George Mason University School of Law student Catherine Wauters of Arlington, Virginia, just checked ‘find a job’ off of her to-do list by winning the first-ever BARBRI Public Interest Fellow competition. Her prize is a one-year assignment as legal fellow at the global nonprofit Save the Children.
BARBRI, the company that has helped more than 1 million lawyers pass the bar, conceived of the position at Save the Children and is funding Wauters’ salary. BARBRI designed the Public Interest Fellow program to promote social responsibility and increase awareness of alternative legal career paths. Contestants submitted resumes, writing samples and short videos expressing why they wanted to work for the nonprofit dedicated to affecting immediate and lasting change for children in need across the country and around the world.
“In Wauters’ video, she speaks passionately about how her Peace Corps service solidified her decision to “pursue the law as a vehicle for greater social change.” In Benin, West Africa, she worked to improve nutrition for infants and children by helping mothers incorporate locally available but nutritionally dense foodstuff into their diets. Wauters, a third-year law student, said the experience proved that even small changes can make a big difference in children’s lives and can have an aggregate positive effect on entire communities. She believes that “promoting the general welfare of all children is the best investment we can make in our tomorrow.” ”
“Catherine stood out from the field of competitors as a passionate advocate for children whose personal and professional goals seemed to align perfectly with the those of Save the Children,” said Mike Sims, an attorney and president of BARBRI. “We are confident she will serve children everywhere well through her new position and throughout what will undoubtedly be a successful career.”
In addition to the job, Wauters also won a complimentary bar review course from BARBRI, well recognized as the industry leader. She plans to take the bar this month and will begin work at Save the Children in the fall.
“Catherine asked fantastic questions in her meetings with us, and it is clear that she has a passion for the work of Save the Children. We are grateful to BARBRI for choosing our organization to be the recipient of a legal fellow and look forward to Catherine joining our team,” said Gretchen Wagner, general counsel at Save the Children.
A panel of BARBRI judges narrowed the field in April from dozens of entries in its Public Interest Fellow contest to 10 students based on the strength of their messages, GPAs and videos. Legal professionals judged the 10 semi-finalists on the following criteria: creativity, passion, video quality and content, resume and writing sample. Akua Akyea, director of public interest at Yale Law School; David Lat, founder and managing editor of Above the Law; and Tanya Roth, editor and team lead for blogs and content at FindLaw.com, comprised the industry judging panel.
BARBRI combined the legal expert evaluations and a public vote on the strongest videos to determine three finalists from whom Save the Children vetted and selected Wauters. The other two finalists – Allison Levene at Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Shaundricka Ranel at North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham – also won complimentary bar review courses and the admiration of both BARBRI and Save the Children. BARBRI awarded the additional prizes of free Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS, www.aceds.org) certification training and a paid CEDS exam fee to Levene, the second-place winner.
BARBRI, Inc., has helped more lawyers prepare for the bar than any other company and is now positioned to meet the legal education needs of both law students and attorneys throughout their academic and professional careers. BARBRI’s leading legal and education experts cultivate engaged, successful students – leading to lower attrition rates at law schools and higher bar passage and job placement rates – and better-trained, more professionally effective practicing attorneys. Founded in 1967, BARBRI is headquartered in Dallas with offices throughout the United States. To learn more, visit www.BARBRI.com.
ABOUT SAVE THE CHILDREN
Save the Children invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.