November 07, 2016

The November 3, 2016, CUA Law Advantage In Action Event featured a Columbus Community Legal Services (CCLS) career panel and a networking reception for both students and alumni. Students in the audience were able to hear how the panelists took the practical experience they received at CCLS and applied it to their professional lives. At CUA Law, students are not just studying doctrine, but they are also practicing law, which produces confident and marketable graduates.

The event was co-hosted by the Office of Career Development (OCPD) and CCLS. And panelists included: Blake Fetrow, Chief Attorney of Maryland Legal Aid; Casey Lee '15, Law Clerk for Judge Fern Flanagan Saddler; Laila Leigh '10, Supervising Attorney for the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, CCLS; and special guest, The Honorable Fern Flanagan Saddler, Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The panel was moderated byPaul Kurth '09, Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic and Managing Director of CCLS. Catherine Klein, Faculty Director of CCLS introduced the panelists.

Leigh spoke about how her clinical experience led to three job offers after graduation and ultimately led to her first job at Maryland Legal Aid.

"I don't think I would have had the same marketability if I hadn't taken Clinic. I essentially came out of law school already having over a year of practice. These experiences help you stand apart, " Leigh said.

Fetrow discussed how having clinical experience helps to set graduates apart. "At Maryland Legal Aid we really need to have folks who are able to hit the ground running and having a clinical background shortens the learning curve. They are able to come in with confidence," Fetrow said.

Lee said she was in Judge's Saddler's courtroom as a clinical student, which allowed her to see the type of Judge she wanted to work for after graduation. "Because of Clinic I knew the type of law I wanted to practice and was able to narrow my job search," Lee said.

Lee and Leigh both mentioned how they still use the trial notebook format they learned in Clinic and how their colleagues have adopted the format as well.

After the panel, students and alumni were invited to a networking reception. They had the chance to speak directly to each of the panelists, Judge Saddler, and various other alumni in attendance.

CCLS is currently conducting a pre-registration process for students interested in enrolling in the clinic for the upcoming semester. For additional information, please contact Paul Kurth at or by calling (202) 319-6788.