3L Caroline McCance was drawn to Richmond Law, in part, because of the community. And in the past three years, she’s used every moment of her time at law school to immerse herself in that community. She’s president of If/When/How, a student organization focused on reproductive justice, and is also treasurer of the Trial Advocacy Board. It’s in that role that McCance celebrated her most recent accomplishment, taking home a Best Trial Advocate Award at the Region Five National Trial Competition.   

Through TAB, students develop trial skills through intra-scholastic and inter-scholastic competitions. For this particular event, “We had less than three weeks to practice before the competition, which is less time than normal,” said McCance. “We were practicing about five times a week.” McCance and her partner, 3L James Williams, were coached by Michael HuYoung, L’82. They traveled to Columbia, South Carolina for the Regional National Trial Competition in February 2019.

During the competition, McCance was able to rely on one of her three undergraduate majors for support: “I was a theater major, so I feel comfortable speaking in front of people.” That comfort level, coupled with her experience both in the classroom and in student organizations, proved to be a true asset. More than 40 competitors participated – and out of those 40, McCance was recognized with a Best Trial Advocate award for her work surrounding an unintentional homicide case. 

Luckily, constitutional criminal law is a particular field of interest for McCance, who cites Professor Corinna Lain’s Criminal Procedure Investigation course as one of her curricular favorites. Also topping the favorites list for McCance is Professor Jud Campbell’s Constitutional Law II, which explores individual rights. “It’s kind of what I want to do with my life,” she said. 

That topic of next life steps is at front of mind for McCance as she winds down her law school career. In March 2019, she was awarded a Bridge to Practice Fellowship, which provides four months of post-graduate funding for a position in government or public interest law. McCance plans to put her fellowship to good use in a role with a small nonprofit in Boston, Massachusetts that provides direct legal services. And she also wants to leave behind advice for current and prospective students: “All of the pressures of school and wanting to do well and being involved in a million of extracurriculars sometimes makes it hard to remember that you need to make yourself a priority,” said McCance. “You can’t pour from an empty cup, so you have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of anyone else. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of your school life or your extracurriculars or even your social life. You need to start with you.”