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Keeping up with Three Recent Valedictorians

Class valedictorians from the classes of 2011, 2012 and 2013
are finding success after law school.

Anthony Schlehner, Whittier Law School Class of 2013

Anthony Schlehner, Class of 2013

Position: Orange County District Attorney's Office Fellow.

While at Whittier: Valedictorian; Outstanding Student in Criminal Law for the class of 2013; President, Intramural Club.

Externship: Anthony worked for the Orange County District Attorney's office as an extern in law school and continued on after school as a Fellow.

Why Law: "I have wanted to work in law enforcement as long as I can remember. I can't imagine doing anything else with my law degree. My current position allows me to be in court everyday gaining litigation experience. It's personally rewarding because I feel that what we do matters and impacts people's lives."

About Whittier: "I enjoyed a lot of things at Whittier, the friends that I made, being able to interact with different professors and not feeling as if there was a wall between the students and the professors."

The Whittier Community: "One of my favorite things at Whittier had to be intramurals: both playing and being able to expand that program to include more sports and activities and trying to provide students with something different than studying all the time." Anthony still loves playing sports and plans on helping organize intramural sports for the District Attorney's Office.

Vanessa Haberbush, Whittier Law School Class of 2012

Vanessa Haberbush, Class of 2011

Position: Associate, Haberbush & Associates, LLP. Vanessa works with her father at this bankruptcy law firm.

While at Whittier: Valedictorian; Moot Court Honors Board; Law Review; Judicial Extern for the Honorable Judge Clarkson; Outstanding Student in Legal Writing for the Class of 2012; Law Review Article published.

Externship: Vanessa worked as a Judicial Extern in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Clarkson, an experience she would highly recommend to other students.

Why Law? Vanessa's work focuses primarily on corporate bankruptcy, debtor-creditor relations and insolvency matters. "I didn't initially think that I would go into bankruptcy law when I went to law school, but I love my practice. The best part of my job is dealing directly with clients. I also get to go to court quite frequently."

About Whittier: "Whittier places an emphasis on legal writing, which is invaluable to real practice."

The Whittier Community: "Whittier was a perfect fit for me from day one. The school has such a strong sense of community. This is true both among the professors and the students."

Brian Pelanda, Whittier Law School Class of 2011

Brian Pelanda, Class of 2011

Position: Associate, Hines Carder LLP.

While at Whittier: Valedictorian; Outstanding Student in Legal Writing; Moot Court Honors Board; Law Review; Intellectual Property Fellow.

Why Law? Brian is now an associate at Hines Carder LLP in Costa Mesa, practicing in the areas of insurance coverage analysis and bad faith litigation defense. His firm gives him a great deal of autonomy and responsibility. He manages his own cases, but still receives support and guidance from senior attorneys. His favorite part of the job is taking depositions. "There are very few things that I find more fun than having the opportunity to interrogate a witness for a full day to try and elicit favorable testimony in support of my defenses or theories of a case."

About Whittier: Brian thinks his ability to manage a high level of responsibility is in part due to the education he received at Whittier. "The professors engaged and challenged me to think about things conceptually and analytically instead of simply requiring rote memorization of rules of law."

The Whittier Community: After growing up in a small town in Ohio, Brian left his friends and family behind to attend law school across the country and he has never regretted this decision. One of the things he enjoyed most about Whittier is the sense of community. "The law school wasn't just a place where I went for a few hours a week to attend lectures, it was home for me."