Buckley's Mix

Student Bios

Posted November 24, 2020, 15:11 ET Comments Off on Student Bios

Angelica Banks.

Howdy y’all, my name is I’m a Californian, born and raised, but (somehow) a mid-westerner at heart. I went to school for the first 7 years of my life in Southern California, then had a brief stint going to secondary school in Edinburgh, Scotland for a year, and then finished out the last 8 years back in sunny So-Cal. After I graduated from college, I did what any rational person would do – give up sunny So-Cal for the gloomy, bi-polar climate in Washington, D.C. (I’ll let you decide if I mean the weather or the people).

I spent the last 9 months working at Economic Innovation Group, where I got the chance to work on economic policy during the height of the COIVD-19 recession. As I was helping develop policy proposals to revitalize America’s heartland and bolster rapidly shuttering small businesses, I shifted my focus to getting on the Hill to actualize these policies. Unfortunately, all the job listings had one barrier to entry: “must have Masters, JD, or equivalent,” and since I’ve always wanted to go to law school, I figured now was my chance. And here we are now.

When I’m not reading for class, I love to cook and bake, read in my hammock when it’s not ungodly humid or raining outside, and go out on hikes/explore the area. If the current environment permits it, I would love to bake some banana bread for the class since it’s the best in the business (so I’ve been told). I look forward to getting to know my classmates, as well as understand the maze that is Property and Contract Law.


Michelle Bauer

I am 21 and from Saint Marys, Pennsylvania. Growing up I spent most of my time in the woods and still love to be outdoors. I attended Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale where I obtained a Finance degree.

In my free time I enjoy running, stand up paddleboarding, and traveling. I try to travel at least once a year and am hoping Corona ends soon so that I can go explore more places.

In the future I hope to one day own my own business and use my knowledge in the law field to help me in this endeavor.


Kevin Beck

I was born and raised in Rhode Island, and spent summers setting up big party tents and rental furniture at the Newport Tent Company. I attended the University of Rhode Island, pursuing a degree in electrical engineering, and interned two summers at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. After graduating, I moved to upstate New York to work at the Naval Nuclear Laboratory site in Schenectady. I spent eight years there, providing fleet support for OHIO-class submarines and becoming the cognizant engineer for primary and nuclear instrumentation.

I’m making the change to law because it’s a topic that I enjoyed reading about in my free time, and I was at a good spot in life to explore different options. I enjoy reading, baking, and biking.

Mnelik Belete

I was originally born in Silver Spring, MD and was raised in both Silver Spring and then Bethesda MD. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from George Mason University in Spring of 2020 with a Degree in Criminology with a minor in Forensic Psychology.

My hobbies are pretty much anything that keeps me active (hiking, SCUBA, Kayaking, working out etc.) and things that are adrenaline filled (shooting, going to auto races, etc.) Currently I am exploring the option of going into National Security, Constitutional or International Business Law. I hope to have the opportunity to have some fun times with you all during this crazy time of law school!

Alexis Braswell

I’m originally from Moyock, North Carolina, a small town outside of the Outer Banks. I moved to Blacksburg, Virginia in 2016 to attend Virginia Tech and recently graduated in May. I majored in both Political Science and Spanish, with a minor in Science, Technology and Law. During undergrad, I spent a semester enrolled at the Universidad de Oviedo in Spain, where I completed my Spanish coursework. I’ve interned at a personal injury law firm, a real estate law firm and at GEICO; however, I am currently interested in pursuing immigration law.


Courtland Culver

I grew up in Ocala, Florida, and received my undergraduate degree from Florida State University where I majored in Economics. I then went on to get my MS in Applied Economics from FSU. I love reading books about economics, politics, and philosophy, as well as playing the piano.


Becky Fitzgerald

I am from Northern Virginia and come from two homes. I went to school and grew up in Centreville, Virginia where my mom lived for 15 years, and I spent part of my time in Ashburn, Virginia where my dad and stepmom have lived for 17 years. I attended undergrad at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia where I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Spanish Minor. I collaborated with a UMW alum who currently works as Data Privacy counsel for Verizon on a project for students, which facilitated my growing interest in Data Privacy and Information Security law. Additionally, I completed an Honor’s thesis entitled “Latinas in Office: Lack of Party Support and Disproportionate Underrepresentation” about Latina women running for election to the U.S. House of Representatives in specific Latinx-dense states from 2012 to 2018. I am incredibly interested in working with Spanish-speaking clients who face language barriers in navigating the U.S. legal system, in addition to protecting and defending data privacy rights.

