Courtney Klaus has a lot to be proud of, and she hasn’t even begun her career yet.
The 2020 Newman University communication and history graduate is currently in her final year at Notre Dame Law School. After she graduates, she’ll begin a full-time position as an associate at Polsinelli in Kansas City.
For now, though, Klaus is focused on making the most of her law school experience. And oh, what an experience that has been.
In February, Klaus took part in Notre Dame Law School’s 73rd annual Moot Court Showcase Argument. The showcase enabled her to argue a case in front of a panel of distinguished federal judges, including Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett of the Supreme Court of the United States, Judge Britt Grant of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and Chief Judge Diane Sykes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
“I advocated on the side of enforcing an anti-discrimination law in a moot court case written by other Notre Dame Law students,” Klaus explained. “Our team worked extremely hard to put this on and set a good example for the (first-year law) class. It was such an incredible honor to have this opportunity, and it was a highlight of my law school career.”
Klaus currently serves as president of Notre Dame’s Moot Court Board, which provides an opportunity for students to develop their research, writing and oral appellate advocacy skills. The Moot Court Board is an organization of the 38 best oralists and 12 best brief writers at Notre Dame Law School who compete worldwide.
Last year, before Klaus was elected as president, she placed as the second best oralist at the National Gaming Law Tournament in Las Vegas.
In addition, Klaus interviewed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as part of the recent Notre Dame Law Review Symposium and was published in the prestigious publication last year. Her article, “Put Mahanoy Where Your Mouth Is: A Closer Look at When Schools Can Regulate Online Student Speech,” focuses on the issue of free speech, which Klaus has been particularly interested in after doing student journalism at Newman.
While an undergraduate, Klaus minored in journalism and served as editor-in-chief of The Vantage student newspaper.
She feels that her time at Newman provided her with individualized focus and enabled her to explore a variety of areas of academia, which resulted in her ability to adapt to law school quickly and be versatile.
“Newman gives you a very well-rounded education, where you can specialize in a number of skills that are useful for law school,” Klaus said. “At Newman, I never felt like I was going through the motions to get to my law degree. I felt like every interest I had was catered to in a way that made life interesting, and in a way that encouraged me to explore more subject areas and disciplines than I believe I would have at any other institution.”
As Klaus soon begins her law career and follows her passion, she’ll carry the impact of Newman with her.
“Law makes the world go round,” she said. “It’s a very important part of society, the way it functions, and it’s embedded in everyday life in ways that we don’t think about a lot. It’s nice to have an understanding of how it works and how it shapes us.”
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