#SHLSuccessStories: Clais Daniels-Edwards
"Professors Bernard Freamon and Rachel Godsil . . . are not only brilliant, but they are approachable and really care about the success of their students."
We are pleased to present #SHLSuccessStories, a series spotlighting graduates of the Class of 2014 and their memorable Seton Hall Law experiences. See our graduates also featured on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Sarah Mustafa ‘14
Hometown: Chino Hills, California
Undergrad: Seton Hall University
New position: Law Clerk to the Hon. Mitzy Galis-Menendez, New Jersey Superior Court, Criminal Division
Biggest lesson learned at Seton Hall Law: Learning to work with your colleagues toward a greater goal. It’s amazing how much you can learn from one another, especially when you study with each other for hours on end.
What will you miss most about Seton Hall Law? I will miss the friends I made in law school the most. You grow close with the group of friends that went through the same process you did in becoming a lawyer.
Which Seton Hall Law professor had the biggest impact on you? I was very fortunate to have a class with the Hon. Jose Linares of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Having a Judge as your professor gives you a greater insight into what is expected of you in the real world as an attorney.
I drafted motions and gave oral arguments before a District Judge who gave me great constructive criticism, and I’m a better professional because of it.
Karen Leve ’14
Undergrad: McGill University
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
New position: Law Clerk for the Honorable Sallyanne Floria, Presiding Judge, Family Court, Essex County, New Jersey
Biggest lesson learned at Seton Hall Law: It is important to step outside of your comfort zone. There are a lot of amazing opportunities to practice your legal skills at Seton Hall and I am so glad that I took advantage of so many of them.
When I was assigned my Family Law Clinic case, I was very nervous about taking the lead on the case and conducting a trial. However, despite my nerves and with the support of my clinical professor, Professor Kevin Kelly, my court room work ended up being the highlight of my law school career and solidified my desire to practice as a trial attorney.
What will you miss most about Seton Hall Law? The community. As a student, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with many alumni and professors at various school-sponsored functions. Many of them were happy to meet with me and support me throughout law school.
Which Seton Hall Law professor had the biggest impact on you? If I have to pick one, it would be Professor Jessica Miles. She truly cares about her students and about the impact her classes have on her students. Professor Miles is never too busy to help with a problem or to give career advice. Throughout law school she served as a mentor to me and will continue to be someone that I look to for guidance as I advance my career.
Clais Daniels-Edwards ‘14
Hometown: Oakland, California
New position: Attorney Trainee (for Assistant Public Defender), Miami-Dade Office of the Public Defender, Florida
Biggest lesson learned at Seton Hall Law: Don’t just network at SHU Law, network everywhere —opportunities come in various forms and in many different locations.
What will you miss most about Seton Hall Law? The friends that I have made over the last three years.
Which Seton Hall Law professor had the biggest impact on you? There’s a tie between Professors Bernard Freamon and Rachel Godsil. Both of these professors are not only brilliant, but they are approachable and really care about the success of their students. With both of these professors, they are people whom I could turn to when I felt overwhelmed by school, didn’t understand the material we were going over in class, or just needed a place to forget about the stresses of law school.
Robert Granzen '14
Undergrad: Seton Hall University
Hometown: Vernon, New Jersey
New position: Judicial Law Clerk, Hon. Stephen Taylor, New Jersey Superior Court
Biggest Lesson Learned at Seton Hall Law: Networking is a 24/7 job. Seton Hall provided numerous opportunities each semester. Take advantage of them!
What do you miss most about Seton Hall Law? Section D! Seton Hall’s orientation did a great job of introducing me to friends that I'll have forever. It will be strange taking the next step in my professional life without the friends I made during my first year at law school.
Which Seton Hall Law professor had the biggest impact on you? Professor Jordan Paradise. She was not only able to take incredibly difficult material and make it completely digestible, but she also helped me find the area of law I would like to practice in. Even after graduation, Professor Paradise has continually helped me find and pursue various legal opportunities.
Annie Collart '14
Undergrad: Marquette University
Hometown: Bolingbrook, Illinois
New position: Law Clerk, Justice Anne M. Patterson, New Jersey Supreme Court
Biggest lesson learned at Seton Hall Law: Balance and perspective. Grades are important, but so is your significant other, and your sister, and your new found law school friend, etc. There are only so many hours in a day and at some point, you have to sleep. In the end, a glass of wine and an hour with someone you love will usually do more good than making those extra flashcards.
What will you miss most about Seton Hall Law? Seeing at least 20 friends four nights a week. Now that we are all able to have social lives again, it's much harder to get people together!
Which Seton Hall Law professor had the biggest impact on you? I had a lot of great professors at Seton Hall. One of the first was my Legal Research & Writing (LRW) professor, Amy Newcombe. Addressing me only as "Ms. Collart," it was clear from our first class that, despite our newness to the profession, she would be treating each student as a professional colleague and had high expectations of our work. She was the best of the adjunct LRW professors for teaching the Bluebook, and despite a demanding day job, it was clear that she dedicated numerous hours to giving constructive and thoughtful comments on drafts and assignments. I received one of my lowest grades in law school in her class, but it was also one of the classes where I learned the most.
A note: After taking the bar, I went back to my undergraduate university, Marquette for a visit, 10 years on. In addition to my wonderful friends and my fond memories of campus and Tuesday night Masses at St. Joan of Arc Chapel, what impacted me most during my time at Marquette was the service learning component of my classes. Marquette's emphasis on this part of its students' development is my favorite thing about the university and what makes me proud to be a Marquette graduate. I was so fortunate to have found in Seton Hall a law school that continued this tradition.
Through Seton Hall Law's Pro Bono Program and the help of Professor Phillip Ross, I was able to volunteer with Wynona's House in Newark, an organization that promotes justice and healing for child victims of abuse and violence by coordinating investigations, prosecution, treatment and prevention services. Through Seton Hall Law's Juvenile Justice Clinic, I had the opportunity to represent indigent juvenile defendants in preliminary detention proceedings and on one full case. And through the Southern District of New York Mediation class, Seton Hall offered me the opportunity to negotiate a settlement on behalf of an indigent client in an employment discrimination case. I am confident that in the years to come, just as it has with Marquette, the service component of my time at Seton Hall Law will make up my fondest memories and greatest learning.