Pleasantville, New York
Megan Cannella believes in taking
advantage of all the opportunities St. John’s provides
For Megan Cannella, law school means much more than classes. The
third-year student from Pleasantville, New York, has embraced all
aspects of the learning experience at St. John’s, not the least of
which are the opportunities outside the classroom.
“One of my favorite things about St. John’s are the
opportunities students have to get involved in many different
activities. It’s a great way to develop relationships with your
fellow students as well as professors.”
As the executive director of the moot court honor society, Megan
oversees all the operations of the society, including the St.
John’s appellate advocacy competition team, which has a
longstanding tradition of national success.
“We compete nationally against other law schools in advocacy
tournaments. We write briefs on cutting edge legal issues, then we
go and do appellate oral arguments on those issues. It’s a really
great experience for people who want to become litigators because
it teaches you how to write legal briefs and make oral arguments.
But it’s also great for people who don’t want to be litigators,
because it really teaches you how to think on your feet.
After the first two competitions of the year, St. John’s made it
to the quarterfinals of both, and also had one student named fourth
best oralist in the entire competition. In addition to traveling
the country, St. John’s also is known for staging its own
competition, something else Megan has helped coordinate.
“We host the Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition every
year, which is the country’s only bankruptcy moot court
competition. We attract between 50 and 55 teams that we host here
at the law school, and at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn for
the final rounds.
Along with her involvement in the advocacy program, Megan has
also taken advantage of other co-curricular offerings at St.
John’s. The summer after her first year she interned for Judge
Dennis Jacobs, chief judge of the second circuit.
“That was a really incredible experience for me. I got to work
with his four clerks and him directly to improve my writing and to
watch oral arguments at one of the premier circuits in the country.
I was there for many high-profile cases, and I got to prepare the
judge to hear those oral arguments.”
All of this has helped Megan gain the preparation she needs for
future success. A lifelong New Yorker, Megan plans to practice in
“When I graduate I’ll start working with Simpson, Thatcher &
Bartlett which is a large commercial law firm in mid-town
Manhattan. I’ll be entering their litigation department, and I’ll
get to learn about a lot of different types of litigation they
practice, which will be great.”
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