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Student Profiles: Kristen Swift
Delaware student Kristen Swift has dedicated herself to learning and understanding the business and corporate law that is so central to Delaware.
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Changing the World
KraussSpiff450px“Ever since my childhood, I have known that I had an unexplainable desire to make the world a better place,” says Widener Law student Kevin Krauss, who serves as the 2012-13 president of the Chicago-based International Law Students Association (ILSA) which works to educate students and lawyers worldwide about international legal issues through conferences, legal publications, coordination of student chapter organizations, and the administration of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

When he began his law school career, Kevin thought that he might go into criminal prosecution or defense, but he found that his true passion lay in international law and diplomacy. In the summer of 2010, he traveled to Nairobi, Kenya as part of Widener Law’s summer abroad program and experienced a moment of clarity while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

“As I saw the sun setting overtop of the clouds and stretching out infinitely in swirling, vibrant colors, my cathartic moment hit me,” he wrote in declaring his candidacy for the ILSA presidency, adding that he wanted to preserve that beauty for succeeding generations to peacefully enjoy. “I knew that the best way to affect this type of positive change would be through effective and consensual rule-of-law initiatives within the legal and political system, itself,” he continued.

Says Kevin of his decision to come to law school; “My goal was to have my legal education shape and mold my idealistic goals into realistically achievable ones.” He is quick to praise the opportunities he has received at Widener Law, saying, “My legal education has far surpassed my expectations.”

In addition to studying in Nairobi, Kevin has competed in the Jessup Competition twice. He also served as a coach for the 2012 competition, and he will reprise that role in 2013. He served an externship in New York under the direction of Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development Andrew Strauss that was aimed at broadening the advisory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. Kevin previously served as the president of the school’s International Law Society, where he played an instrumental role in bringing former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr. to the Delaware campus for a discussion on nuclear weapons. He utilized those skills again recently when Gillian Sorensen, a senior advisor to the United Nations Foundation, and former U.S. Ambassador Robert T. Grey, Jr. spoke to both Widener Law campuses on the U.S.’s legal and political relationship with the United Nations.

“I have always been of the mindset that you get out of education what you put into it; however, I am a firm believer that the opportunities that I have been lucky enough to corral – and which have allowed me to represent the Widener University School of Law as the student-president of a multi-national organization – would likely not have been available at another law school,” Kevin says.

“There are a thousand opportunities out there everyday, but its up to you to go out there and grab them,” Kevin advises future law students. Do as much as you can and challenge yourself. It will come back to you tenfold in the end.”