Honors alumna Paige Skinner ‘21 has spent her time after graduation at the University of Richmond School of Law. Skinner graduated from Appalachian State with her bachelor of science in political science with a concentration in pre-professional legal studies and a minor in criminal justice.
After experiencing the tight-knit community in App State’s Honors College, she knew how valuable that experience was to her college experience. Skinner actively engaged with the Honors College, serving as one of the co-founders and director of the Honors Peer Mentoring Program, president and vice president of the Appalachian Honors Association, and a member of the Honors Vanguard. These experiences provided her insight during her law school search and, ultimately, shaped her decision to attend University of Richmond (UR). While at UR, she has recognized remnants of her experience at Appalachian in terms of community building. She stated,
“One of my main reasons for picking Richmond Law was because I saw how tight-knit the community was, and how helpful and supportive they were. This type of community at the Honors College helped me blossom, so I knew I could only learn to be a better community member and leader if I had a similar environment at law school.”
Skinner cited her time in the Honors College to have helped her in law school. At UR, she often takes discussion-based classes that use the Socratic method. She explained, “Because of the format of Honors seminars, I was prepared to engage in this type of conversation during class, and my experience in seminars has made it easier to follow when other students are engaging with the professor.”
In terms of building community at UR, Skinner’s Honors thesis had aided in her interactions and connections with students and faculty. For her thesis, “The Influence of Amicus Curiae Briefs on Dissents from Denial and the Opinion of the Court,” she worked with Dr. Ellen Key, director of the Departmental Honors program and associate professor in the Department of Government and Justice Studies, as her director and Dr. Alexander Pitofsky, professor in the Department of English, as her second reader. Her studies in this topic have impacted her law school experience in multiple ways, as she described, “I have had several interesting conversations with students and professors because of my heightened knowledge in the subject area.”
Skinner’s time at Appalachian provided her great insight into the field of law. She remarked, “My time at Appalachian further solidified that I wanted to go to law school and one day become a practicing lawyer.” Skinner will graduate from UR in the Spring of 2024 and aspires to work in a law firm that focuses on both business law and employment and labor law.
About the Honors College
More than 500 students are enrolled in Appalachian State University's Honors College, which serves a diverse group of high-achieving, high-potential, highly motivated students from all majors. The Honors College helps students develop independent and creative thinking and high-level research skills; promotes interdisciplinary inquiry; and nurtures cultured and caring exchanges of ideas. The college’s enhanced academic experience prepares students for success in graduate or professional school and for leadership roles in their lives, communities and careers. Learn more at https://honors.appstate.edu.
By Kistler Hunt