Leadership is an action, not a position. - Donald McGannon

There are many ways to define leadership. Some define leadership as a station within a group while others utilize traits, competencies, and behaviors to define it. Across definitions, themes of responsibility and bettering communities are paramount.

This ideal of changing communities through action speaks to the student leaders that act as presidents of Catholic Law’s numerous student organizations. All look for ways to support the members of their organizations, while also supporting the Catholic Law community through ProBono work, volunteer projects, scholarship fundraisers, alumni recognition events, networking opportunities, and more. Below we have profiled a number of the 2020-21 Catholic Law student organization presidents.


  • Shala Barney (3L)

    Student Spotlight: Meet Third-Year Law Student Shala Barney

    Catholic Law is committed to providing students with practical skills that will help them make lasting contributions to the legal profession and enhance the welfare of the broader community. As she nears graduation, third-year law student Shala Barney reflects upon her time at Catholic Law and her goal of using her J.D. to invest in and give a voice to marginalized communities.

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  • Brain Barth (3L)

    Student Spotlight: Meet Third-Year Law Student Brian Barth

    Catholic Law strives to achieve academic distinction. It is committed to making substantial and lasting contributions to the enrichment of knowledge, the integrity of the legal profession, and the enhancement of the welfare of the community—all rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition. This established Catholic tradition and the school’s long history resonated with third-year law student Brian Barth when choosing a law school three years ago. Now, as Barth prepares for graduation and the next chapter in his legal career, he took a moment to reflect on what his Catholic Law experience has meant to him.

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  • John Bat

    Student Spotlight: Meet Third-Year Law Student John Bat

    Catholic Law offers an enhanced curriculum to students interested in exploring the many important legal questions and policy debates surrounding various specialized areas of practice. In allowing students to focus on a specialization, they graduate practice-ready in the area of their chosen interest. Third-year law student John Bat recently shared about his journey to Catholic Law and his experiences learning and working in the Law and Technology Institute (LTI) and Comparative and International Law Institute (CILI).

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  • Rebecca Benedetto

    Student Spotlight: Meet Fourth-Year Evening Student Rebecca Benedetto

    Catholic Law’s Part-time Evening Division is carefully designed to meet the needs of working professionals pursuing their JDs. With supportive faculty and staff and a small, tight-knit community, students have four years to complete their degrees—allowing them to balance full-time work with the rigorous expectations that come with completing a law degree. With mere weeks left in her law school career, fourth-year law student Rebecca Benedetto reflected on her time at Catholic Law.

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  • Michael Cozzi

    Student Spotlight: Meet First-Year Law Student Michael Cozzi

    As the mission of Catholic Law states, the Law School strives “to discover, preserve, and impart truth in all its forms; to achieve academic distinction in the Catholic intellectual tradition; and to assure, in an institutional manner, faithfulness to the University’s Christian inspiration.” Its students eagerly pursue an exceptional legal education that prepares them for their future vocation. For first-year law student Michael Cozzi, his decision to pursue a law degree has been an opportunity to grow in his academic and professional curiosity and discern his vocation. As his first year draws to a close, Cozzi took a moment to reflect on his Catholic law experience so fair.

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  • Rachel Campbell (3L)

    Student Spotlight: Meet Third-Year Law Student Rachel Campbell

    Whether one comes to Catholic Law with a clear path in mind or not, the Law School is committed to helping students find their focus. For third-year law student Rachel Campbell, she’s known she has wanted to be a lawyer since she was eight years old. Back then she would rush to get ready for school just so she could watch the Today Show coverage of the Laci Peterson murder case. “I was horrified yet fascinated about the whole case and decided right then I wanted to be an attorney.” Now, with just a semester left in law school, Campbell reflects on her law school experience and her focus on the future.

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  • Caleb Holland (3L)

    Student Spotlight: Meet Third-Year Law Student Caleb Holland

    Catholic Law’s collegial and caring community brings together a diverse student body—each individual bringing with them a wide array of personal and professional experiences that contribute positively to the community as a whole. Catholic Law third-year student Caleb Holland may have taken a less traditional path to law school, but his passion for learning and strong work ethic have set him up for success. With just two months left before graduation, Holland reflected on his experiences as a first-generation college and professional school student and his time at Catholic Law.

