Alumnus Gives Back to Support AUWCL Students in their Career Goals

As Laura Klick worked to finish her second year at American University Washington College of Law, she also wrapped up a semester of valuable practical experience as a law clerk at Stein Sperling, a business and corporate law firm in the D.C.-area.

"I got a lot of hands on experience," explained Klick."I sat in on client meetings, was doing legal research on clients, companies, and local law. I also worked on bigger projects, including the opportunity to go on a site visit and meet with opposing parties."

Klick learned about Stein Sperling when she attended a small Group Alumni Networking Event (GANE) hosted by alumnus Millard Bennett '77, one of the founders of the firm. AUWCL alumni from various legal backgrounds organize these events for current students interested in their area of practice.

Bennett (pictured right with his son, Timothy Bennett '99 ) has focused his practice on business organization, business ownership conflicts, conflict resolution, transition of ownership interests, estate planning, and civil litigation.

"Millard asked about each student's interests, talked about his firm and what he did, shared how he created his career path, and why he likes what he does," said Klick, "It was a laid back atmosphere and he was very candid about his practice."

After the session, Klick (pictured left) followed up with Bennett, and inquired about a clerkship for the spring semester. She got the job.

"We have hired many AUWCL graduates, and the thing that I find is that they see a bigger picture," said Bennett. "Laura brought an enthusiasm, and an intellectual curiosity. She's done a really fine job with grasping the legal issues, researching the legal issues, and putting the legal research and issues together with the matter itself."

Bennett attended AUWCL, but he says he was "reintroduced" to the law school when his son attended. He joined the prestigious Myers Society—the law school's generous community of donors—which he chaired for many years.

"When I became involved with the students I realized how many of them had never had an opportunity to sit down with a practicing lawyer and learn about law," said Bennett.  "That's when I decided to get involved in establishing networking sessions. I wanted to give students an opportunity to have an understanding about the various areas of law before choosing a career path."

Through his involvement in the Myers Society and Dean's Advisory Council, Bennett has organized many networking-related events from GANE sessions to "speed networking" to support AUWCL students in their career goals. Bennett hopes more alumni will consider getting involved and giving of their time.

"Alumni can be extraordinarily valuable to law students and recent graduates," said Bennett. "They can provide guidance for those going through the growing stages as they get out into the practice."

Klick considers Bennett to be a mentor. Although her clerkship has come to an end, she plans to stay in touch.

"It's great to have found an area of the law that I really enjoy while working in an environment that I recognize is a great fit," said Klick. "I want to thank Millard for the opportunity and for being a big supporter of me and all AUWCL students."