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2022 Dean's Fellows

The Paul McGreal Fellow
Wendell Beres

I believe that the greatest asset anyone joining the Hybrid J.D. Program can have, is the ability to talk to someone who has lived it recently and can reassure them that they are not alone. I have found that reassurance from three fellow cohort members, who I now consider and expect to be close, lifelong friends, despite having yet to see what they look like below the neck! I would like to help the next class develop those same relationships, while also having a reliable source to guide them through the intimidation of being a 1L, while maintaining their work-life balance with a third dimension that is equally unpredictable.

Celeste Friel

I am sitting where I am today because of exceptional teachers, coaches, and mentors. After going through various life experiences before and since coming to law school, I believe that I am finally in a position to help others reach their goals. In my opinion, the incoming first years are the next generation of problem solvers, policymakers, judges, or businessmen and women. Being able to help them navigate law school is exciting because they may be afraid of what is to come or they may be ready to hit the ground running. Wherever they are in their journey is where I want to meet them so I can help take them to the next level.

Jordan Gilligan

Through my Dean's Fellows advice, I learned how to be flexible with my learning strategies, know how to ask for help, and trust myself as to what works best for me. I became resourceful over the course of semester in seeking out solutions. I also learned how to utilize my professor’s office hours effectively by asking specific questions and knowing how to be prepared to make the most of the time. Additionally, I remember learning how to trust my way of learning and adjust to a learning style that worked best for me instead of simply doing what others did. Most importantly, I developed self-efficacy skills that allowed me to know how to be confident in a classroom, not let the competitive environment get in my head, and grow as a leader. I am confident that what I’ve learned during my year as a 1L will help others be their most authentic self in and out of the law school and learn how to adapt to the environment.

Online Hybrid
Jessica Blake

I am excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the success of our incoming hybrid cohort. The advice and guidance I have received from my dean’s fellows has been invaluable. To have an opportunity to help someone else who is struggling but refusing to give up would be a privilege. To guide those who are doing well and make this journey a little more comfortable and enjoyable would be a blessing. Our first year can be very daunting. For many, myself included, our past learning skills do not automatically convert into successful learning skills in law school. We must find a way to adapt our learning skills and methods to teach ourselves the material and engage in ways that create law school success. It is my hope to lend my skills, knowledge, and support to the next class and to pay forward the advice and support I received from my own dean’s fellows.

Jessica Carmichael

Having experienced the benefits of the Hybrid program, I want to see the program and students succeed into the future. For my classmates and myself, law school would not be possible with out the program, and I want to help the next class be able to succeed. I feel that because I am also a Hybrid student, I am in a better place to relate with and answer the questions of incoming Hybrid students.

Sarah Casson

I want to help make that difference for the incoming hybrid students at UDSL. I am proud to have been a member of the earlier hybrid cohorts. It is an honor to be a part of a school that is redefining law school education. Being in only the second cohort, few had walked the road before me and none had walked it to completion. If I can offer anything back to the law school community, it is the benefit of my own successes and failures as I have learned over the last five semesters from my professors, my classmates, and the alumni I have encountered in this distinguished program.

Blake Evans

I feel confident based on my own success, and more-so on my recognition of where I could have done better, that I can help ensure that our newest batch of 1L’s are successful not only in transitioning to law school but in succeeding here. Just as my Dean’s Fellow was an incredibly fruitful source of guidance and information for me, I look forward to the opportunity to be the same for others.

JP Jarecki

As a 1L, I experienced (as everyone did) that anxiety that comes along with starting law school. For me, this was slightly heightened by the fact that I knew I would be taking classes online, which seemed like a giant hurdle at the time. But with the help of my Dean’s Fellow, I realized that I could succeed if I focused, paid close attention to my readings, and made sure not to fall behind, online or not. From my own experience as a 1L, I’ve developed a strong appreciation for the Dean’s Fellow program and feel as though I am in a strong position to give back to a support structure that made all of the difference for me.

Allison Mauk

As a Dean’s Fellow, I want to support incoming first-year students. I don’t believe the mental challenges of law school are talked about as much as the academic and I want to make sure there is an environment available to discuss these experiences and offer support. I understand what it is like to move from an academic environment where my course work came easily, to an environment where the courses are more rigorous. I would love the opportunity to create a space for students to learn about the tools they need to be successful while also providing support about issues they are facing and showing that they are not alone.

Maria Mancha

Being a Dean's Fellow allows 2L and 3L students to be a mentor to the incoming class and introduce them to the values of the legal profession. Coming into law school I knew nothing about being a lawyer, but I did not let that obstacle stop me from learning and strengthening my understanding. Throughout my time at Dayton, although during a pandemic, I have made sure to meet with my professors, attend as many professional events as possible, and join different organizations. I believe my experience will allow students to not feel alone.

Radhika Shukla

One lesson that I have discovered while going through my 1L year is that your attitude towards a situation can make wonders happen. I strongly believe and understand that law school is challenging. However, if you train your mind to stay positive and not fall into the trap of “this is really hard,” you can achieve a lot more than you think. As law students, we all have the tendency of labeling our lives as “stressful” or “hard.” While this may be true during midterm week, it does not always have to be true. Stress, complex schedules, and exams are manageable with the right advice and experiences. I am excited to be a Dean’s Fellow because I love the opportunity to advise and train new law students regarding the challenges they face.

Nick Taylor

The lessons I have learned from sports have followed me into law school. I realized early on in law school that I would not be successful focusing solely on myself. The daily rigor of being a law student became a team activity with some of my closest friends. We took on every case, class, day, and week together as a team. My goal is that 1L's look to me as a "teammate" that assists them in finding success and happiness in law school. Through this, we can all continue to grow and develop within UDSL's communal environment.

Abbigayle Weaver

By sharing my strengths in study skills, lessons learned, and other insights, I hope to have a meaningful impact on the Dean’s Fellow program and ultimately contribute to the success of the incoming 1L class even extending beyond law school. I believe that by helping the next class of 1Ls succeed, I would be contributing to the success of UDSL and ultimately the elevation of the legal profession.

Brandon Wilcher

For me, the transition to law school was made much easier through the Learning Community program at UDSL that is facilitated by the Dean’s Fellows. At the outset of orientation, my Dean’s Fellow made herself available to us and offered support and guidance with navigating new academic ventures such as note taking, outlining, and studying for exams. This support was critical to my success during my first year. I learned very quickly that UDSL is a very special place with resources for students to be able to succeed. I am very excited about the prospect of continuing the mission of the Dean’s Fellow program by helping students navigate their first year of law school while facilitating active and thoughtful engagement. 


School of Law

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Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2760