Our Student Ambassadors

Matthew AtkinsMatthew Atkins

Hometown: Laguna Niguel, CA
Undergrad: University of California, Berkeley; Political Economy, Legal Studies, and Political Science
Interests: Business law, environmental law, land use
Expected Graduation Date: May 2018
Contact: matkins3@wisc.edu

"Excellent value, law in action approach, great clinical programs, diploma privilege."

Read more about Matthew

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
Took a cross-country road trip.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
It’s important to be early and get a good seat on the first day of class, because a number of professors will memorialize that position with a seating chart.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic, Christian Legal Society.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.
I’ve worked in the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic, which provides legal services to entrepreneurs and startup companies. I’ve had opportunity to assist with entity selection and registration, and draft a variety of transactional documents including an Operating Agreement, Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, Intellectual Property Assignment, Non-Disclosure, and Non-Compete.

Any other interesting facts about you? 
I have visited 49 states and 11 countries.

Ellen AtterburyEllen Atterbury

Hometown: Madison, WI
Undergrad: UW Madison – History
Interests: Criminal Justice, economic and social justice, women’s issues, abusive head trauma defense
Expected Graduation Date: May 2018
Contact: eatterbury@wisc.edu

"I am from Madison and love this town! Plus, it has a great reputation for clinics, and I have been interested in working for the Wisconsin Innocence Project since I was in undergrad. My goal going into law school was to learn how to help people, and I knew the clinics would help me achieve that end."

Read more about Ellen

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I worked as a fit specialist in Victoria’s Secret.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
The curve, and the fact that Mike Hall is literally the Swiss army knife of the law school. He is so fantastic. I know a lot of students feel stressed and under extreme pressure, and I wish I had known earlier that Mike Hall was there to listen.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I am the Vice President of Academic Affairs for the Student Bar Association. This involves attending and giving student input for the Orientation committee, organizing and recruiting small group leaders for orientation activities, assigning mentees, and selecting members for faculty committees. I am also the new Program Coordinator for Ready to Rent, a pro-bono outreach program that holds weekly classes at the work-release center. The goal for this program is to teach the inmates basic landlord tenant laws and how to communicate effectively and politely with landlords. In addition, when they complete the program, they will receive a certificate that they can give to future landlords that shows their effort into having a meaningful and positive landlord tenant relationship, despite a criminal record. I have also been on a trip to New Orleans though the school for pro-bono work.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.
I love my work at the Wisconsin Innocence Project. It is fulfilling on both a personal and professional level, and I learn something everyday from both my clients and supervising attorneys.

Any other interesting facts about you? 
I like animals a lot, but apart from that not really.

Allysa BrownAllysa Brown

Hometown: Philadelphia PA
Undergrad: Penn State University, Administration of Justice
Interests: Criminal Law
Expected Graduation Date: May 2018
Contact: brown49@wisc.edu

"I chose the University of Wisconsin Law because this was the only interview I went on that made me feel wanted and comfortable. Every other school was concerned about money or my LSAT score but UW wanted to get to know me as a person."

Read more about Allysa

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I attended the CLEO Scholars program at Ole Miss (University of Mississippi School of Law).

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
I wish I knew that the exams were four hours long.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

BLSA (Black Law Student Association).

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.
I currently work for the Wisconsin Innocence Project.

Any other interesting facts about you? 
I do not like anything with a white sauce to it. I do not eat Alfredo, blue cheese, sour cream, or ranch.

Tomás ClasenTomás Clasen

Hometown: Shorewood, WI
Undergrad: University of Wisconsin-Madison. I majored in History and I earned certificates in African Studies and East Asian Studies
Interests: Complex commercial litigation
Expected Graduation Date: May 2018
Contact: clasen@wisc.edu

"I went to Wisconsin for undergrad, so I was familiar with the campus and the city of Madison. Also, several friends had graduated from the Law School and raved about their experiences."

