John Addy '23 was born and raised in Boise, Idaho before moving to Culpeper, Virginia. He attended the University of Virginia where he graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce with a double major in finance and economics. He remains a loyal, diehard Wahoo fan. At Duke, John is involved with several student organizations. He is the President of the Federalist Society, the VP of Finance for the Business Law Society, and the Athletics Commissioner for DBA. He was also a Hardt Cup finalist his 1L year. John spent his 1L summer as an intern to Judge Trevor N. McFadden of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Outside of the classroom, John spends an unhealthy amount of time watching college basketball and DC sports, as well as exploring Durham's bar and restaurant scene. He is excited to welcome the class of 2024 to Duke!
Claudia Benz '23 is from Carmel, Indiana. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 2018 where she majored in Public Policy Studies and minored in English and Creative Writing. Prior to law school, she taught fifth grade math and social studies. At Duke, Claudia is involved with the Clemency Project and the Fair Chance Project, and is also on the boards of the National Lawyers Guild and OutLaw. During her 1L summer, she interned with the Law Offices of the Public Defender in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, rock climbing, walking her dog, and watching reality TV. She is looking forward to meeting her LEAD group!
Meredith Criner ’22 was born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina. She attended Cornell University where she played soccer and participated in the Cornell in Washington program before transferring to North Carolina State University. She graduated from NC State as valedictorian, majoring in history with a concentration in early American history and philosophy with a concentration in jurisprudence. At Duke, Meredith has served in leadership positions for the Duke Law Federalist Society, the Women Law Student’s Association, the Innocence Project, and the Christian Legal Society. She was also part of the winning 2020 Twiggs-Beskind Mock Trial Competition team, a member of Moot Court Board, and is completing the Public Interest and Public Service Certificate. Her 1L summer, Meredith worked as a Dave Kennedy Fellow at the Institute for Justice headquarters and as a research assistant and student editor at the Bolch Judicial Institute. Her 2L summer, Meredith worked as a summer associate in the Paul Hastings Washington, D.C. office and continued in her role at Bolch Judicial Institute. During her free time, she loves hanging out with her dog, reading, and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Welcome to Duke Law, Class of 2024!
Harriet Dadzie ’23 was born and raised in Greenbelt, Maryland. She attended the University of Maryland-College Park, where she majored in Finance and minored in Law & Society. At UMD, Harriet worked in the Education Abroad Office, was a member of Alpha Phi Omega, and was a campus tour guide. After completing her undergraduate degree, she worked as a Risk & Compliance Consultant in northern Virginia and participated in the SEO Law Fellowship in Washington D.C. Harriet entered Duke Law with an interest in international law, pursuing the JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law. Currently, she holds board positions in the Black Law Students Association, International Law Society, and Womxn of Color Collective. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new restaurants, watching anime, traveling, and playing with her dog, Coco.
Nolan Dallara ’24 grew up outside Philadelphia and attended Northwestern for undergrad, where he studied Economics. After undergrad, he worked for two years as an analyst at an economic consulting firm in Chicago. He is pursuing a JD/MBA and will begin taking classes at Fuqua during his 3L year. During his 1L year, he served as a 1L Representative for the Law & Economics Society and the Business Law Society. This coming year, he is excited to be the incoming Co-President of the Law & Economics Society and VP of Operations for the Business Law Society. Nolan spent his 1L summer interning in the SEC’s Enforcement Division. In his free time, Nolan likes to play pick-up sports, listen to indie rock, meticulously meal prep, and yell at the TV while watching Northwestern and Philadelphia sports. Nolan can’t wait to meet the Duke Law Class of 2024!
Nicole De Brigard '23 was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She recently graduated from the University of Florida with a double major in Political Science and Criminology. At Duke, she serves as the Vice President of External Affairs for the Latin American Law Student’s Association and as a graduate student member for Duke’s Racial Equity Advisory Council. Nicole is also a member of The Innocence Project, First Generation Professionals and National Security Law Society. During her 1L summer, Nicole served as a Student Honors Program Intern at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as a Teaching Assistant for Duke’s PreLaw Undergraduate Scholars Program. During her free time, Nicole loves to go for runs through the Duke Forest with fellow LEAD fellow, Montgomery, and hang out downtown. Welcome Duke Law Class of 2024!
