international data transfer issues in the general counsel’s office and he spent this summer working at a firm in Santiago, Chile. When he is not devoting his time to Duke Law, Matt enjoys barbecuing, drawing, and lying on the beach.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Nikki earned her BA in Comparative Ethnic Studies from Columbia University in New York City. After graduation, she joined Teach for America where she spent two years teaching third and fourth grade in Houston, Texas. At Duke, Nikki is a Case Manager for the Innocence Project, Social Chair for the Black Law Students Association, and a member of the Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy. Over the summer, Nikki worked with the Duke Law Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility where she investigated claims of wrongful convictions in North Carolina. In her spare time, Nikki loves hanging out with her friends and exploring Durham. She also enjoys reading, traveling, shopping, laying by the pool, and Bikram Yoga. Welcome to Duke Law School!
Ruben Henriquez hails from the lush open green pastures of Northern New Jersey. After graduating from Penn in 2009 and moving to London to get a Master’s at LSE, he gained some work experience (in entering phone numbers and email addresses into Excel spreadsheets) at a small consulting firm in DC. After that, he rushed Duke Law. Due to a four year stint in an all-male musical comedy troupe at Penn, Ruben enjoys acting, singing, tap-dancing, playing trombone, and just generally making lots of jokes. Here at Duke, Ruben serves at the External VP for the DBA and is part of the Innocence Project, the Drama Society, and HLSA. He's also a LEAD Fellow, obviously. This past summer Ruben worked as a summer associate at Kitahama Partners in Osaka, Japan and then attended the Duke's Transnational Summer Institute in Hong Kong. Ruben is jazzed to be back in Durham (honestly) and is rather pleased that you've chosen Duke. Dean Hoye has told him some really interesting things about you and Ruben thinks you guys are really fun and weird.
Mary Ma was born in Shanghai, China and moved to America when she was five years old. She grew up in Livingston, NJ and attended Cornell University. While at Cornell, she majored in Industrial Labor Relations and studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain. At Duke, she was involved on the social committee for the Duke Bar Association, the policy committee for the Innocence Project and the Sports and Entertainment Law Society. She spent this past summer interning for Judge Pauley in the Southern District of New York. Mary loves shopping, watching the Food Network and Real Housewives, playing tennis and gorging on corndogs at the Cookout. She's excited to meet the new class and welcome everyone to Durham!
Elias is from Caracas, Venezuela, though he has lived in the US, UK, UAE and Italy over the last few years. He graduated from Duke in 2005 with a degree in Political Science and International Comparative Studies. After graduation he worked for a healthcare consulting firm in San Francisco before moving to London for a Master’s in International Relations at LSE. At Duke Law, Elias is a JD/LLM and a member of the Human Rights Law Society, the International Criminal Court Student Network, the Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law, and the Haiti Legal Advocacy Group. Elias split his 1L summer, working at the Parliamentary Monitoring Group in Cape Town, South Africa, and later heading to the Asia-American Institute in Hong Kong. As a double Dukie, Elias is looking forward to welcoming you and offering valuable advice on Duke, our awesome basketball team (that hopefully won't choke in the first round this year), and the Durham/Chapel Hill area.
Sudeep is a true New York native. Hailing from Queens and Long Island, Sudeep attended Carnegie Mellon University where he received Bachelors of Science in Economics and Business Administration. Upon graduation, he returned to New York where he worked as an analyst at NERA Economic Consulting. His first year at Duke (the farthest South he had ever been in his life), Sudeep was a 1L representative, member of the Mock Trial Team, and participated in Southern Justice Spring Break. This year, he serves as the Internal Vice President for DBA, is involved with Business Law Society and SALSA, and serves as a staff editor for the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy. His most honored position (outside of being a Lead Fellow, of course) has been as Captain of his 1L section softball team. This summer, Sudeep worked as a research assistant for Professors Doriane Coleman and Dana Remus. Sudeep enjoys being a Cameron Crazie, Cookout milkshakes, and finding new coffee shops. Welcome to Duke!
Originally from Newport Beach, Chase left the California to attend Brown University, majoring in psychology. After graduating, Chase returned to the West Coast and worked as a paralegal at the Orange County office of Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher. At Duke, Chase is involved in the National Security Law Society and the Innocence Project. During the summer of his 1L year, Chase worked in the Litigation Division of the Army JAG Corps. Last summer, Chase interned at the Office of the Secretary of Defense. This fall, Chase will be externing at the US Attorney's Office in Raleigh.
Katelyn was born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts. She graduated from Johns Hopkins in 2010, where she majored in History and founded the Johns Hopkins Club Swim Team. After college, she returned to Boston and worked as a paralegal at a litigation boutique. At Duke, Katelyn is involved in the Women Law Students Association and the Association for Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Katelyn spent her summer working at Greater Boston Legal Services. In her free time, Katelyn enjoys swimming and historic tourism. Welcome to Duke!
Diana was born in Bucharest, Romania and went to high school in Bonn, Germany where she fenced at the Olympic Fencing Club Bonn and was part of the German junior national team in foil fencing. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature, focusing on classical Arabic literature, from Yale University in 2008. After graduation from college, Diana worked as a teaching fellow for in the English department of King’s Academy, an U.S.-style boarding school, in Madaba, Jordan and she completed a Master of Arts in Islamic Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, UK. Diana came to Duke to pursue the J.D./LL.M. degree in International and Comparative law. During her first year at Duke, she was on the boards of SOLIMENA and ICCSN. Diana spent her summer interning with Latham & Watkins in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE. During the upcoming year, she will serve as President of SOLIMENA and as staff editor on the Duke Journal for Comparative and International Law in addition to trying her best to welcome you to Duke as a LEAD fellow.