Read more about Tomás

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
Before law school, I worked for four years in New York City. In NYC, I participated in Teach For America. I taught for two years in both Harlem and Brooklyn.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
I wish someone would have told me to visit all the schools I was considering. There is no better way to get a feel the culture of a school and whether it will be a good fit for you personally than being on campus interacting with people who go to school there.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I hope to become more involved in some organizations during my last two years of law school. However, officially I am only a member of the Wisconsin Law Review and the Moot Court Board.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.
This past summer I worked at the Wisconsin Innocence Project. I loved getting some true litigation experience as a rising 2L. I’d recommend the clinic for anyone interested in criminal law or litigation more broadly.

Any other interesting facts about you? 
I am actually from Guatemala originally. I have been lucky enough to spend extended periods of time in Europe, Africa, South and Central America as well as Asia. I love to travel.

Michael DavisMichael Davis

Hometown: Waukesha, WI
Undergrad: University of Wisconsin - Whitewater; B.S. Biology
Interests: Intellectual Property, Business
Expected Graduation Date: May 2018
Contact: mdavis33@wisc.edu

"Growing up in Wisconsin, I always knew I wanted to come back. When I visited the Law School I felt a connection. The Law School has great clinical programs, and studying in a state capital provides so many opportunities you can’t find elsewhere."

Read more about Michael

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I was working at a top 15 hospital doing genetic testing.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
I wish I would have observed a class before I actually started last fall. It would have been very helpful to see how people brief cases, and the flow of class before I actually got thrown into it.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

Law Review, SELP, IPSO.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.
My first summer I worked for the Law and Entrepreneurship clinic. It was a great experience helping people starting their own businesses seeing their dreams come together. I learned more in one summer about startups and business law than I thought possible. I really feel like the experience set me up for future success.

Any other interesting facts about you? 
I have an amazing wife, a rambunctious chocolate lab, and a playful cat.

Annie GetsingerAnnie Getsinger

Hometown: San Antonio, TX; Baraboo, WI (and a few other places along the way)
Undergrad: University of Missouri-Columbia; Journalism
Interests: Family Law, Criminal Law, Health Care Law, Education
Expected Graduation Date: May 2018
Contact: getsinger@wisc.edu

"I chose the University of Wisconsin Law School because of its clinical offerings and real-life approach to learning about the law. I plan to stay in Wisconsin to practice when I graduate, so diploma privilege is also a wonderful advantage to have. (I also value the inclusiveness of the campus and law school communities. I am interested in helping all prospective, admitted and current students feel welcome. During last year’s Admitted Students Weekend reception, I volunteered to mingle with students. I had two people ask me about the atmosphere at the law school for LGBT students. I think this is an important perspective to include among the student ambassadors.)"

Read more about Annie

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I worked as a newspaper reporter for the eight years prior to entering law school. During the summer before I started school, I worked at the Baraboo News-Republic and then took a month off to relax, camp and hike with my family at my favorite Wisconsin state parks.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
I wish I had known about the wonderful friendships I would make in my small group and clinic. I didn’t anticipate the environment being so friendly and laid-back. I have enjoyed the students, staff and professors as much as I have loved learning the material.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

Women’s Law Student Association, Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society, occasional admitted student lunch host, Orientation Small Group Leader, Jackie Macaulay Auction volunteer. I have also applied to be a 1L student mentor.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.
I am currently enrolled in the Family Law Project clinic. I have spent this summer working to help incarcerated clients work through their family law issues. One of the most rewarding experiences has been helping a client to have visits with their child for the first time in years.

Any other interesting facts about you? 
I played rugby in college and enjoyed short-lived stints as a roller derby girl and amateur boxer. I have two (soon-to-be) stepchildren, ages 10 and 12.

Zhenlan (Joe) HuZhenlan "Joe" Hu

Hometown: Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
Undergrad: University of Toronto, B.B.A. in Management and Information Technology
Interests: Patent, Trademark, Copyright, and Trade Secret laws
Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2018
Contact: hu259@wisc.edu

"I chose to attend University of Wisconsin Law School because I am impressed with the amount and dimensions of job opportunities that are continuously offered through our law school career office. In addition to vibrant classroom studies, students are able to gain hands-on experience through legal clinics, internship, externship, and honors programs. In comparison with other law schools, our law school offers excellent practical legal trainings at a very affordable cost."

