Posted: April 30th, 2019
Because veteran Cade Spivey (JD ’21) isn’t quite sure which area of law he wants to practice after graduation, he’s exploring criminal defense, contracts, and national security law in and outside of the Wake Forest classroom.
Where do you call home?
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Where did you study for your undergraduate degree?
U.S. Naval Academy
Where are you working your 1L summer?
Virginia Beach Public Defenders Office
What do you look forward to learning and experiencing in your summer position?
I came to law school wanting to do criminal defense work and working with indigent defense is a great opportunity to help people in need, get some great experience, and maybe rekindle that fire. I’m really excited to put some of these skills to work.
Are you interested in a specific area of law?
I’m very open minded and feel like I could do just about anything, but I am currently most interested in contracts and national security law. The military has undergone a large personnel shift since 9/11 and contractors are playing a much larger role in the Department of Defense—the country’s largest employer. There are unique problems requiring varied skill sets and my expertise makes me particularly suited for one of these roles.
Why did you decide to attend Wake Forest Law?
I wanted a great school that was still relatively close to home so that I could still regularly see my wife who is a Naval Officer in Virginia Beach. I was blown away when I came for a visit—the help that the admissions department gave me while working with the Veterans Affairs (VA) made the decision pretty easy.
Describe the Wake Forest community.
I turned 30 just before the beginning of school and I was worried about coming back with a bunch of younger students. These people are some of the most welcoming that I have ever met in my life. I felt like I was everyone’s best friend after just a few days together and aside from a few old man jokes here and there I’ve never felt out of place. I’m glad to have met everyone here.
What is your most memorable experience during law school (thus far)? What makes it so memorable?
I’ll never forget my first day in town. I unpacked, got settled, and before I even had time to sit down, my phone started blowing up with people in my class who wanted to get dinner and drinks at the Porch. In my first day here, I made friends who I will keep for life. That’s when I knew I was in the right place.
What are you involved in outside the classroom?
I am involved with the Veterans Advocacy Legal Organization (VALOR) and intramural volleyball. VALOR is a great opportunity to meet with other veterans. It’s also a good way to talk to those who have family serving about their experiences. They have some really neat community outreach goals coming down the road and I’m excited to see where it ends up.
Intramural volleyball has been a nice distraction at the end of the year. It’s relaxing to meet up with some fellow stressed-out law school students and take out that frustration via competition.
What do you do for fun in Winston-Salem when you aren’t studying?
I’m a bit of a gym rat, so you’ll likely find me either at school or in the gym. I also live downtown, so when I want a moment for myself I just take a stroll down Trade Street and do some people-watching or sightseeing. There’s not a bad bar downtown and the people you meet are always interesting—I highly recommend Burger Batch for their Figgy Piggy Burger as it’s become a guilty pleasure of mine.
Where do you want your law degree to take you?
“You’re asking me how a watch works. For now, we’ll just keep an eye on the time.” – Alejandro (Sicario, 2005)