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  • Chris Huff (2L)

    Student Spotlight: Meet Second-Year Law Student Chris Huff

    The last 18 months have been unlike any other in recent memory. For law students, it has required unprecedented adjustments and adapting to new ways of learning (much of which was virtual). In navigating the pandemic, Catholic Law students—especially first- and second-years, who have had very little time in a typical law school environment—have demonstrated resiliency and commitment to the law and serving others. Despite these obstacles, for second-year law student Chris Huff, intellectual curiosity passed down from his grandfather has helped him to find success in law school.

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  • Colleen L'Etoile (3L)

    Student Spotlight: Meet Third-Year Law Student Colleen L'Etoile

    Washington, D.C.—home of the United States' capital and the heart of the country’s law-making body. The District teems with regulatory agencies, government agencies, and federal and local courts. It is a hub for public and private sector jobs and a fantastic city in which to pursue a law degree. Situated in the Northeast quadrant of D.C., Catholic Law provides its students with unparalleled opportunities to observe vital political and legal systems at close range and gain hands-on experience in various facets of the legal world. As a native Washingtonian, third-year law student Colleen L'Etoile has long been aware of the benefits of pursuing a law degree, so it came as no surprise when she decided to return to her hometown for law school. In the last months of her legal education, L'Etoile reflects on her time at Catholic law and her passion for public service.

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  • Andrea Laprade 3L

    Student Spotlight: Meet Third-Year Law Student Andrea Laprade

    Practice-focused and embracing of the Catholic Identity. This is how Catholic Law third-year Andrea Laprade described her impressions of Catholic Law when searching for the law school that would be the right fit for her. Now, in her final semester of law school, Laprade reflects on how Catholic Law has prepared her to graduate practice-ready and with a continued dedication to serving others.

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  • Timothy Manion

    Student Spotlight: Meet Second-Year Law Student Timothy Manion

    The Catholic Law community is collegial, compassionate, and connected. Known for an atmosphere of camaraderie and a small student-faculty ratio, students are happy to see their peers succeed in this unforgettable law school experience. For second-year law student Timothy Manion, this was exactly the type of law school he was looking for and what most attracted him to Catholic Law. Manion explained, “Most other schools I applied to have a hyper-competitive atmosphere. I could tell Catholic was much more focused on community, and that has proven true.” He added, “Since coming to Catholic, I’ve made great connections and even better friends I know I can rely on. Having such an incredible support group has made my law school experience much easier than if I had to spend all my time competing against my classmates.” As Manion approaches the end of his second year of law school, he took time to reflect on his experience so far.

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  • Kathleen Mauck

    Student Spotlight: Meet Third-Year Law Student Kathleen Mauck

    Located in the Northeast quadrant of Washington, D.C., Catholic Law provides its students with the small-school community feel while still providing allowing for easy access to the nation’s legal epicenter. For Catholic Law third-year, and native Washingtonian, Kathleen Mauck, growing up in the nation’s capital fueled her early interest in politics and law. With graduation looming on the horizon, Mauck took a moment to reflect on her time at Catholic Law.

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  • Anthony Minute (2L)

    Student Spotlight: Meet Second-Year Law Student Anthony Minute

    Some enter law school with a general interest in the law, but not sure specifically which area they want to focus on. Others start their J.D. passionate about a particular area of study and ready to lean into a career direction. Catholic Law’s offerings of academic concentrations allow for students to follow their passions with advanced levels of expertise in some of today’s most dynamic areas of the law. For Catholic Law second-year Anthony Minute, the opportunity to follow his interest in securities law has set him up for success. Minute recently reflected on his first two years in law school.

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  • Eden Olson

    Student Spotlight: Meet Third-Year Law Student Eden Olson

    Practical, focused, connected. These are words often used to describe the three-pronged vision of a Catholic Law legal education. They are also words best used to describe Catholic Law third-year Eden Olson’s approach to becoming a lawyer. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Olson isn’t the first in her family to have a passion for the law. Olson’s grandfather had his own insurance law practice in Chicago that she frequently visited. From those childhood visits, Olson developed a desire to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. “From as far back as I can remember, I was aiming to be an attorney because I wanted to be just like him.”