Molly Diamondstein ’23 grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania and attended Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. While at Colgate, Molly majored in Political Science and minored in Women’s Studies. She spent a semester in Washington, D.C. interning at the Supreme Court and enjoying her first experience living in a city. Molly moved back to D.C. after graduation, working at O’Melveny & Myers for two years as a client development coordinator. At Duke, she is involved in JLSA, If/When/How, the Innocence Project, and Moot Court. This summer, Molly worked for a criminal judge in New Jersey. She is very excited to welcome you all to Duke Law!
Eric Doan '23 grew up in Greenville, South Carolina and attended Vanderbilt University for his undergraduate studies, majoring in Medicine, Health, and Society and minoring in Financial Economics. After graduating, he worked in the San Francisco Bay Area as a middle school teacher through Teach for America. At Duke, Eric is involved in the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, serving as the Vice President of Finance, as well as the Duke Immigrant and Refugee Project. His 1L summer, Eric worked in the Charlotte office of Winston and Strawn LLP. Outside of school, Eric loves hiking, cooking, baking, and basketball.
Patrick Ellis '23 is from Hampton, South Carolina. He attended the University of South Carolina and studied Political Science in the Honors College. At the real Carolina, Patrick was involved with Student Government, the campus radio station, and the mock trial program. Before law school, he worked with the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee and served through the Americorps VISTA program. At Duke, he is a member of the Moot Court Board, Mock Trial Board, Innocence Project, Graduate and Professional Student Government, Texas Club, and the Federalist Society. He spent his Summer at Nexsen Pruet in Columbia, South Carolina. In his free time, Patrick enjoys watching sports (especially college football and baseball), being overly competitive at trivia nights, playing golf, and going to concerts. Patrick is excited to welcome the Class of 2024!
Dominique Estes ’22 is from Naperville, IL. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2019 with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Constitutional Studies. Throughout 1L, Dominique volunteered with the Fair Chance Project and captained the worst-ranked team in the Duke Law Bowling League. This past summer, she interned with the NC DOJ in the Education Section. For her 2L year, Dominique plans to serve on the executive board of the Government and Public Service Society and probably do some other things she hasn’t decided on yet. After graduation, Dominique hopes to pursue a career combining public defense and appellate work, ideally in or around our nation's capital. In her free time, she enjoys watching bad movies on Netflix, thrifting, making spreadsheets about her life, and eating pizza. She’s hoping to teach this incoming class of 1Ls everything she wished she’d known before starting law school – the forthcoming treatise is currently an empty Word document.
Zoe Gabrielson '23 was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. She attended the University of Kentucky, where she studied business, economics, and political science and graduated (virtually) in the spring of 2020. There, she was involved with environmental and social justice organizations, hosted a radio show, and interned with the Kentucky Secretary of State. She also spent a semester studying in London and interning at a British environmental NGO. During law school, Zoe has served as a 1L Representative for the Environmental Law Society, participated in a pro bono project, and now serves as the Vice President of Environmental Justice Initiatives for ELS. She is also the Public Interest Chair of the North Carolina Club and is involved with the National Lawyers Guild. During her 1L summer, Zoe was a summer law clerk at the US Department of Justice, working in the Natural Resources Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division. She is working towards a PIPS certificate, and plans to pursue a career in environmental law with a focus on climate justice. In her free time, she likes to hike, go to farmers markets, paint, try local food, and buy way too many plants. She’s excited to meet all of the incoming 1Ls!
Meg Gilligan '23 was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, but grew up just outside of Philadelphia in Media, Pennsylvania. She attended Fordham University and graduated in 2020 with a major in History and minors in Spanish and Business Administration. During the summer before her senior year, she interned at the Pace Women's Justice Center, which motivated her to go to law school! At Duke Law, she volunteered on CAGV's Deskbook Pro Bono Project over winter break. During her 1L spring, she worked as a Research Assistant for Professor Rice and this summer she is working as a Research Assistant for Professor Lemos. In her free time, she loves trying new food around Durham, doing yoga, and watching sports (especially Philly teams and Duke basketball). She is so excited to welcome the Class of 2024!