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 volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem for Durham County, is a member of the Mock Trial Board, and is the current co-coordinator of Street Law Mock Trial. She is also a proud teammate of the Duke Law Intermural Volleyball Team and is looking forward to defending last years’ championship title. She was previously the Events Coordinator for the Public Interest Law Foundation and an active member of the Innocence Project Outreach Team. During the summer Casteel interned at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in Columbus. 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.
Erin Semler is a born-and-bred Staten Islander -- the forgotten borough of NYC -- home of the Mob Wives and several infamous members of the Jersey Shore. Although it is fervently debated whether Erin retains her New York accent - it is generally accepted that her kitchen offers some of the best New York Italian food in Durham. After high school, Erin escaped the island and fled the city for the corn fields of Indiana, where she attended the University of Notre Dame (Go Irish!). During her undergraduate years, Erin worked in the Supreme Court of New York, the Department of Justice, and the highly glamorous Caesars Casino in Atlantic City. She graduated in 2011 with a B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in Italian and came straight through to Duke Law. During her 1L year, Erin was actively involved in the Innocence Project and the Health Law Society. Erin loved spending her 1L summer with Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Manhattan, but is excited to get back to Durham to personally welcome the Class of 2015!
Oscar Shine grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from Berkeley with a degree in political science. Before law school he spent a few years with Google's global communications team, living in New Delhi (where he accidentally stole a horse), Singapore (where he accidentally fell into a deep drainage canal), and Beijing (where he accidentally got detained by the police). At Duke, he's a member of the moot court board and an executive editor of the Duke Law Journal. He spent his 1L summer at a law firm in Beijing and worked this past summer in the Hong Kong and New York offices of Sullivan & Cromwell. After graduation he plans to clerk for Judge Gerald Tjoflat on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Florida. His enthusiasms include beer gardens and Article III standing.
Thayne had the pleasure of growing up in Provo, Utah, land of the Mountains and Mormons. He graduated from Yale in 2011 (barely), majoring in English and Political Science because he really didn't know what to do with his life. So like many an English/Poli Sci guy, he came to law school and is pursuing both his J.D. and an M.A. in English. Thayne does his best to contribute to life at Duke, serving on the boards of the Coalition against Gendered Violence, Outlaw, the Environmental Law Society, the Innocence Project and the Duke Bar Association. This past summer, he worked in the Duke Law Wrongful Convictions Clinic, and loved every minute of it. Thayne enjoys great food, the North Carolina weather, and time spent with the amazing people who are his classmates here at Duke. Oh, and LoYo.
David hails from Highland Park, New Jersey. David graduated from Rutgers University in 2009 where he majored in History and Spanish and managed to spend 3 semesters studying abroad during his college years. After graduating, David spent a year in Bogotá, Colombia, as a Fulbright grantee where he taught English as a Second Language and English Phonetics to future Colombian English teachers, and also studied modern Colombian literature. Afterwards, David spent a year earning his Master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Oxford where he spent his days alternating between rowing, playing football (not the American variety) and bowling on the cricket pitch. Here, David is a member of the Mock Trial Board and the Law and Contemporary Problems Journal. He spent his 1L summer split between the Colombian Ministry of Commerce and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. He’s looking forward to meeting you all and is eager to recruit any soccer players to win this year’s IM championship!
Megan grew up in Logan, Utah, a small, beautiful city close to the Idaho border. After graduating from the University of Utah with degrees in English and History, she worked for a year at a nonprofit in New York City. At Duke, Megan is the Managing Editor of the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum and is also involved in the Duke Forum for Law and Social Change. She volunteers as a guardian ad litem for Durham County and served, last year, on the executive board of WLSA. She spent her 1L summer interning for Chief Justice Durham of the Utah Supreme Court and just completed a summer with Lowenstein Sandler PC in Roseland, New Jersey. When she is not bent studiously over a casebook, Megan loves exploring the many delicious dining options available in Research Triangle with her friends and her husband, Chris, and playing with her cat, Rosie. She is so excited to welcome the Class of 2015 to Duke Law’s vibrant community!
David Tseng spent his formative years in Upstate New York, but has lived much of his life in South Carolina. He had the unique distinction of majoring in Political Science during his undergraduate studies at Clemson University- you won't see that major much in law school. After graduating in 2010, he came to Duke Law and has been involved in organizations such as the Innocence Project, PILF, and the DBA. He spent his first summer in Greenville, South Carolina working for Haynsworth,Sinkler, Boyd and Wyche. This past summer, he worked in the New York office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, externed at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, and was amused that all restaurants served tea unsweetened. A life-long fan of the Yankees, the San Francisco 49ers and tennis, David enjoys most things sports related and is a firm believer in the impending Zombie Lawpocalypse and in yelling "Lawyered!" at people after making a successful argument.
James is from the coastal town of Morehead City, NC, where he enjoys kayaking, sailing, and fishing along the coast. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and majored in Statistics and Economics. After graduating, James moved to Managua, Nicaragua, to work for both the Nicaraguan National Commission for Free Trade Zones and the Foundation for Sustainable Development. At Duke, James is a member of the Mock Trial Board, the International Law Society, and the WTO Moot Court Team, and works as a faculty research assistant. This summer, James worked as a Summer Associate at Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey, and Leonard, L.L.P., in Greensboro, NC, attended Duke Law’s Institute in Transnational Law in Hong Kong, and went scuba-diving in the Philippines. He looks forward to welcoming everyone to his home state of North Carolina and to Duke Law!