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Berkeley, Cornell accept UTC grads

Several political science graduates have been accepted to top tier law schools. “They are a remarkable and hard working group of students, and I am confident they will go on to distinguish themselves in their careers,” said Dr. David Carrithers, Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Government.

Derek Gosma, a graduating senior, was accepted to The University of Southern California, George Washington University, and the University of California—Berkeley. He was waitlisted at many institutions including Harvard University and Stanford University. While he leans toward Berkeley, his decision will depend upon future offers.

Carrithers said Gosma’s law school application was so strong he was among the first ten students in the nation admitted to Berkeley. “Derek wrote an honors paper on “Union, Nullification, and Secession: Jeffersonian Compact Theory in the Imperiled American Republic” that was a real winner,” Carrithers said.

Gosma, a Brock Scholar, said the paper generally covers the Constitutional theories of nine American political figures whose lives spanned nearly one-hundred years of our history. “It does so in order to analyze the Constitutional origins and historical development of the conflict between proponents of a strong national government and advocates of states’ rights that raged in the years leading up to the American Civil War,” Gosma said.

Serving as president of the pre-law club this year, Gosma offered an informative student session entitled "How to Get Into a First Tier Law School."

Christopher Meyer graduated in 2006 magna cum laude with a BS in Political Science: American Studies and a minor in history. As an undergraduate at UTC, he was captain of the Mock Trial team, secretary of the Pre-Law Club, and he was awarded the Frank S. Prescott Outstanding Political Science Student of the Year award, the SGA Outstanding Senior award, and he was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honorary Society. Meyer took a year off between college and law school to relax, visit family and do a lot of traveling. He declined a $72,000 Dean’s scholarship from Washington University, a $30,000 Dean’s scholarship from Vanderbilt University, and admission to The George Washington University School of Law. Instead, he chose Cornell University.

“Why did I decide to reach high, move 850 miles to the cold winters of New York, and incur $150,000 in debt? I do it to achieve my dream. I have a passion for law. I enjoy the logical analytical legal reasoning; the intellectual challenge, the opportunity to work with the best and brightest and helping people achieve their legal goals,” Meyer said.

Saying his professors challenged him to academic achievement, Meyer was especially complimentary of his mentor and advisor while at UTC, Dr. Carrithers. “He provided me with excellent guidance and advice. His door was always to discuss whatever was on my mind whether it concerned school, law school, or personal matters. I never missed an opportunity to take a class from Dr. Carrithers,” Meyer said.

Eric Fox, a Brock Scholar and currently a legislative intern in Nashville, has been accepted by Boston College. “Eric recently won a contest based on a paper written here at UTC and received an award this spring at a Nashville meeting,” Carrithers said. “He also wrote a rather brilliant honors paper on the complex issue of the presidency and executive privilege.”

Tiffany Hagar, also a Brock Scholar and a legislative intern in Representative Tommie Brown’s Nashville office, has been accepted at the University of Tennessee College of Law. She is considering practicing on the civil side of the law: torts, family law and divorces, real estate, wills, etc. “I am keeping myself open for the exact type in which I will specialize since three years of law school may change my mind after different courses,” Hagar said.

Mock Trial at UTC, a team which competes on a regional and statewide basis, has given Hagar an insight into the practice of law. “Our advisor and professor Michael Giglio has served as a mentor, judge, and friend throughout the process,” Hagar said. “I feel as though serving as co-captain this year has taught me more leadership skills along with the best way to present opening and closing statements, examinations of witnesses, rules of evidence, and court procedures. Additionally, the alternating case categories each year, civil in even numbered years and criminal in odd, has given me a greater perspective on what type of law I want to practice. Overall, Mock Trial was a long, difficult, enjoyable, wonderful experience that I would not trade.”

Hagar enjoyed the Pre-Law Club visits to law schools. “Being able to see the campuses, attend classes with students, and talk to the faculty, staff, and students first-hand was a great experience that I feel all pre-law students should take advantage,” said Hagar.

“Ever since the first time I went to court with an attorney in the seventh grade, I knew I would go to law school. Since then I have weighed my choices and nothing has deterred me from my passion for the law, not even my second love and major history. The support of my family and friends additionally keeps me on track for my goals. The money, distance, and difficulty do not even make me think of not going to law school. My determination keeps me going.”

May 4, 2007