Sara Walden Brown 02L

Undergraduate institution: Mercer University
Major: French, English and Philosophy
Current Position/Employer: Associate at King & Spalding LLP in New York

Why did you decide to apply for a Woodruff Fellowship?

I learned about the Woodruff Fellowship late in my admission process and decided that I should submit an application as I believed that I met the required qualifications. I knew that the selection process for the Woodruff Fellowship was competitive but I decided that I would have no regrets if I applied and were not accepted but that it would be a tremendous opportunity wasted if I did not apply.

Was it a factor in you choosing Emory Law for your legal education?

Yes, I really wanted to attend Emory Law but had already received scholarship offers from other schools, which were making the decision process about which law school to attend difficult. With the Woodruff Fellowship, I was able to pursue my law degree at the law school of my choice without having to be concerned about tuition, and I even received a stipend to offset other costs. 

What does being a Woodruff Scholar mean to you?

Being a Woodruff Scholar means continuing a tradition of scholarship, service and fellowship. From the moment that I walked through the doors at Emory as a Woodruff, I felt connected to the history of the school, the benefactors that make the Woodruff possible, the faculty who support the selection process and the other students who were fellow scholars. My scholarship continues to be a proud reminder to me of the generosity of the university and the hard work that helped me earn the fellowship.

How has being a Woodruff Scholar shaped your law school and professional careers?

Earning the fellowship caused me to work harder in law school and it opened up many doors for professional opportunity. I have often been asked about the scholarship in interviews and business meetings, and I know that it speaks volumes about the quality of my education and the scope of my abilities. The fellowship has allowed me to maintain my connections to Emory through giving and recruiting. I made great friends through the interview process and during law school with whom I continue to stay connected. I continue to meet other Woodruffs in my professional career. Finally, it has allowed me to make decisions about my career without worrying about the overhang of student loans.

What all went in to the application process for becoming a Woodruff Scholar? How hard was the process?

The process was not difficult. I completed an application, submitted references from some of my professors and then participated in a weekend of interview on campus. The interviews were a fantastic opportunity to meet the faculty and staff at Emory and there were a number of activities planned around the interviews that allowed me to get to know the other candidates and the university.