Read more about Zhenlan

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
After leaving my teacher role in Beijing, I spent some quality time with my family before going to law school in August. During the four months at my hometown, I worked occasionally as a self-employed English tutor. I also wrote blog articles sharing my experience on learning English as a second language and U.S. law school applications.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
I would like to know more about the various extra-curriculum activities offered by the law school including student organizations. In addition, I wish that I knew more about the different clinical programs and points of contact. I did not know ahead that students can work at a government agency, such as Wisconsin Department of Revenue, by enrolling in an externship course while taking other academic courses concurrently in both fall and spring semesters.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I volunteered at Wisconsin Unemployment Appeals Clinic. I interviewed clients during in-take and explored the defense strategies. I represented low-income clients at the Madison Hearing Office or by phone. I recently participated in the annual Federalist Society’s Student Leadership Conference on behalf of the Wisconsin chapter. I played basketball for our law school twice against the Medical School at the annual Dean's Cup.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.
For the second summer, I am currently working as an intellectual property legal intern at Kohler Co. I draft patent claims and respond to rejections from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office. Last summer, I worked as a law clerk at the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. I continued in the fall as an extern. I conducted legal research, wrote memorandums, and reported to the chief counsel on issues related to real estate transfer, Native American taxation policy, alcohol and cigarette tax. I finalized a few good writing samples that I could present to my future employers after the two excellent internship experience.

Any other interesting facts about you? 
Because I did my undergraduate at the University of Toronto, I traveled in many provinces in Canada. I like cooking food myself. I used to bring traditional Chinese cuisines to places I worked at and received very positive feedback. I am always accessible through email if you like to discuss Canada, China, IP law or basketball. I am a big fan of Golden State Warriors. Haha!

Riley LeonardRiley Leonard

Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
Undergrad: University of Alaska Southeast - Anthropology
Interests: Criminal Law, Human Rights, International Law
Expected Graduation Date: May 2018
Contact: rcleonard@wisc.edu

"I chose the University of Wisconsin Law School because it provided the perfect characteristics for a graduate program – high national ranking, experiential learning opportunities and an exciting and vibrant community."

Read more about Riley

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I spent my last summer touring around the western United States camping in national parks and forests. It was a great way to take a deep breath before the rigor of law school. It also reminded me of the importance of maintaining a work-life balance throughout my first year.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
I wish I would have known about the realities of day-to-day life in law school. While it definitely takes over your life at times, there are ways to prevent, or at least delay, the burnout and exhaustion.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I served as a member of the Student Bar Association (student government) and spent a year working for the Wisconsin Innocence Project. I currently serve as the senior business editor for the Wisconsin International Law Journal and compete on our mock trial team.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.
The Wisconsin Innocence Project is a phenomenal opportunity to get involved in complex appellate work. I have had the opportunity to write motions for inmates on death row raising various constitutional and statutory claims. It’s exciting to apply the skills and knowledge you learn in the classroom to the real world and a real case. It’s tough and intense, but worth every second.

Any other interesting facts about you? 
I love to cook and travel. I try to learn a new dish from every country I visit to bring back home to my friends and family. One day I hope to open my own restaurant.

Emily LiebmanEmily Liebman

Hometown: Edina, MN
Undergrad: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Class of 2014, B.A. in Political Science and History, Certificates in Jewish Studies and European Studies
Interests: Public interest law, criminal law, criminal prosecution
Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2018
Contact: ealiebman@wisc.edu

"I chose University of Wisconsin because I knew UW Law had strong public interest programming and I appreciated that the school was located in the Midwest. I came to law school hoping to practice in Minnesota, and while my interests have now expanded to Colorado as well, I appreciate UW Law’s close proximity to one of the regions of the country I am interested in practicing in. I also chose UW Law because I grew to love Madison and UW as an undergrad, and knew that I would be able to have a comfortable experience in law school upon my return to Wisconsin."

