David Mitchell developed an interest in studying law while earning his undergraduate degree in political science and economics at New York University.
A Delaware native, Mitchell had never visited any southern state before choosing Vanderbilt for law school. But he was impressed by Vanderbilt’s strong sense of community even before he joined it. “I felt welcomed into the Vanderbilt Law community before I even started here,” he said. “People here are more than willing to lend out that helping hand.”
Mitchell met his roommate and friend, Matt Kusel, after both joined the Vanderbilt Law Class of 2013 Facebook group. “We both liked sports and we’re both laid back,” Mitchell said. “We decided to room together, and we’ve become close friends.” After commuting to an apartment in Bellevue during their 1L year, Mitchell and Kusel moved to a townhouse within easy biking distance of the law school after their first year. “It’s nice not to be totally dependent on a car,” he said. “We’re taking a lot of the same classes, and less commuting means more time for studying and activities like Moot Court and to get involved in student organizations.” Mitchell served as president of the Black Law Student Society (BLSA), which sponsors outside speakers as well as an annual talent show, as a 3L after serving as the organziation's events coordinator as a 2L.
After serving two internships, including a judicial clerkship for course credit supervised by Professor Tracey George during summer 2011, Mitchell secured a position for summer 2012 with Hogan Lovells in New York through Vanderbilt’s On-Campus Interviews (OCI) process last August and plans to join the firm as a full-time associate after graduation. “Career Services does a good job of preparing you for interviews,” he said. He rotated throughseveral practice groups focusing on securities regulation, intellectual property, employment, banking, real estate and automotive law as a summer associate. "It was a great opportunity to explore several different areas of law," he said.
Mitchell took a mix of classes, including Intellectual Property, Corporations, Complex Litigation, Wills and Trusts, and Evidence, with the aim of gaining a broad background in substantive areas of law. “Professors here have been just great with office hours, being available after classes, and with helping find opportunities for internships and research projects,” he said.
Mitchell relished the challenge of participating in Moot Court and worked two semesters as a research assistant for Professor George, an experience he cites as among his most rewarding at Vanderbilt. “I researched multidistrict tort and shareholder derivative litigation related to the BP oil spill,” he said. “I had Contracts from Professor George my first year, and I chose to take Evidence as a 2L in part because I wanted to take another class from her. She’s been helpful throughout my whole experience here. She’s able to convey complex concepts in a very logical and straightforward way. With evidence, you have all of these rules stacking on top of each other, and she gives very concrete, helpful examples.”
Class of 2013
- Undergraduate: New York University (political science and economics)
- Hometown: Newark, Delaware
- After graduation: Associate, Hogan Lovells, New York
- Summer 2012: Hogan Lovells, New York
- Summer 2011: Judicial intern, Judge Francesca E. Connolly, Supreme Court, Ninth Judicial District Westchester County, New York; Summer Intern, Jones LLP, Scarsdale, New York
- 2012-13: President, Black Law Students Association