UM Law School names 2022 Class of business law fellows

Published 2:45 pm Monday, February 21, 2022

The University of Mississippi School of Law has named 14 first-year law students as 2022 business law fellows.

The new fellows are: Hattie Burdin, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Cassidy Dearman, Leakesville; Kennedy Gerard of Laplace, Louisiana; Madison Gray of Monticello, Arkansas; Holdon Guy of Johnson City, Tennessee; Colin Haley of Charlotte, North Carolina; Dawn Jackson of Baldwyn;

Hannah Kent of Dyersburg, Tennessee; Winston Lee of Grenada; Mary Caroline Newman of Memphis, Tennessee; Hayden Park of Corinth; Oliver Samples of Pulaski, Virginia; Morgan Weeks of Decatur, Illinois; and Tyler White of Flora.

The Business Law Fellowship is a program unique to the Ole Miss law school. It allows first-year law students who are interested in business and corporate law to kick-start their careers by spending a summer in general counsel offices of large corporations.

“The Business Law Fellowship program’s continued success sets us apart as a leader in business law education,” said Susan Duncan, the school’s dean. “Thanks to our corporate partners, our students gain invaluable experience through an opportunity that would typically take years of legal practice.

“A goal of UM law is to prepare our students for the real-world practice of law, and this program does just that.”

Corporate partners include FedEx, C Spire, International Paper and Ingalls Shipbuilding.

To apply, first-year students submit a written essay and complete a competitive interview process. The fellowship continues beyond working for a major company during the summer. Fellows are also placed in advanced business courses, including Corporations, Mergers and Acquisitions, Business Law Writing and Accounting for Lawyers.

The school also hosts guest speakers as part of the Business Law Fellows speaker series.

“As a business owner, I wanted to apply for the fellowship because I love business in general, and the opportunity to work with corporations is a rare opportunity that you really can’t get as a 1L, so it creates this unique opportunity that was really exciting,” said White, who majored in integrated marketing communications at UM.

White started his own business, Stay Anchored Apparel, in 2016. As demand grew for custom apparel orders, he started a subsidiary, TeeWhites, as a way to help other businesses advertise through custom apparel and promotional products.

As his company grows, so does his desire to learn more about the legal side of business.

“I’m just really looking forward to getting hands-on experience with businesses in the real world,” he said. “I’m hoping to take the knowledge from the summer placement opportunity and put it in my toolbox of legal experience”

Jackson earned her undergraduate degree in international business from Mississippi State University, and her goal is to assist small businesses with legal issues.

“This opportunity seemed like a good way to meet other people who are interested in business and people who are already in the legal field who can help me learn the basics of business law,” she said.

Dearman earned her undergraduate degree in accounting at UM, so she wanted to stick to the business side of law. She’s specifically interested in contracts, mergers and acquisitions.

“My family has always been involved in business, so it was the natural path for me to take,” she said. “The business law fellowship will guide me toward continuing my goal of entering the corporate world by providing me with opportunities to collaborate with people in the business law field.”

The fellowship began in 2019 and is part of the school’s business law program. National Jurist magazine consistently recognizes Ole Miss as a top school for business law.

The university strives to be a resource and partner for industry. To learn more about the university’s industry engagement initiative, contact Hughes Miller at hughes@olemiss.edu and 662-915-2885 or visit https://industry.olemiss.edu.