Two alumni pursuing law degrees at University of Pittsburgh are beginning their second year on the editorial staff of University of Pittsburgh Law Review.
Shannon DeHont ’10, a history graduate, is a topics editor, and Sam Derrick ’10, who graduated with a dual major in economics & business and philosophy, is an articles editor.
DeHont says Lafayette prepared her well for law school and for her work on the Review.
“Writing-intensive history classes taught me how to conduct an in-depth analysis of various types of sources, which is exactly the type of work I’m involved in for the review,” she says. “In addition, the English classes, and in particular the Writing Associates program, taught me how to critically analyze a piece of writing and offer constructive criticism through the editing process. These skills have been extremely useful not only for Law Review but also in my role as a teaching assistant for the first-year legal research and writing course.”
In addition to her role as a writing associate at Lafayette, DeHont served as a recreation services assistant in Kirby Sports Center.
Derrick, who was a member of the Lafayette Forensics Society 2009 national champion speech team, took second place for his brief at the annual National Health Law Moot Court Competition held at Southern Illinois School of Law last year. The issues involved informed consent for experimental drug trials in the international arena and the scope of the alien tort statute as it pertains to corporate liability.
“My studies are focused in health law, and I’ve spent a lot of time dealing with disability law and the Americans with Disabilities Act in the last year,” says Derrick. Although his plans upon graduation are not final, he says that he hopes to spend a year or two clerking for a judge.
“The one aspect at Lafayette that most prepared me for law school was the time I spent working with the forensics team, especially the help I got from the coaches, John Boyer and Scott Placke.”
While at Lafayette, Derrick published an article in Up for Debate: U.S. Foreign Policy Towards the Greater Horn of Africa, a compilation of position papers from students across the country who participated in the National Forensics Association Lincoln-Douglas debates during 2007-08.
Derrick was also among the students who traveled to Madagascar during January 2010 interim to launch Lafayette Initiative for Malagasy Education (LIME). Participants mentor high school students and help them prepare for the process of applying to colleges and universities.
Selection to law review is one of the highest scholarly accomplishments a law student may attain. University of Pittsburgh Law Review is one of the 40 most-cited law reviews in the country. Students are selected for membership on the basis of academic achievement or superior writing and analytical ability.