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Damon Thayer and Mahmoud Fadlallah: University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN [By Charisse Dengler] Both Damon Thayer and Mahmoud Fadlallah think being involved in student organizations is important to the overall law school experience.

Thayer, who is in his third year at the

“I oversee all student organizations and, to a

volunteers to work in legal aid clinics in

University of Minnesota Law School, is

lesser extent, law students,” Thayer said. “I

Florida and Texas.

currently the President of the Law Council

oversee the distributing of money to student

at the University of Minnesota Law School.

organizations to fund activities and speakers,

Since it’s an organization open only to 1Ls,

He said his favorite part of studying the law

appointment of students to the various

the group will be electing another president

is “learning how to view the world from the

committees of the law school, organization

soon.

Ivory Tower.”

of our orientation activities, organization of

Thayer first decided to go to law school

our annual ‘Malpractice Ball,’ and any other

“I knew that I needed to do some

matters that come before us.”

extracurricular activity to maintain my

because he wasn’t ready to enter the

sanity through my first year of law school,”

“real world.” Now he is looking forward

Thayer said he ran for a representative

Fadlallah said. “I also wanted to do volunteer

to graduating and working in St. Louis in

position on the council after hearing about

work to assist people that need help. I found

the area of commercial litigation. So far,

what a rewarding experience it was.

that ALP embodied these two goals in one

constitutional law has been his favorite course. “Constitutional law is my favorite course because it is a consistent source of entertainment,” he said. “Judges do whatever they want without regard to that silly concept that most of us refer to as ‘the law.’” During his three years in law school, Thayer has interned at a small law office, the public defender’s office, a state trial court judge’s office, and Bryan Cave, LLP, where he realized he enjoyed commercial litigation. “Bryan Cave is a large law firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri,” he said. “The firm interviewed me through our On-Campus Interview (OCI) program. The experience was amazing, the perfect mix of substantive work and fun activities.”

form—where on the one hand I was gaining “It is a great way to stay balanced, meet

practical, extracurricular, real-life legal

new people, take on a leadership role, and

experience, and on the other hand I was

network with others,” he said.

helping those in need.”

Fadlallah, a 2L at the University of Minnesota

This past summer, Fadlallah interned at

Law School, decided on law school after

Honeywell International, Inc., in St. Louis

going through a process of elimination.

Park, Minnesota. While assisting the legal department, he gained experience in contract

“In the beginning, I was opposed to pursuing

review work and also got to be a part of an

a career in virtually every other field, and

international litigation.

law was just the leftover,” Fadlallah said. “After studying it and observing it operate

“I enjoyed the experience very much,” he

in society, I truly developed a passion for

said. “As the only legal intern, and the first

it. Although many [...] warned me that the

that Honeywell has hired in awhile, one can

fire for this passion [would] die after the

imagine how excited the general counsels

first year of law school, three weeks into my

of the various businesses were to have an

second year it is still burning.”

intern on board. I found that the people with whom I worked—attorneys and others—were

During his 1L year, Fadlallah served as

very intelligent and a joy to be around.

president of the school’s Asylum Law Project

Additionally, the work that I received was

(ALP), an organization “aimed at providing

interesting and diverse.”

As President of the Law Council, Thayer

legal aid to victims of political or religious

describes the council’s purpose as

persecution seeking asylum in the United

Fadlallah hopes to get an internship at a law

representing the views of the school’s law

States.” The organization raises money

firm for the coming summer, so that by his

students and taking action accordingly.

through various events and sends first-year

3L year, he will have gained a wide variety

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ON THE NET

of experiences and will be able to decide

background and experiences. I also feel

exactly what he wants to do with his law

like this world is becoming increasingly

degree.

globalized and [that] the importance of this

University of Minnesota Law School

field is only growing stronger.”

www.law.umn.edu

an ongoing process, and for me, it simply

When asked what his favorite law school

University of Minnesota Law Council

involves gaining as much experience as

memory is so far, Fadlallah said he’s living it.

www.tc.umn.edu/cgi-bin/

“Deciding what I am most interested in is

do?user=lcouncil&prog=SO.pl

a law student can in as many fields as possible,” he said. “Until now, I have enjoyed

“Seeing the new 1Ls matriculate and begin

everything except family law and criminal

classes has allowed me to reflect upon this

law. International fields of study have always

past year and see how much I have truly

interested me, primarily because of my

grown,” he said.

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Bryan Cave, LLP www.bryancave.com

Damon Thayer and Mahmoud Fadlallah: University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN  

Damon Thayer and Mahmoud Fadlallah, University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN. He is a president of the Law Council at the Univer...

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