Alumni

Winter Alumni Spotlight

Former Delaware Journal of Corporate Law External Managing Editor, Sabrina Hendershot, gives us some insight into her experience during law school and her career today.

(1) What was your position on the Journal?

External Managing Editor 2015-2016.

(2) Where did you earn your undergraduate degree and what was your area of study?

Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi, B.A. Political Science.

(3) Where are you currently employed?

Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell, LLP.

(4) In what area of law do you practice?

Corporate & Business Litigation.

(5) What do you wish you had known about law school while you were a law student?

As Muhammad Ali said, “What you’re thinking is what you’re becoming.” It’s easy to slip into self-doubt in a competitive environment like law school. But I’ve learned that the practice of law is a meritocracy. If you keep working hard and visualizing your success, you absolutely will achieve it. Although your path to success may be non-linear, if you continue to work hard to achieve your goals despite the obstacles in front of you and truly believe in yourself, you will make it. It will take time—but don’t settle. The only person who can get in your way is you.

(6) Aside from excelling academically and joining the Journal, what are some ways that students can stand out to secure job offers?

Judicial internships and clerkships are incredible opportunities for a variety of reasons. During law school I interned for then-Master now Judge LeGrow in the Delaware Court of Chancery, and served as a Josiah Oliver Wolcott Fellow to Justice Collins J. Seitz Jr. in the Delaware Supreme Court. After law school, I was fortunate enough to serve as Justice Seitz’s full-time law clerk. I cannot overstate the value of these opportunities. Every case I worked on was unique, and presented a new learning opportunity. I also learned how seriously our judicial officers take their positions. Both Justice Seitz and Judge LeGrow were fantastic mentors who taught me to think critically and challenged me to dig deep into the issues in the pursuit of justice. Not only was I able to take part in the administration of justice, I also formed close relationships with the judge/justice, their administrative staff, and my fellow clerks and interns which I truly value. It is an honor to clerk and I highly recommend students consider it.

(7) What are some lessons you’ve learned during your professional career that will be valuable to current Journal members and recent graduates?

To be a lawyer generally, and a junior associate specifically, is to be a life-long learner. You will often have assignments that you find interesting, and others you will find not so interesting. Regardless of how you feel about the assignment, use it as an opportunity to learn. For example, when it was time to write my note for the DJCL, I knew nothing about my topic—I just knew the case I wrote about interested me. So, I reached out to the attorneys on the case and they were kind enough to share their thoughts with me. Speaking with them helped me narrow in on the issue I wanted to write about, and was also an excellent networking opportunity. It also made writing the article much more enjoyable.

Similarly, what you put into an assignment is what you will get out of it. If you spend the time outlining for your classes early, you will retain information on a deeper level and will have less work to do come exam day (and bar exam day). Likewise, if you spend the time carefully reviewing the discovery in your case and closely reviewing applicable case law, you can help the partners make smart decisions about how to proceed. Partners are busy and they rely on junior associates to take a deep dive into the facts of the case. I’ve had cases where at face value it looked like we would lose on an issue. But after digging deep into the case law, I found a doctrine that applied to our case that nobody had considered. By putting in the time and energy to thoroughly research the facts and law, I was able to help our client survive a motion to dismiss. Put in the time, and don’t assume the law is static on an issue. If you treat your clients’ situations like they are your own and exhaust all options before accepting a loss, you will add significant value.

(8) What experience have you gained since graduating from Widener University Delaware Law School?

After graduation, I was privileged to clerk for Justice Seitz for a year. I have been working in the corporate and business litigation department of Morris Nichols since September 2017.

(9) What are your future career goals?

I plan to continue working hard and learning as much as I can. I’m grateful to have fantastic mentors here at Morris Nichols, so with their help I hope to continue building my career and reputation within the Delaware bar.

(10) What are some of your other interests outside of the law?

I’d like to take this opportunity to shamelessly plug the Delaware SPCA and Delaware Humane Society. I adopted my best friend Waffles the cat (who is my favorite interest outside of the law) from the Delaware SPCA. She is the sweetest, goofiest, most well-behaved little lady, and I am so happy to have found her! If you’re looking to purchase a new friend, please look into adopting. All pets come spayed/neutered, up to date on vaccinations, and microchipped. And if they’re anything like Waffles, they will love you fur-ever.

 

Fall Alumni Spotlight

Former DJCL Articles Editor, Gregory Werkheiser, answers some questions about his service to the Journal and what he’s up to now:

(1) What was your position on the Journal?

Articles Editor

(2) Where did you earn your undergraduate degree and what was your area of study?

Penn State, University Park Campus. I studied Finance.

(3) Where are you currently employed?

I’m a Partner with Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP in Wilmington, DE.

(4)What area of law do you practice?

Almost exclusively Business Bankruptcy and Restructuring for going on about 20 years.

(5) What do you wish you had known about law school while you were a law student?

I wish I had understood then what a luxury it was to take all the time I needed to research thoroughly and entirely think through a problem. I would have used my time more efficiency.

(6) Aside from excelling academically and joining the Journal, what are some ways that students can stand out to secure job offers?

