Office of Student Affairs
Student Affairs is synonymous with comprehensive support for the law student community. Services include advising on course selection and academic planning as well as referral to faculty members for counsel in particular practice areas. Besides providing personal counseling in a confidential environment, Student Affairs offers access to a network of available services for additional support. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the office also offers comprehensive assistance to law students with special needs. Students are welcome to consult with the staff for other types of assistance. Each year, Student Affairs develops an outreach program with student organizations designed to facilitate student involvement in law school conferences, seminars, and special activities. The associate dean of student affairs meets regularly with the Student Bar Association (SBA) president and other student representatives to ensure an ongoing dialogue regarding concerns of the student community. Student Affairs maintains extended office hours and organizes events to meet the particular interests and needs of law students in the evening (part-time) program.
Associate Dean of Students
David B. Jaffe is the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. He oversees all aspects of the Office of Student Affairs, which includes support for JD students from Orientation, through academic and personal counseling, organization development, to Commencement. David also has directed WCL's June programs in Chile and more recently in Turkey. He received a BA in Spanish from Washington University in St. Louis and his J.D. from American University Washington College of Law. David previously served as director of alumni relations for AUWCL and also as special assistant to the dean.
Assistant Director of Student Affairs
Anita Padmanabhan is the Assistant Director of Student Affairs. She assists WCL students with academic counseling, bar exam advising, disability accommodations, and personal counseling. Anita began her legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Gerald I. Fisher of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and worked for a law firm in Maryland in the areas of nonprofit and corporate law. Prior to and during law school, she also worked as an educational counselor for a private company in Maryland. She received a B.A. in biology with a minor in painting from Washington University in St. Louis, an M.S. in cell biology from Yale University, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
Student Affairs and ADA Coordinator
Maura Ryan is the Student Affairs and ADA Coordinator. She assists WCL students with the coordination of Orientation and Commencement, disability accommodations, student organization programming, and the publication of WCL Daily. Prior to working with the Office of Student Affairs, Maura worked as an Admissions Counselor at WCL for four years. She has a BA in Political Science from East Carolina University.
Sarah Halpert , Ph.D.
Part-Time Staff Clinician, Counseling Center
Dr. Sarah Halpert received a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Catholic University of America. During her graduate career, Dr. Halpert pursued a variety of clinical (both therapy and testing) interests in the Washington, DC area. In particular, she worked at the VA Medical Center, a local elementary school, two university counseling centers (Catholic University and American University) and the Wake Kendall Group PLLC. Upon finishing her internship at the Johns Hopkins Counseling Center, Dr. Halpert returned to the Wake Kendall Group to pursue her therapy work, especially with adolescents and adults. As a therapist, her approach is integrative, incorporating both cognitive-behavioral and dynamic techniques, with the ultimate goal of helping clients achieve meaningful insight and change. Dr. Halpert is also a member of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy team at the Wake Kendall Group and co-leads groups as well as works individually with DBT clients. She is also trained in Prolonged Exposure, a treatment for PTSD. Overall, Dr. Halpert’s clinical interests include mood disorders, trauma-related work and anxiety, as well as disability and developmental issues (e.g. transitions, grief, and relationships).