The past four summers I have worked as a server at Trump National Golf Club in Lowes Island, Virginia where I have had the privilege to serve the President, Vice President, several Senators, and the head of National Intelligence. My coworkers largely immigrated from Latin-American countries, and as such have inspired me to work in the Immigration Law field pro-bono. My job is not politically affiliated, and it has been a wonderful experience that has provided me with many skills resulting in my nomination for employee of the year. On a more casual note, I love running, working out, cooking, baking, sleeping and wine! If you ever need anything, I am a great listener and would be happy to help. I hope to get to know you all more as the semester progresses!

Merissa Kelberman

I grew up in Bolton, Massachusetts and attended Stony Brook University on Long Island, NY where I played Division I College Soccer. I am also continuing my Division I soccer career here at Mason, playing my last year of eligibility on the Fairfax campus. In undergrad, I majored in Political Science and Philosophy and minored in Professional Writing. I am interested in studying National Security, but I am not sure yet what I would like to do within that field.

Growing up, I split time in Hawaii in the winters and spending the school year in MA. I have never lived in the city before, so Arlington is a really new experience for me, but I am enjoying it so far!

Timothy Kilcullen

Having grown up primarily (though not exclusively) in Illinois, I went to the University of Illinois and majored in Economics and English. After graduation, I worked on several campaigns before becoming a research assistant at State and Federal Communications, a campaign finance and lobbying compliance firm in Akron, Ohio. I am going to Scalia School in the hopes of having a career in campaign finance and related speech law. An avid news-junkie, my other hobbies include watching movies, listening to podcasts, and hanging out with friends and family.

Juliet Lomeo

I am from Pittsburgh, PA. I went to college at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., where I studied finance and minored in sport and entertainment management. Currently, I am interested in entertainment law. I think it would be interesting to negotiate legal issues for music artists or sports players.

Back in Pittsburgh, I have a German Shepherd who is the prettiest, most playful dog you will ever meet. I also have a cat named Louie, who I took with me to keep me company in the big city! I enjoy listening to music, riding my bike, watching college football (I’m an Ohio State fan, sorry), and traveling(pre-pandemic).

I am very excited to see what Arlington and Scalia Law has in store!

Emma Masterman

I grew up in Annandale, Virginia but spent the last four years completing my undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. I’m excited to begin my journey here at Scalia Law, though I’ll admit that I miss waking up to country fog over the Blue Ridge. I majored in Religion and Culture, Pre-Law, and Creative Writing. I’ve worked for a small family law practice for the last three summers. Despite my experience working in the field of family law (or perhaps because of it), I am interested in pursuing criminal law, though this is subject to change, as contract law also piques my interest. My personal interests include non-academic writing, cooking, and hiking with my dog.

Heather McShea

I grew up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and attended the College of William & Mary for undergrad where I earned a dual degree in Finance and Psychology (graduating in May 2018). I moved to Washington, D.C. following graduation and have for the past two years worked at a large federal consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton, supporting a large-scale shared services initiative at the Department of Labor.

I have always leaned toward corporate/business law given my business background, and was exposed to a fair amount of administrative law through my work at the Department of Labor, but am excited to explore other areas during my time here.

In my free time you can find me reading, exercising/going to workout classes, hiking (nothing too advanced – yet!), attending concerts and musicals/shows, and scoping out new restaurants.

Jannelle (JJ) Medina

I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. Upon graduation from high school, I enlisted in the Marine Corps. After completing training, I was stationed in Quantico, VA and served as my unit’s legal chief, sparking my initial interest in law. While in Quantico, I completed an A.S. in Political Science and began working toward a B.A. in English at George Mason University, which I completed in December 2018.

In my spare time I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and paddle boarding. Outside of that, I love watching rugby and finding good local food.

