OXFORD, Miss. — The University of Mississippi School of Law selected 14 first-year law students as 2022 Business Law Fellows.
The 2022 Business Law Fellows are: Hattie Burdin from Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Cassidy Dearman from Leakesville, Mississippi; Kennedy Gerard from Laplace, Louisiana; Madison Gray from Monticello, Arkansas; Holdon Guy from Johnson City, Tennessee; Colin Haley from Charlotte, North Carolina; Dawn Jackson from Baldwyn, Mississippi; Hannah Kent from Dyersburg, Tennessee; Winston Lee from Grenada, Mississippi; Mary Caroline Newman from Memphis, Tennessee; Hayden Park from Corinth, Mississippi; Oliver Samples from Pulaski, Virginia; Morgan Weeks from Decatur, Illinois; and Tyler White from Flora, Mississippi.
The Business Law Fellowship is a program unique to UM Law. It allows first-year law students who are interested in business and corporate law to kick-start their careers by spending the summer in general counsel offices of large corporations.
“The Business Law Fellowship Program’s continued success sets us apart as a leader in business law education,” said UM Law Dean Susan Duncan. “Thanks to our corporate partners, our students gain invaluable experience through an opportunity that would typically take years of legal practice. A goal of UM Law is to prepare our students for the real-world practice of law, and this program does just that.”
Corporate partners include FedEx, C Spire, International Paper, and Ingalls Shipbuilding, among others.
To apply, first-year students submitted a written essay and completed a competitive interview process. The fellowship continues beyond working for a major company during the summer. Fellows are also placed in advanced business courses, including Corporations, Mergers and Acquisitions, Business Law Writing and Accounting for Lawyers. Additionally, UM Law hosts guest speakers as part of the Business Law Fellows speaker series.
“As a business owner, I wanted to apply for the fellowship because I love business in general, and the opportunity to work with corporations is a rare opportunity that you really can’t get as a 1L, so it creates this unique opportunity that was really exciting,” said White, who majored in integrated marketing communications at UM.
Tyler White, from Flora, started his own business, Stay Anchored Apparel, in 2016. As demand grew for custom apparel orders, he started a subsidiary, TeeWhites, as a way to help other businesses advertise through custom apparel and promotional products. As his company grows, so does his desire to learn more about the legal side of business.
“I’m just really looking forward to getting hands-on experience with businesses in the real-world,” he said. “I’m hoping to take the knowledge from the summer placement opportunity and put it in my toolbox of legal experience”
Dawn Jackson earned her undergraduate degree in international business from Mississippi State, and her goal is to assist small businesses in their legal issues.
“This opportunity seemed like a good way to meet other people who are interested in business and people who are already in the legal field who can help me learn the basics of business law,” said Jackson.
Cassidy Dearman earned her undergraduate degree in accounting at UM, so she wanted to stick to the business side of law. She’s specifically interested in the contracts, mergers and acquisitions part of the law.
“My family has always been involved in business, so it was the natural path for me to take,” she said. “The business law fellowship will guide me towards continuing my goal of entering the corporate world by providing me with opportunities to collaborate with people in the business law field.”
The fellowship began in 2019 and is part of the school’s Business Law program. National Jurist magazine consistently recognizes UM Law as a top school for business law.