Delaware Law School and its students have a unique resource available to them because of the law school’s access to some of the finest state and federal jurists in the nation. I would encourage students to take full advantage of any judicial internship/externship programs that are made available to them and, if their personal circumstances allow, to pursue judicial clerkships after graduation. Many of Delaware’s state and federal judges are well-respected throughout the country and a strong reference from one of them could make the difference in one’s post-graduation job search.

(7) What are some lessons you’ve learned during your professional career that will be valuable to current Journal members and recent graduates?

Be self-aware enough to understand what you know and what you don’t know, be self-confident enough to admit when you don’t know the answer, and be motivated enough to commit to find the answer and follow through. One thing I see young attorneys struggle with consistently (and from which I certainly wasn’t immune) is how to strike the right balance between seeming knowledgeable and confident, on the one hand, and getting too far out over one’s skis, on the other. This tension is nothing new, as the following quote is attributed to the 18th century French philosopher Voltaire demonstrates: “Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.”

(8) What experience have you gained since graduating from Widener University Delaware Law School?

Such an open ended question. It’s hard to pick just one thing. Life happens. For most of the last 20 years, my practice has focused on business bankruptcy and restructuring, which often involves dealing with clients in crisis. Over the last couple of decades, I have become far more adept at making (and helping others make) complex decisions under time pressure with imperfect information. There’s just no way any law school can fully prepare you for that.  

(9) What are your future career goals?

For the time being, I want to continue focusing on doing good work for my firm and my clients and contributing to the Delaware legal community. As for the future, I started my legal career as a federal law clerk, and it was one of the most satisfying things I have ever done. If the stars align, at some point in the not too distant future, I would like to explore the possibility of public service.

(10) What are some of your other interests?

First and foremost, my family. My wife Rachel (’99 DLS grad) and I have three great kids (ages 12, 10 and 8) and , between school and other activities, they keep us going most of the time. I enjoy hiking and backpacking. In terms of more sedentary pursuits, I’m a big fan of well-written/performed science fiction books and audiobooks.

Know Gregory? Connect with him here. Want to know more about Gregory’s practice? Click here.

____________________________________________________

DJCL’s Spring 2017 Alumni Newsletter

We are pleased to present the Spring Issue of our semi-annual Delaware Journal of Corporate Law Alumni Newsletter, which includes information on the Journal’s events and on our Volumes 42 and 43 Board and Staff.

To read the Newsletter, click here.

______________________________________________________________

February/March Alumni Spotlight

Former DJCL Copy Editor, Phillip Giordano, answers some questions about his service to the Journal and what he’s up to now:

1) What was your position on the JournalCopy Editor.                            

 2) From what institution did you receive your undergraduate degree and what area did you study? I went to the University of Delaware and I studied History.

3) Where do you currently work? Gordon, Fournaris & Mammarella, P.A.

4) What area of law do you practice? Commercial and fiduciary litigation.

5) What do you wish you had known about law school while you were a law student? How important it is to work on your writing and public speaking skills.

6) Aside from excelling academically and joining the Journal, what are some ways that students can stand out from the crowd to secure job offers? Network as much as possible. By way of example, students should volunteer at organizations where they can meet attorneys and spend time meeting with alumni. Also, students should generally be well read and up to speed on current events. When not discussing your class rank or interests in the law, future employers will want to know that you are an engaged citizen and that you have an interest in other things besides the law.

7) What are some lessons you’ve learned during your professional career that will be valuable to the Journal’s young alumni? In litigation, at least, your writing matters most. It should be shorter than you think, well organized, and finely tuned, which means that you need to be a brutal editor of your own work. No one has ever read a brief that they thought was too short. A close second to writing is being organized. Checklists are the best way to ensure that you don’t make errors. Checklists are also important in keeping track of your billing, which is more of a hassle than you would think.

8) What experience have you been up to since graduating from Widener Law? Courtroom experience. I didn’t participate in Moot Court, but I have since made up for it by trying as many cases as necessary.

9) What are your future plans? To always look for improvement in my work.

10) Any other interests you’d like to tell us about? Reading non-fiction, cooking, and staying physically active (which currently means playing rugby).

Know Phillip? Connect with him here.  For more information about Phillip’s practice, read here.

______________________________________________________________

DJCL’s Fall 2016 Alumni Newsletter

We are pleased to present the Fall Issue of our semi-annual Delaware Journal of Corporate Law Alumni Newsletter, which includes information on the Journal’s events and on our Volume 42 Board and Staff.

To read the Newsletter, click here.

________________________________________________________

DJCL’s Spring 2016 Alumni Newsletter

We are pleased to present the Spring Issue of our semi-annual Delaware Journal of Corporate Law Alumni Newsletter, which includes information on the Journal’s events and on our Volume 41 Board and Staff.

To read the Newsletter, click here.

______________________________________________________________

DJCL’s Alumni Mentor Program

 The Alumni Mentor Program is a wonderful opportunity for you to give back to the Journal by advising current members. You will be paired with a current student and hold a meet and greet event to get to know each other. You and your mentee decide the scope of your mentor-mentee relationship. This program has had tremendous success and we encourage you to participate.

Interested in becoming a mentor? Contact Brandon Harper at brandonharper00@gmail.com

______________________________________________________________

Remain Updated:

Email us your new contact information at DCJL@Widener so you can be up-to-date on the latest Journal news and events!

Follow the Journal on LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook for the latest news on the Journal and our alumni.