Raghavendra (Rohit) Murthy, Class of 2023

RaghavendraRohit” Murthy taught high school chemistry for two years after earning a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry at Wesleyan University and Northwestern University, respectively. Rohit’s original career plan had been to become a chemistry professor, but his growing interest in science policy led him to apply to law school instead.

Rohit’s family now lives in Springfield, Massachusetts, but he was drawn to Vanderbilt because of its national rank, small size, and collegial culture—and because of his good memories of Nashville and Vanderbilt, where his father, a college professor, earned his Ph.D. in economics. “I remembered growing up in Hillsboro Village, and Nashville and Vanderbilt felt like home,” he said.

Vanderbilt’s strong track record of national placement and its collegial culture were also key factors in Rohit’s choice to attend Vanderbilt. “People come here from everywhere, and they go everywhere after they graduate, so we’re not really competing with each other. We all celebrate each other’s successes, and I’ll have friends all over the country after I graduate,” he said.

With his science background, Rohit entered law school expecting to focus on intellectual property or environmental law. But as he was exposed to different areas of law through the first-year curriculum, he found his interests broadened. “I really liked my 1L classes—even though I was called on in all three of my doctrinal classes on day one!” he said. “I found areas of law related to regulation, individual rights, and the environment particularly compelling, and I also developed an interest in international law.”

As a 1L, he joined the Ambassadors, which works with Admissions to reach out to prospective students. He also enrolled in the Vanderbilt in Venice program, which allows 1Ls to spend part of their summer break taking upper-level international electives. “The Venice program gave me a great opportunity to gain exposure to international law topics early on,” he said.

Rohit was vice president of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Ambassadors and served as a OneElevate mentor in a program supporting first-generation law students. “I saw my work on the Ambassadors, the EDI Council and OneElevate as opportunities to give back to the school and community I enjoyed so much,” he said.

Rohit found working on the Vanderbilt Law Review afforded more opportunities to explore different areas of law. “Reading and critiquing legal scholarship was invaluable to my growth as a law student. Selecting articles with the Law Review articles committee as editor-in-chief became a crash course in so many different areas of law. It’s also rare to have the chance to manage such a large team as a student, which was challenging, but such a pleasure—my classmates were great to work with!”

On law review and in classes, Rohit says he learned from his classmates as well as his professors. “Vanderbilt is a school with a good deal of diversity of thought, and faculty here are great teachers and careful researchers who are also interested in getting to know students and seeing us succeed,” he said. “I’ve learned from professors who are renowned experts in their fields and from my classmates because of how intellectually curious and thoughtful they are in their questions and comments. Law school is certainly challenging, but VLS has been my favorite academic experience.”

Rohit worked for a Dallas law firm in summer 2021 and found his summer 2022 job with Ropes & Gray in San Francisco through the On-Campus-Interview program at the beginning of his 2L year. He will return to Ropes & Gray’s San Francisco office as a litigation associate after graduation.

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