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  • Rebecca Rougier (4E)

    Student Spotlight: Meet Fourth-Year Evening Student Rebecca Rougier

    Catholic Law has a thriving Part-Time Evening Division that is designed to meet the needs of working professionals seeking to earn their J.D. Students in the Evening Division work in a diverse range of industries—and bring their unique experiences with them to the classroom. The rigorous schedule of carrying a full course load in addition to work responsibilities can be daunting for some, but that hasn’t stopped fourth-year evening student Rebecca Rougier from taking advantage of the numerous learning opportunities provided by the Law School and engaging fully with the Catholic Law community.

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  • Aimee Solano

    Student Spotlight: Meet Third-Year Law Student Aimee Solano

    Catholic Law students are known to excel in a variety of ways. They earn fellowships, externships, and scholarships. Some publish articles in law journals or participate in Moot Court or Trial Team. For third-year law student Aimee Solano, she does as much as their schedule allows her to, creating a robust law school experience for herself while contributing positively to the community of which she is a part.

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  • Svantje Swider (3L)

    Student Spotlight: Meet Third-Year Law Student Svantje Swider

    Is it ever too late to pivot your career trajectory? That is the question Catholic Law third-year student Svantje Swider asked herself when she was considering leaving an eight-year career at the Department of Defense to pursue her JD. Swider shared, “I had thought that I really wanted to do National Security and I did enjoy a lot of aspects of working in National Security as a field, but you don’t really know what it’s going to be like until you get there.” She continued, “A couple of years in, I realized that I wanted to do something else long-term for a career.” Many of Swider’s college friends, who like her had studied foreign affairs during their undergraduate studies, had gone straight to law school, so the less traditional path that lay before her felt somewhat daunting. Luckily, around the same time, Swider’s younger brother was beginning his JD as an “older than average law student.” With his experience and support, Swider felt confident in her decision to take the plunge. Now, as her time at Catholic Law is drawing to a close, Swider took an opportunity to reflect on her law school experience.

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  • Mary Turgeon (3L)

    Student Spotlight: Meet Third-Year Law Student Mary Turgeon

    Loyalty, charity, civic responsibility. These words define the values instilled in third-year Catholic Law student Mary Turgeon from a young age by her military family. It came as no surprise then that Catholic Law felt like the right fit for her when choosing a law school. The Law School’s dedication to the community through public service aligned strongly with Turgeon’s desire to serve others. Now, in her final semester of law school, Turgeon reflects on her experience at Catholic Law and how it has prepared her to pursue a career in the public sector.

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  • Nicolas Valderrama

    Student Spotlight: Meet Third-Year Law Student Nicolas Valderrama

    Catholic Law brings together an able and diverse student body. Each student brings with them a wide variety of experiences that, when paired with an exceptional legal education, allows them to leave law school prepared for careers in the law—motivated to serve their clients and their communities with intelligence and integrity. Each day, third-year law student Nicolas Valderrama applies the accountability and work ethic he derived from his time as a collegiate-level squash player to his work as a law student at Catholic Law.

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  • Nikita Vasudevan

    Student Spotlight: Meet Second-Year Law Student Nikita Vasudevan

    Catholic Law is dedicated to the ideals of the dignity of each human person. With a comprehensive, practical, and focused legal curriculum, students are able to focus on service to others—using the law as a tool for advocacy and positive change. For second-year law student Nikita Vasudevan, advocacy is paramount to her pursuit of a law degree. Recently, Vasudevan shared about her experience at Catholic Law and what being an advocate looks like for her.

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  • Shelby Wood

    Student Spotlight: Meet Second-Year Law Student Shelby Wood

    Catholic Law has a unique mission of service which, among other things, helps its students grow both as professionals and as people. This commitment to serving others is shared by Catholic Law students—including second-year law student Shelby Wood, whose established dedication to others has led her now to pursue a career in the armed forces. Wood has recently been selected into the Air Force JAG Corps - One Year College Program. During her upcoming 3L year, she will complete the AF-ROTC One Year Program with Detachment 130 out of Howard University. Following graduation, Wood will be commissioned to active duty in the Air Force JAG Corps. Recently, Wood took some time to reflect on her experience at Catholic Law and her pursuit of a career in the Air Force.

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