Adam Golden ’23 is from the suburbs of Pittsburgh. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016 with a BA in Economics. After graduating, he joined Teach For America, teaching high school math in Charlotte. After two years in the classroom, he shifted to policy work, spending a year as a fiscal analyst in the budget office of the Arizona legislature and a year as a legislative assistant to Congressman Lloyd Doggett. At Duke, Adam is president of the Government and Public Service Society, pro bono coordinator for the Duke Immigrant and Refugee Project, and treasurer of Duke’s National Lawyers Guild chapter. He spent his 1L summer interning with the New Hampshire Public Defender. In his free time, Adam enjoys writing and reading about public policy and other topics, spending time outdoors, and playing board games with friends.
Melissa Gustafson ’23 grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. While at Lehigh, she majored in English and Psychology and received a master’s degree in Management. At Duke, she is participates in the North Carolina Club and First Generation Professionals. She is currently the Vice President of Mentorship for the Women Law Students Association, Active Investigations team leader for the Innocence Project, and North Carolina Bar Association student representative. This summer, Melissa is working at the Wake County Public Defender’s Office as a felony intern. In her free time, Melissa enjoys playing board and card games with family and friends and acting as a Guardian ad Litem for children in North Carolina. Melissa cannot wait to welcome the Class of 2024 to Duke!
Ben Hunt '23 grew up in Oklahoma City, OK and graduated from Baylor University in 2020 (Home to the 2020-2021 NCAA Men's Basketball National Champions). While at Baylor, he served as the Head Delegate of Baylor's Model United Nations Team, moonlighted as a high-school basketball referee, and wrote his honors thesis on the San Antonio Spurs. At Duke, Ben serves as Co-Internal Vice President of the Federalist Society and as Internal Vice President of Christian Legal Society. This past summer, he was a Summer Associate in Houston, TX at Norton Rose Fulbright, LLP. In his free time, Ben loves spending time with his church family, enjoying North Carolina's many fine golf courses, and playing his guitar. He's looking forward to meeting and hanging out with all the incoming 1L's.
Libby King '23 grew up in Lewisburg, Pa. She attended the University of Richmond where she majored in Mathematical Economics with a minor in Law and the Liberal Arts, was a founding member of the Theta Mu Chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority, and studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland. During college and her gap year Libby interned with members of Virginia Government including Governor Ralph Northam and Senator Tim Kaine. At Duke, Libby is a 2L representative for If/When/How and stays involved volunteering for Virginia political campaigns. This summer Libby interned in the Richmond Public Defenders Office. When not studying, you can find Libby exploring new coffee shops and breweries, listening to NPR, or playing with her cats, Stella and Milo. She is excited to welcome the class of 2024 to Duke Law!
Jessica (Jess) Kuesel ’23 is from Old Greenwich, CT. She graduated from Duke University in 2017 with majors in Biology and Environmental Sciences & Policy, as well as a minor in Medieval & Renaissance Studies. Before law school, she worked in interstate fisheries management in D.C. for two years. At Duke, she is pursuing a JD/Master of Environmental Management dual degree. Jess is a Research Editor on the Duke Law Journal and is on the Environmental Law Society’s Board. Last year, she was President of the Environmental Law Society and on the Board of the Government and Public Service Society. She is also pursuing the Public Interest and Public Service Certificate. After her 1L year, she interned with the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. This past summer, she interned with the Southern Environmental Law Center. In her spare time, Jess enjoys hiking, reading, and kayaking. She is looking forward to welcoming the Class of 2024!
Connor Leydecker ’22 is from Atlanta, GA. He graduated from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, double-majoring in Business and Linguistics. Before law school, he worked at Delta Air Lines for five years, working in pricing and marketing strategy. At Duke, he's been involved with DBA, the Government & Public Service Society, Outlaw, and all things antitrust. For his 1L summer, he interned with the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and he split his 2L summer between Gibson Dunn and the FTC's Bureau of Competition. In his spare time, he likes to garden, cook, travel, ski, play trivia and board games, go dancing, run (slowly), and relax with his two cats, Meryl and Stanley. He’s looking forward to welcoming the next class to Duke Law!
