I graduated from Wake Forest University in 1992, with a double major in Politics (before the department name change) and History. I then went directly to Yale Law School, from which I received my juris doctor degree in 1995. After law school, I clerked first for a United States District Judge in Greensboro, North Carolina, and then for a United States Circuit Judge in Atlanta, Georgia. Following my clerkships, I spent a short time in private practice in Atlanta, during which time I primarily worked on First Amendment and related media litigation. In 1998, I returned to Greensboro to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina. In that capacity, I prosecuted a significant number and variety of federal criminal cases, including trying approximately 20 cases to jury verdicts and orally arguing approximately 15 cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. On November 18, 2009, I was appointed an United States Magistrate Judge. In this position, my tasks include conducting preliminary proceedings in all of the various types of civil and criminal cases in the Middle District of North Carolina, providing recommended rulings on dispositive motions in civil cases, and conducting civil and misdemeanor criminal trials with the consent of the parties.
My political science coursework at Wake Forest provided me with an excellent foundation for law school and my legal career. In particular, a number of writing projects I completed in American politics related courses prepared me well for all the legal writing I have done as a law student, as a civil and criminal litigator, and now as a judge. In addition, the many small, discussion-based classes I took within the political science department sharpened both my critical thinking and oral communication capabilities. I continuously have drawn upon those skills during the 17 years since I left Wake Forest. Without hesitation, I would say that, but for the training and education I received as a political science student at Wake Forest, I never could have had the professional success I have been so fortunate to enjoy. [posted January 2010]