Lachelle Pulliam - Class of 2014
Lachelle Pulliam - Class of 2014

She was just over thirty and wife and mother of four children when Lachelle Pulliam decided the time was right to go to law school as a full-time student. “My experiences by that time were such that I wanted to combine my talents and knowledge, and use them to produce and influence outcomes. I chose Charlotte School of Law because I believed in its mission, and for the opportunity to contribute to a growing institution.”
After a family member’s murder, Lachelle became inspired to become a lawyer. “There were investigators, insurance issues, matters concerning his personal property, and of course the prosecution of his assailants. I didn’t know what plea bargains were exactly – I just knew the men who were convicted of the murder only received five-year prison sentences. Plea bargains were evil in my opinion but I needed to know more about them. I needed to learn the law. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a lawyer, but given my circumstances, I didn’t know when it would be possible.”

“As a teenage mother, I turned to the government for help. There were times when I noticed that areas of the government were broken, but I also appreciated the resources it provided. I began to understand policy, then policy making and the role of legislators. After all, they were crafting the very rules I was required to live by. I became very interested in government and politics and realized I wanted to effect change by being a part of the process. That’s when I decided to go to law school.”

While in college Lachelle had the opportunity to intern at the NC House of Representatives for two years, where she learned first-hand about government, politics, the policy making process and parliamentary procedure. After graduating, she matriculated to Charlotte Law where she balanced the demands of law school, extra-curricular activities, and family. She feels that having knowledge of the law will be key to how effectively she can navigate life and the problems it presents everyone.

Lachelle has interned with federal and state court judges, with the Mecklenburg County Family Court Administrator, and a congressional campaign. She served as Editor-in-Chief and Articles Editor of the Charlotte Law Access to Justice Journal and SBA Senator. While at Charlotte Law, she received the Dean Eugene Clark Indomitable Spirit and Charlotte Law Ambassador awards. Lachelle recently passed the North Carolina Bar Exam.

“Choosing Charlotte Law changed my perception of the law and my life. It’s so much more than just a school. It’s a network, a community, a family. If you choose Charlotte Law, please choose all the resources it has to offer. They’re there for the taking!”

Brent Finnell - Class of 2014
Brent Finnell - Class of 2014

Brent Finnell (Charlotte School of Law Class of 2014) entered law school with a B.S. degree in Political Science and a B.A. in English, along with a Minor in Business Administration. He had also been promoted three times in the military, to the current rank of Sergeant.

Having just completed six years of service in the North Carolina National Guard and currently in the Army Reserves, Brent considered law schools across the country. However, after doing his homework, he found that quite a few N.C. attorneys recommended that he attend a local school if he wanted to practice in the state. “They each had heard great things about Charlotte School of Law and recommended it,” Brent recalls.

Charlotte School of Law also provided Brent with the most attractive merit scholarship offer he received. In addition, Brent recalls the great assistance— the best out of any other institution—from the staff during his decision process.

Brent is very interested in pursuing a law career in criminal, public interest, or torts practice areas along with national lobbying. He says he would love to stay in the Charlotte area but would be just as satisfied practicing anywhere in the world in either private or public sector roles.

“Over the past four years, I’ve found myself recognizing the power of the Judicial Branch in everyday life. I believe as an attorney, my skills can contribute to my lifelong desire to help others in obtaining fair and just outcomes,” he continues.

An Unquenchable Desire To Help Others

Brent’s passion for helping others is currently fueled by Charlotte School of Law’s Iraqi Refugee Assistance project where he assists other students filing for entry on behalf of Iraqi citizens. These Iraqi’s have assisted the U.S. military, been persecuted because of religion, and terrorized by local gangs.

He also worked with a Charlotte School of Law alumni to organize and fund Charlotte School of Law’s first IRAP spring break trip, traveling to Beirut, Lebanon assisting refugees, establishing relationships with key international governmental agencies, prominent local figures, and screen applicants.

As a student at Charlotte School of Law, Brent continues to find staff and faculty very approachable—people who truly care about the student issues. In particular, he mentions Ms. Love in Finance and Professor Lew in the Pro Bono Clinic as going above and beyond to help him.

“Professor Pierce has been wonderful in discussing legal writing, legal practice issues, internship advice and unique personal stories which display her true passionate desire that every single student excel during their legal education and career,” he adds.

In addition to serving in the North Carolina National Guard, Brent has also worked with the Habitat for Humanity veteran event, Wills for Heroes, putting in over 45 hours of pro bono work during his first year in volunteering with the organization.  He graduated with over 500 hours of pro bono service.

“I have an unquenchable desire to help others to the best of my ability. The desire to do good and help those less fortunate than I am has not diminished. By obtaining a law degree, I can continue to serve my country and deserving people throughout the world by protecting human rights and ensuring fair access to justice.”

For Brent the most challenging part of being a law student is balancing school and his military service. He says it was an emotional decision to leave his unit and soldiers to enter the Inactive Reserves.

Thank you, Brent, for your service to our country and the role model you are for all of us at Charlotte School of Law!

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