Monday, April 13, 2015

HU alum talks law with students

HU alum talks law with students   

(Left to Right: Dr. Eric Claville, Melissa Chastang '11, Dr. Amee Carmines)
Hampton,Va. - The Hampton University School of Liberal Arts welcomed back recent graduate Melissa Chastang, Class of 2011, to give current students some insight into the world of law. 

Chastang an English major during her time at HU, is a 2014 Harvard Law School graduate. She spoke in front of a group of 80 students from both the English & Modern Foreign Languages department and Pre-Law Institute in the Hampton University Library Meeting Room. In her speech she gave those students advice on what to expect when making the transition from undergrad to law school. 

Chastang’s visit to her “Home By the Sea” was organized through her former advisor Dr. Amee Carmines, associate professor of English.   

Chastang addressing Pre-Law Institute students 
"I hope my visit encouraged someone to apply to a school or a program or a scholarship that they hadn't considered before,” said Chastang. “As Hamptonians, we are capable of pursuing and achieving so much - we just have to make the decision." "When I got to Harvard, I realized many people there had never heard of Hampton University,” said Chastang. “I wanted to come speak to our students to let them know that they can change that.” 

Chastang is currently a practicing associate at the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, LLP in Washington D.C. One major part of Chastang’s presentation to the students is that upon graduation they become ambassadors of HU and need to embrace that role. 

“Melissa Chastang gave an outstanding talk about her transition from the undergraduate degree in English to her stellar performance in the law school at Harvard University,” said Carmines. “She challenged current students to follow in her footsteps and claim their places at the ivy league schools, making Hampton University and all HBCUs more visible. We could not ask for a better advocate for the value of a Hampton education than Ms. Chastang.”

- Matthew A. White '10