Our People

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Anonymous Donor Gives Historic Gift to PILO For 2022-23 Academic Year

The Law School is pleased to announce that the Public Interest Law Organization (PILO) has received a generous anonymous gift, helping to fund its activities for the entire 2022-23 academic year. Continue reading »

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Professor Nell J. Newton, who led Notre Dame Law School as dean for 10 years, was named interim dean at Wake Forest School of Law.

Professor Nell J. Newton, Notre Dame Law School’s 10th dean for ten years, has been named as interim dean for Wake Forest School of Law. She is a leader in legal education and has been for more than 20 years. In addition, she has served as dean of prominent law schools nationwide since 1998. Continue reading »

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Class of 2025 breaks records to become one of the highest credentialed classes of Wake Forest Law

On Monday, August 15, the Class of 2025 entered Worrell Professional Center as the newest members of the Wake Forest Law community. Excited to embark on their legal journey, the students filled the law school’s auditorium to officially kick off Foundations Week. Interim Assistant Dean of Student Affairs & Executive Strategy Branden Nicholson was able to welcome the students. Continue reading »


Meet Anna Alieksieieva (LLM ’22)

At Wake Forest Law, we pride ourselves on welcoming students that come from anywhere and go everywhere. But very few come so far to be with us as our international LL.M. students. We sat down and talked with Anna Alieksieieva, a fresh graduate from the Class of 2022, about how she got here and where she’s going. Continue reading »

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“Redemption” for a Wake Forest Law Veterans Legal Clinic Client

Due to the efforts of Veterans Legal Clinic students Allison Spears and Walker Helms, under the supervision of Clinic Director Eleanor Morales, a clinic client now has an Honorable discharge and veteran status under the law. Continue reading »

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Faculty Highlight: Sarah Morath

Professor Sarah Morath is an expert on legal writing pedagogy who also teaches and publishes on a wide range of topics related to environmental law, food law and policy, agriculture, and natural resources law, among other subjects. Her scholarly contributions to the field of legal writing are extensive. Her recently published book, Our Plastic Problem and How to Solve It, was created from her expertise in both writing and environmental law. Continue reading »

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Wake Law Professor Stratos Pahis wins coveted Francis Deák Prize from the American Journal of International Law and the American Society of International Law

Wake Forest School of Law Professor Stratos Pahis was awarded the prestigious Francis Deák Prize by the American Journal of International Law and the American Society of International Law. The prize is awarded annually to honor a younger author who has made “a meritorious contribution to international legal scholarship.”

Professor Pahis was awarded the prize for his article, titled “BITs and Bonds: The International Law and Economics of Sovereign Debt,” 115 Am. J. Int’l L. 242 (2021). In the article, Professor Pahis demonstrates that applying international investment treaties to sovereign debt threatens to raise the overall cost of sovereign debt for creditors and States alike. He proposes an interpretative solution to this problem that leads to the equal treatment of creditors.

“It’s a huge honor, and I’m grateful that the ideas in the paper are being recognized,” said Professor Pahis when asked about his award. “We appear to be heading for a series of debt crises around the world – because of COVID and the war in Ukraine, among other reasons. The human toll of these crises threatens to be enormous. What I point out in the paper is that international investment law may end up making things worse, not better. There’s a solution, but first we need to recognize there’s a problem. I hope the award helps to bring the problem to greater light.”

The prize has been awarded annually since 1973 for the best scholarly article written by a younger author published by the American Journal of International Law. The Board of Editors of the journal voted to give Professor Pahis the Francis Deák Prize at their annual meeting on April 12, 2022.

Professor Pahis’ article can be downloaded here.

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Wake Forest Law student Darrien Jones receives Smith Anderson Pro Bono Award for Exceptional Service

Wake Forest University School of Law student Darrien Jones has been honored as the recipient of the 2022 Smith Anderson Pro Bono Award for Exceptional Service for his passion, creativity, dedication and commitment to serving people in need.

Smith Anderson, the largest business and litigation law firm based in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, funded the Smith Anderson Office of Community Outreach establishment eight years ago at Wake Forest Law, which houses the pro bono project and expungement clinic. Since then, Smith Anderson has honored a superb law student annually with the Pro Bono Award for Exceptional Service.


“Darrien’s commitment to community service and justice reflects well on the entire law school, and we applaud his exemplary dedication to pro bono work,” said Gerald Roach, Smith Anderson’s chair and immediate past chair of the Wake Forest University Board of Trustees.

Among his pro bono service, Darrien is the co-coordinator of the law school’s expungement clinic. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he helped transition the program to an online/call platform. This year alone, volunteers completed 175 criminal record reviews and expunged the criminal records of 50 people.


“Pro bono work isn’t just an afterthought at Wake Forest Law,” said Jane Aiken, dean of Wake Forest Law. “It is a fundamental part of a solid education for future members of the Bar, and Darrien is the epitome of what it means to use that education to help others.”

Darrien has served as vice president of the Student Bar Association. While he was vice president, the Greater Community Committee was created. Each week, the committee highlights a minority-owned and small business, and Wake Forest Law students, staff and faculty are encouraged to support and visit that business. While in law school, Darrien also tutored his fellow students in Torts and Constitutional Law and volunteered as a kindergarten teaching assistant.