Zachary Moore

I recently moved to Arlington from Rockaway, New Jersey. I went to Seton Hall University majoring in History and Philosophy, and minoring in Classics. For the last year and a half, I have been employed at a financial consulting firm, where I have been working closely with the sales and marketing group. In my free time I enjoy cooking and watching silent films, especially comedies by Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd.

Payal Patel

I was born and raised in Northern Virginia, and I graduated from George Mason University in Spring 2020. I earned my undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and look forward to exploring my interest in patent law. I am excited to go straight into law school and continue my studies at GMU!

I am thrilled to be in Arlington and hope to explore the area more. In my free time, I enjoy trying out different restaurants (I am a “foodie”), watching movies and TV shows, and spending time outdoors

Antonia Mordino

While this will be my first year at George Mason Law School, this will be my second time at a “Mason.” I grew up in Mason, Ohio and attended Mason High School. I graduated with honors from the University of Kentucky where I majored in economics and minored in Spanish. During my undergraduate years, I tutored writing, speaking, and economics. I studied abroad in Costa Rica where I took courses at the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. Last semester, I participated in the Disney College Program in Florida. When that was cut short due to Covid, I moved back to Ohio and contacted one of the local courthouses. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to shadow a judge at the Warren County Common Pleas Court all summer. This recent experience has made me even more excited to start law school.

Outside of school and work, I enjoy reading, playing tennis, baking, traveling, and hanging out with friends and family. I love animals, but I had to leave my two puppies back in Ohio. Since my apartment doesn’t allow pets, I have started a new hobby: indoor gardening. I also hope to use my free time to explore the Northern Virginia and DC area.


Luz Solano-Florez

I am originally from Colombia but I grew up in an American compound in Saudi Arabia. I have also lived in Spain, Louisiana, Connecticut, and Illinois. I have a bachelor’s in law (LLB) from IE University in Madrid and an LLM from Northwestern University in Chicago. In the past I have worked for both local and foreign law firms in Spain mostly working with international clients and cross border transactions

Colleen Seidel

I was born and raised in Spotsylvania, VA, which is about 1.5 hours south of Arlington. I graduated from Vanderbilt University last May with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience. Living in Nashville was incredible, and I highly recommend a trip down if you ever get the chance! Nashville was an awesome city to live in for four years, but I’m excited to be back in VA to explore Arlington and D.C. I love spending time outside, reading, baking, and studying in new locations. I’ve had internships at the USPTO and my county’s Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. Right now I am interested in intellectual property law, but I’m excited to learn about other fields to see if my interests will change.

Alex Shin

I was born in South Korea and emigrated to the United States in 1994. I have lived in Boston, Western Maryland and Virginia. I attended undergraduate at the University of Virginia and graduated with a B.A. in History in 2012. I was in the Marine Corps and the reserves until 2017. I worked full time for a police department most recently as a fugitive investigator until mid-August 2020.

I live in Northern Virginia with my wife Grace, and our two dogs Sydney and Charley. I enjoy spending time with my wife and dogs and have been looking for any reason to spend time(safely) outside the house.

Stuart Spooner

A native of Alabama, I moved to the DC area after college and haven’t left since. I’ve spent the bulk of my career so far in the campaigns and elections space, focusing on providing project and organization management, as well as communications and strategic expertise for a wide variety of campaigns and initiatives across the country.

I graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations, where I was active in several organizations, including serving as a dedicated student-recruiter for our championship-winning football program.

When I’m not studying, you can find me watching the Atlanta Braves, cheering on my Auburn Tigers, going for a run, making my signature smoked ribs or pork shoulder, or spending time with my wife, Rosie — and sometimes all of those on the same day!

Daniel Thetford 

Daniel Thetford is originally from the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Daniel graduated from Patrick Henry College in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Government and a focus on public policy and federal regulatory law. During his time at Patrick Henry College, Daniel competed with the Moot Court and British Parliamentary Debate teams, served as Student Body President and a Student Senator, contributed and edited for the Patrick Henry College Undergraduate Law Review, and served as a Resident Assistant in the dorms. Since graduating, Daniel has been working as a paralegal for two civil litigation law firms, one in North Carolina, and one in Virginia. When he is not studying, you can find Daniel on an outdoor adventure, participating in events at his church, or taking part in lively discussions.


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