January 16, 2019
Seven Southwestern Alumni Selected for ABOTA Fellowships
The Los Angeles Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) has selected seven outstanding members of Southwestern's 2018 Class for its prestigious three-month Fellowship program. Graduates Angela Boiadjian, Kim Haycraft, Nadine Hughes, Sarkis Manukyan, Robert Rhoten, Parisa Saleki, and Jennifer Volanti will spend three months working for a defense firm, a plaintiffs firm, and a Superior Court Judge.
The fellows chosen for this competitive program were selected based on their outstanding resumes, passionate statements of interest, and deep commitment to civil jury trial practice. ABOTA Chairman, Steve Glickman, was effusive in his praise for the group of Southwestern students selected for the fellowship. “We only accept the best and brightest graduating students who have shown through their law school activities and work experience a true desire to be trial lawyers.”
Shahrzad Poormosleh, Associate Dean for Career Services, further commended the students for their dedication to trial work. “The ABOTA Fellowship Program is a highly coveted gateway into a career in civil trial work, and we are proud of Southwestern’s continued and strong presence in the program,”
"Over the 14 years I have been the chair of the Fellowship Program, I have consistently been impressed with applicants from Southwestern Law School -- especially those who have participated in the Trial Advocacy Honors Program. This year is no exception -- we have a great group of SWLAW Fellows." Steve Glickman, ABOTA Chairman
Participating students took the bar exam in July 2018, and the Fellowship commenced in September 2018, after which each fellow spends the first month supporting a civil defense firm, the second in a civil plaintiff’s firm, and the final month shadowing a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge both in the courtroom and in chambers. Fellows often receive job offers from one of the host firm placements, according to Dean Poormosleh.
Robert Rhoten ’18 is among the fellows who have received promising job offers post-fellowship. He reflects on both his time at Southwestern and his experience as an ABOTA fellow with an appreciation for the institution’s uniquely supportive atmosphere and with pride for the successes he's been empowered to achieve. “Southwestern was always welcoming and supportive to my family, which has meant the world to us. While at Southwestern, I was able to create lasting friendships with fellow students and faculty. I found great mentors who helped me achieve my goals, one of which was serving as a fellow in the American Board of Trial Advocate’s post-bar fellowship program. I am happy and proud to announce that after the fellowship concludes, I will begin as an associate at the Law Offices of Michael D. Gonzalez, where I will practice medical malpractice defense, continuing to make Southwestern proud.”
For years, Southwestern has continually produced an enviable number of ABOTA fellows. Dean Poormosleh knows precisely why: “It is no accident that year after year, Southwestern boasts a considerable number of exceptional ABOTA fellows. Southwestern is widely recognized as a top law school for its extensive training and support for aspiring trial lawyers and litigators.” Glickman agrees: “Over the 14 years I have been the chair of the Fellowship Program, I have consistently been impressed with applicants from Southwestern Law School -- especially those who have participated in the Trial Advocacy Honors Program. This year is no exception -- we have a great group of SWLAW Fellows.”