OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Law selected nine students to participate in the 2021 Business Law Fellowship program.
This year’s Business Law Fellows are: Carter Babaz, Chandler Coleman, Le’Ronda Gates, Daniel Ginn, Zach Ishee, Teresa Jones, Tanya McGill, Margaret Pitts, and Garner Vance.
The program allows first-year law students who are interested in business and corporate law the opportunity to spend the summer in general counsel offices and other departments of some of the nation’s leading companies.
“We are so incredibly proud of our unique Business Law Fellowship Program,” said UM Law Dean Susan Duncan. “It typically takes someone years of practice in the legal profession before they are able to gain corporate experience. We are grateful to our corporate partners for extending this opportunity of invaluable experience to some of our top students. This is just another way we strive at UM Law to ensure our graduates are practice-ready when they enter the profession.”
Previous corporate participants have included FedEx, C Spire, International Paper, and Entergy Mississippi, among others.
“I pursued the Business Law Fellowship because I wanted the opportunity to gain experiences in the day-to-day operations and responsibilities of in-house counsel for a major corporation,” said Jones. “As a fellow, the BLF has provided me with the chance to learn directly from leading corporate counsels and to clerk at both a top firm in the state and at a Fortune 500 company.”
The students were selected from a competitive interview and written essay process. In addition to spending a summer working for a major company, Business Law Fellows are also placed in advanced business courses, including: Corporations, Mergers and Acquisitions, Business Law Writing and Accounting for Lawyers.
“The fellowship presents a unique opportunity to learn directly from professionals in the corporate law field,” said Pitts. “It also allows me the chance to incorporate my business background into my legal education. The BLF has provided me with both of these experiences as I have worked in-house at C Spire this summer.”
The fellowship began in 2019 and is part of the school’s Business Law program within the Business Law Institute. National Jurist consistently recognizes UM Law as one of the best institutions in the nation for business law.
Carter Babaz is from Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in2019 with a B.B.A. in Finance and International Business. After earning her undergraduate degree, Babaz worked for Deloitte as an Engagement Financial Advisor for a year before starting law school in Fall 2020. This summer, she will be working in Atlanta at Nelson Mullins.
Chandler Coleman is from Pontotoc, Mississippi. Coleman attended Millsaps College for his undergraduate studies in business administration. He graduated from the UM Patterson School of Accounting with a Masters in Taxation and Data Analytics. He will be working in Huntsville, Alabama this summer at Maynard Cooper and Gale.
Le’Ronda Gates is from Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from Alabama State University with a B.A. in Political Science and Strayer University with a Masters in Public Administration. Prior to law school, she worked at the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Law Offices of Elizabeth Winfield, athenahealth, Inc., State Farm Property and Casualty Insurance, and Farmers Insurance where she specialized in life and commercial insurance, consulting with families and small businesses. As a grant writer for Harriet Tubman PTO Aftercare, her primary focus was creating after-school programs that promoted S.T.E.A.M. programs for minority students. This summer, Gates will be working for FedEx Express.
Daniel Ginn is from Weatherford, Texas. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.A. in History. Prior to law school, he worked for Tri-County Electric Cooperative in Fort Worth, Texas. This summer, he will be working for Entergy Mississippi.
Zach Ishee is from Odessa, Florida. He graduated from Mississippi State University with his B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural Economics. During his undergraduate and graduate summers, he worked at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in Washington, D.C. This summer, he will be working for FedEx Freight.
Teresa Jones is a Mississippi Delta native, and she graduated from the University of Mississippi with a B.A. in Political Science. Prior to attending the University of Mississippi School of Law, she worked at the White House, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as for multiple state and national campaigns. Her interest in business and corporate law stems from her experiences working at a minority-owned corporation, located in Columbus, Mississippi, where she assisted the CEO with business development efforts and contract proposals. This summer, Jones will work at Butler Snow and International Paper.
Tanya McGill is from Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business in 2020 with a B.B.A in marketing. Before attending UM Law, McGill worked as an in-house counsel intern for Golden State Foods in Irvine, California. This summer, she will work at Butler Snow in Nashville for the first half of summer and Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. in Atlanta for the second half of summer.
Margaret Pitts is a native of Waynesboro, Mississippi, and she graduated from Mississippi State University with a B.A. in English in 2016. Before attending UM Law, she worked for Ballew Wealth Management, a private wealth management firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While working, she completed her Masters in Business Administration at Millsaps College. Pitts will spend the summer working for C Spire.
Garner Vance is a native of Grenada, Mississippi, and he graduated from Ole Miss in 2017 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. Before attending law school, he worked for three years as a process engineer with Resolute Forest Products. Vance will be working at Yates Construction in Jackson/Birmingham and Gilpin Givhan in Montgomery this summer.