Read more about Emily

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I finished up my year living and working in Steamboat Springs, CO, and backpacked through Europe for a month.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
While I knew that getting outlines from 2Ls and 3Ls can be helpful, I wish someone would have given me more guidance on how to go about asking for them, as I only realized during my 1L year that it can be extremely helpful to gather several people’s outlines and cross-reference them with your own to ensure that you have a complete understanding of the material. I also wish someone had told me that professor office hours in law school are significantly more beneficial to attend than in undergrad, and they should be taken advantage of particularly to go over practice exams.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?
I compete on the moot court and mock trial teams, serve as the Membership Chair of our moot court program, serve as the Vice President of Community Service for the Jewish Law Students Association, am a member of the Women's Law Students Association, and volunteer with the Ready to Rent pro bono program and with the Madison Memorial Mentorship program coordinated by the Black Law Students Association.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school: The summer following my 1L year, I was a law clerk for the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Minnesota. I learned a great deal from this job, and my legal research and writing skills improved significantly in only just one summer. This job also solidified my interest in pursuing a career as a prosecutor. During the summer following my 2L year, I was a law clerk for the Hennepin County Attorney's Office in Minneapolis. At this clerkship, I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to appear in court and manage my own caseload in addition to my regular research and writing duties.

Any other interesting facts about you? I took a year off between undergrad and law school to be a ski instructor out in Steamboat Springs, CO. I still go back there over my winter and spring breaks to teach skiing.

Megan RenslowMegan Renslow

Hometown: Moorhead, MN
Undergrad: Macalester College; Philosophy and Classical Civilization
Interests: Criminal Law; Civil Litigation
Expected Graduation Date: May 2018
Contact: renslow@wisc.edu

"I chose Wisconsin because of the clinical programs and how close knit the community seemed to be when I toured. I am especially grateful for the clinical programs now after having worked at the Restorative Justice Project."

Read more about Megan

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I worked as a front desk clerk in Fargo, ND.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
I don’t have any lawyers in my family so I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn’t even know what everyone meant when they started talking about outlines at orientation. I wish I had some sort of guidance or crash course in what law school entailed before jumping into it.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

Mock Trial; Law Review; Women’s Law Student Association.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.
This summer I worked in the Remington Center at the Restorative Justice Project. This job was probably the most difficult work I’ve ever had to do. I spoke with victims and offenders about the harm a crime created to prepare them for a potential dialogue. I saw first hand the amount of pain and humanity the criminal justice system ignores. I also was exposed to the huge amount of hope and strength within each person. I don’t know if I can categorize my work as exciting, but it fulfilling, difficult, emotional, and rewarding.

Any other interesting facts about you? 
I almost went to school for musical theatre.

Khanh 

TranKhanh Tran

Hometown: Milwaukee
Undergrad: Marquette University / Philosophy
Interests: Tax Law
Expected Graduation Date: May 2018
Contact: ktran6@wisc.edu

"I wanted to practice law in Wisconsin, the tuition was affordable, and school ranking was high."

Read more about Khanh

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I was working for Milwaukee Public Schools as an educational assistant.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
It is a long process and never sell yourself short. Start early.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I am involved in the Asian Law Student Association as well as the Indigenous Law Student Association. I am an active board member for both student orgs.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.
I am currently working for American Family Corporate as a law clerk.

Any other interesting facts about you? 
I’m a Vietnamese immigrant who found himself calling Wisconsin home. I am the first person in my family to ever go to law school.

Laura VoegeliLaura Voegeli

Hometown: Madison, WI
Undergrad: UW-Madison, Spanish and Elementary Education
Interests: Criminal, immigration
Expected Graduation Date: May 2018
Contact: lvoegeli@wisc.edu

"I really like the campus here; Madison is such a cool city with so much to do. The Law School here also has really good clinical programs."

Read more about Laura

What did you do the summer before you started law school?
I worked as a dive coach and pool manager at a pool in Madison.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?
Start your outlines after the first or second week and type them. Many professors say to start them later, but that creates a lot of stress later in the semester when everything is getting busy.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I have been doing probono work at the Community Immigration Law Center and the National Immigrant Justice Center.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.
I am currently working at the Wisconsin Innocence Project. It has been an amazing experience. I have visited clients in prison, interviewed witnesses and past lawyers, and written DNA and new trial motions to circuit courts and the WI Supreme Court.

Any other interesting facts about you? 
I coach ski racing in the winter for a local club team. I am an avid skier and go water and snow skiing frequently during the school year.

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