Sarah Lowe ’23 is from Alexandria, VA, a suburb outside Washington, DC. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2020, where she majored in Communication Studies and double minored in Business and Film Studies. While at Northwestern, Sarah worked in derivatives sales & trading and private wealth management at large financial institutions. She went straight through from undergrad to law school, and hopes to pursue a career in transactional M&A and private equity. At Duke, Sarah became involved with the Business Law Society as a 1L representative and is so excited to serve as one of the BLS Co-Presidents this upcoming fall. Sarah spent her 1L summer working as a research assistant for Professor Samuel Buell. In her spare time, she can be found baking elaborate desserts or watching as many movies as she can fit into a day. She is so excited to welcome the Duke Law Class of 2024!
McCarley Maddock '23 is from Columbia, South Carolina. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2020 with a BA in History and a minor in Constitutional Studies. While in college, McCarley interned in the US House and Senate and spent a semester in London, where she worked in the House of Commons. She also led a spring break seminar in DC called US Healthcare: Poverty and Policy. During her 1L year, she was involved in Duke’s Health Care Planning Project, Innocence Project, and Duke Law’s Federalist Society Chapter and is very excited to serve as a student coordinator for the Health Care Planning Project this year. Over her 1L summer, McCarley worked as a Dave Kennedy Fellow at the Institute for Justice in Arlington, VA and was a Summer Law Fellow at The Fund for American Studies in Washington, DC. During her free time, McCarley loves cheering on the Fighting Irish (and the Blue Devils as long as they aren’t playing Notre Dame), hanging out with friends, running, reading (things completely unrelated to law school), and playing with her very fluffy dog. McCarley can’t wait to welcome the Class of 2024 to Duke!
Paige Mickel '23 was born in New York, NY and grew up in Summit, NJ. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2018 with a degree in Government and French. After college, Paige spent two years working as a paralegal in the Trial Division of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. At Duke, Paige is involved in the Innocence Project, is a 2L rep for ACS, and is on the Executive Board of WLSA. Paige spent her 1L summer interning for a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire. After graduation, she hopes to practice civil litigation. In her free time, Paige loves to follow baseball (go Yanks!), run the Al Buehler trail, volunteer at a local dog shelter, and check out the breweries around Durham. Welcome to Duke, Class of 2024!
Montgomery Nelson '23 grew up outside of New York City in Montclair, NJ. She attended Northwestern University and graduated in 2019 with a double major in Art History and Political Science with a minor in French. During undergrad, she spent 8 months in France. First, living with a host family in Arles, a city famous because of Van Gogh's paintings, and then moved to Paris where she was an exchange student at the Sorbonne Paris-III. At Duke, she is involved in the Sports and Entertainment Law Society serving as the Vice President of Entertainment and WOCC as the Recruitment and Admissions Chair. During her 1L summer, Montgomery interned with Lenovo. During her free time, Montgomery loves to go on runs through the Duke forest with fellow LEAD fellow, Nicole, re-watch Sex and the City and watch anything and everything on Bravo, specifically the Real Housewives. Montgomery can't wait to meet the Class of 2024 and learn where the classrooms are in the Duke Law building together!
Ali Rosenblatt '23 is from northern NJ. She graduated from University of Michigan, where she had majors in both Political Science and Sociology, and a minor in Judaic Studies. After graduating, she worked at an advocacy group in DC, focusing on criminal justice reform and voting rights. At Duke, Ali did pro bono work for the Innocence Project and Fair Chance Project and served as a 1L representative for the Jewish Law Students Association, ACLU and Criminal Law Society. This year, Ali is President of JLSA, Co-Coordinator of the Fair Chance Project, Pro Bono Coordinator/Social Media for the National Lawyers Guild, and Event Coordinator for CLS. This summer, she worked as a legal/investigative intern for the New Hampshire Public Defender. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new vegetarian recipes and binging podcasts.
Madison Santoli ’23 was born in raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2018, where she majored in Government and Bioethics. Before law school, she spent time teaching indoor cycling and working at an anti-human trafficking non-profit. At Duke, Madison is involved in First Generation Professionals and Outlaw, and spent her 1L summer working at the Health Justice Clinic. In the fall, Madison is excited to serve a teaching assistant for Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing. In her spare time, Madison enjoys FaceTiming her mom, listening to her Taylor Swift playlist (and nothing else), and keeping at least 10 flavors of Haagen-Dazs in her freezer. Welcome to Duke Law Class of 2024!
