After Griffin Farha narrowed his choices to two law schools, his visit to Vanderbilt became the deciding factor. “I found that Vanderbilt’s culture optimizes what I call the ‘smarts-to-stuffiness’ ratio,” he said. “I was immediately impressed by the intelligence and curiosity of Vanderbilt students. At the same time, I noticed they genuinely enjoyed the company and successes of their classmates.”
Now a 3L, Farha has relished his law school experience. “Vanderbilt’s academic rigor has blown away my expectations,” he said. “I am amazed by the quality of teaching and, frankly, the sheer volume of information we learn in a short period of time.”
Farha, who spent last summer working at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C., is interested in a career in litigation. As a 2L, he joined the ABA Moot Court Travel Team. He also joined the Vanderbilt Law Review staff and is serving as the journal’s executive editor this year as a 3L. “The executive editor can be compared to the chief operating officer of a company, responsible primarily for internal matters. For the Law Review, this includes administering the write-on and note-on competitions, leading new-member orientation, editing student notes, and organizing staff events,” he explained.
Farha plans to clerk for judges at both the district court and appellate levels, including Judge Richard J. Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, a lifelong friend and mentor. Based on advice from Judge Leon, he worked for three years between college and law school. Farha was a research analyst at CEB Inc., an Arlington, Virginia, firm that advises corporate executives. His experience in CEB’s legal and compliance practice confirmed his decision to pursue a career in law.
At Vanderbilt, Farha has chosen classes addressing a broad range of topics, though he stresses the importance of Vanderbilt’s first-year curriculum. “I appreciate Vanderbilt’s efforts to rethink the traditional law school curriculum,” he said. “Regulatory State is a required first-year course, which is a good example of Vanderbilt’s willingness to tailor its curriculum to today’s lawmaking process. Concepts I learned in Regulatory State came in handy during my first summer internship, when my colleagues from other schools had little exposure to administrative law.”
He has served as a research assistant for Professors Suzanna Sherry, Tracey George and Nancy King, experts in constitutional law, litigation and criminal procedure, respectively. “Vanderbilt’s faculty is simply amazing,” he said. “Many professors are the leading scholars in their areas of focus, and their scholarship is matched by a dedication to high-quality teaching. And above all, they genuinely care about their students’ successes and are happy to help with career advice and references.”
Farha requested an admissions interview with a Vanderbilt alumnus when he applied to Vanderbilt and says the interview left him with a good impression of the Vanderbilt community. “He encouraged me to find the best personal fit, even if it wasn’t Vanderbilt,” he said. “I appreciated that he didn’t try to sell me on Vanderbilt at any cost. Instead, he wanted Vanderbilt to attract students who genuinely wanted to be there and were a good fit with its culture. This honesty and emphasis on personal fit stuck with me when I visited Vanderbilt and ultimately fell in love.”
Farha encourages prospective students to request an alumni interview and visit the school to determine if Vanderbilt is the right fit for them. “Vanderbilt is a welcoming, tight-knit community,” he said. “Everyone knows—and gets along with—everyone.”