Darrien accepted the award on April 23 at the law school’s Pro Bono Honor Society dinner.

“Pro Bono presents unique opportunities to make people’s lives better,” Darrien said. “It may allow people to obtain a job, to buy a house, to receive custody of their children, keep their business open another day, or, at the very least, make them smile – for moment, a day, a time in their life may be better. That is always worth it.”


Eligible candidates for the Smith Anderson Pro Bono Award for Exceptional Service must:

  • Be a Pro Bono Honor Society member (society members are students who complete 75 hours of pro bono service over a three-year period or 50 hours in one year);

  • Have 100 or more pro bono hours within three years or 75 hours or more within one year; and

  • Through a written nomination the recipient exhibits the passion, creativity, dedication and commitment to serving those in need in a way that results in demonstrated impact or increased access to legal information among an underserved population


For more details about the award, contact Bill Cresenzo, Communications and PR Coordinator for Smith Anderson, at wcresenzo@smithlaw.com or Wake Forest Law Marketing and Communications at lawcomm@wfu.edu.

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American Bar Association survey shows over 96% employment rate for Wake Forest Law in 2021

The American Bar Association (ABA) recently released the law school employment results for 2021 graduates from law schools across the country. Wake Forest Law ranked No. 3 out of 196 law schools in the number of graduates employed in full-time, long-term positions requiring a bar license or for which the JD is an advantage. As of March 15, 2022, 96.53% of Wake Forest Law’s 2021 graduates have employment in these “gold standard” jobs.

The class of 2021 has made its mark at the Wake Forest University School of Law. Graduates play an integral part in the institution’s future. When students come to law school, they have the reasonable expectation that they will pass the bar, get a meaningful job and not have enormous debt. Wake Forest Law is meeting those expectations. Being ranked No. 3 further confirms that a Wake Forest Law education propels students forward.

“These positive outcomes certainly reflect the quality of our students and the education they receive, but it is also a result of the investment of the law school in working with students from their first year of law school on the formation of a professional identity: understanding the career options available, internalizing the character qualities of a lawyer, and having the right tools to seek out and obtain the opportunities they want” said Francie Scott, Assistant Dean for Career & Professional Development. “We have a highly professional staff that provides key industry knowledge, maintains strong relationships with alumni and other stakeholders, and is deeply committed to seeing each student succeed.”

The ABA employment ranking is just the latest news involving Wake Forest Law’s outstanding reputation. On March 29, 2022, U.S. News & World Report ranked Wake Forest Law No. 37 out of the top 50 law schools in the country, tying with Boston College (MA), Fordham University (NY), University of California–Davis, University of California–Irvine, and University of Utah (Quinney). While the school consistently ranks among the top-tier law schools, this is the second rise in the rankings in the last two years.

“It doesn’t surprise me that Wake Forest Students are getting wonderful jobs. They are smart, strategic, collaborative and, despite all their talent, do not act as if they are entitled,” said Dean Jane Aiken. “The class of 2021 shows that what we are doing at Wake Forest Law is working!”

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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Marie-Amélie George

Professor Marie-Amélie George went to law school to become an advocate for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. After spending time in court as a domestic violence prosecutor at the Miami State Attorney’s Office, Professor George realized she needed to approach the problem differently. She started asking herself: How could she prevent these cases from happening?

That led her from the courtroom to academia, where she has become a leading expert in LGBTQ+ civil rights and family law. She received her Ph.D. in history from Yale in 2018, and since then she has researched the history of LGBTQ+ rights in America. What sets her work apart is her use of original historical records, which she collects by traveling to archives around the country. As a result, she can tell the story of LGBTQ+ rights in a way that no one else can.

“Although many documents are accessible online these days, the pieces of information I am looking for are not being digitized,” says Professor George. “I am reviewing original documents, listening to audio recordings of speeches that no one wrote down, and watching videos of commercials and films that are otherwise impossible to access.” Professor George additionally interviews those who were involved in LGBTQ+ rights litigation and legislation to fill in the gaps in the historical record.

Thanks to her painstaking efforts to uncover LGBTQ+ legal history, Professor George has become a leading expert in LGBTQ+ rights. As of late, prominent news organizations like the Washington Post, The Skimm, and the Houston Chronicle have asked for her comments and opinions. She also recently led a Legal Workshop for Harvard Law School.

Professor George is a recognized thought leader. The UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute recently awarded her the Michael Cunningham Prize for her 2019 article entitled “Framing Trans Rights.” She also received the Emerging Scholar in Gender and Law Award from Pace University for “Exploring Identity,” which she published in 2021.

Professor George continues to promote Wake Forest Law’s mission of educating the public. She is currently writing a book, Becoming Equal: American Law and the Rise of the Gay Family, based on her research. It will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2024.

For more updates on Professor George’s research and media appearances, please follow Wake Forest Law on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. You may also follow Professor George directly on Twitter, where she often shares other research and articles related to LGBTQ+ rights, family law, and more.