Kelly Sloan ’23 was born and raised on a farm outside of a small, rural town in northwest Kansas. She attended Kansas State University and graduated with degrees in Marketing and Anthropology. At Duke, Kelly is on the Mock Trial and Moot Court boards and is a member of the Women Law Students Association and First Generation Professionals (1GP). She spent her 1L summer doing research for Professor de Figueiredo’s faculty task force. Kelly likes to paint, spend far too much time formatting excel spreadsheets for different aspects of her future, and drink iced americanos. Her life goals include attending the MET gala at least once and keeping a plant alive longer than two months. She’s really enjoyed her first year at Duke Law and is excited to welcome the class of 2024 in the fall!
Caleb Strawn '23 grew up outside of Atlanta in Lilburn, Georgia. He attended Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, where he earned a degree in business administration and economics. While at Samford, Caleb was involved with the admissions and student activities offices and twice directed a show in Samford's famous Step Sing production. At Duke Law, Caleb holds leadership positions in the North Carolina Club and the Christian Legal Society and has spent time doing pro bono work with the Healthcare Planning Project. He is also a dual degree student at Duke and is pursuing a Master of Theological Studies degree at Duke Divinity School, where he serves on the Divinity School Curriculum Committee. Caleb spent his 1L summer in Birmingham, AL, where he split his summer working with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings and Balch & Bingham. During his free time, Caleb can be found spending time with his family and friends, watching NBA and NCAA basketball, trying new restaurants, or reading a novel. Caleb is thrilled to be a part of welcoming the Class of 2024 to Duke!
Rebekah Strotman '23 is from Lincoln, Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2017. For three years after undergrad, she worked in advertising in Portland, Oregon and New York City. She was a member of several organizations during 1L and was honored to be on the team that won the Twiggs-Beskind Mock Trial Cup. She spent the summer of 2021 in Dallas, Texas doing corporate and litigation work at Baker Botts. In her spare time, she enjoys reading novels, outdoor activities, pretending to be a sommelier, and looking at pictures of bulldogs.
Marissa Valdez '23 is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2018 as Student Body President with a BA in Math/Computer Science and International Affairs. After college, she worked as an 8th grade math teacher in Houston, Texas. Next year, she will return to her reign as Prez Valdez as President of First Generation Professionals (1GP). She will also be the 2L representative for Women Law Students Association and serve on the Mock Trial Board. During her 1L summer, she returned to Albuquerque to work as a summer associate for Modrall Sperling. Outside of studying, Marissa spends most of her time with her two dogs (Billie is pictured): taking them on walks, training them to dance, and sometimes reading with them if they hop on her lap.
John Wiener ’23 is a proud member of Duke Law’s boisterous contingent of Shreveport, Louisiana natives. He attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas majoring in history and religious studies. Due to the shockingly low demand for religious historians, he then obtained a master’s in management from SMU’s Cox School of Business. This jumpstarted a brief, but exciting, career in finance. John spent his 1L summer in the chambers of Judge Carl E. Stewart of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Chief Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. This year, he will serve as a Vice President of the Duke Law Energy Society and diligently remind 1Ls that “they have it easy without Zoom.” In his free time, John likes to re-watch the 2019 LSU football season and take long walks pretending he is on a beach. Welcome to Duke Law!
Tessa Young ’23 was born in Boston. She attended Wesleyan University where she studied Theater and East Asian Studies; her thesis focused on Balinese shadow puppets. She then moved to Philadelphia to build and design sets, but she ended conserving artwork, specializing in furniture and frames. She took jobs as far north as Lowell, MA, as far south as Williamsburg, VA and as far east as Okinawa, Japan, but Philadelphia has remained home in her heart. However, she has yet to make it to Durham! This summer, she interned remotely for Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. At Duke, she is on the board of the Government and Public Interest Society and OutLaw and volunteers for the Fair Chance Project. In her spare time, she enjoys woodworking and quilting along with her two cats.
Claire (Xiaoyu) Zhang '22 is from Shanghai, China. She graduated from East China University of Political Science and Law with a BA in law and has been admitted to practice law in China. At Duke, she was involved in Start-Up Venture Clinic and worked as a student attorney there for her 1L summer. That's when she developed a strong interest in working with entrepreneurs and wanted to pursue a career in transactional law, especially emerging companies. She spent her 2L summer interning remotely in Goodwin Procter NY office and worked mainly in the technology and life science group. Claire is also an amateur photographer and a crazy fan of hiking. Welcome, Duke Class of 2024!