Senior international relations major gets full-ride to UNH law school


Cassandra Moran is also a member of the school’s debate team (CASSANDRA MORAN/COURTESY)

Janelle Fassi, Crier Staff

Cassandra Moran, a senior International Relations major, is on the fast-track to becoming a lawyer. Not only is she graduating early, but she recently received a full-boat scholarship to UNH Law.

She says, “I was shocked…A lot of people don’t get [full-rides] so it was just a nice surprise.”

Although she says she was initially worried about her LSAT scores and didn’t want to get her hopes up, she is a stellar student inside and outside the classroom. Moran is in two academic honor societies, Alpha Lambda Delta for first-year success, and Pi Sigma Alpha for political science. Among other things, she is on the Debate Team, Alpha Phi Omega, a NHIOP Ambassador, and a Peer Tutor. Thanks in part to AP credit and dual-enrollment from the local community college near her hometown of Hudson, MA, she is getting an early start to becoming a lawyer. In fact, the location is the perfect hub for young lawyers and politicians like herself.

UNH Law’s campus is located at the heart of New Hampshire politics in Concord, NH and Moran is looking forward to experiencing it for herself.

She says, “It’s a really good location. It’s right near the federal court, state court, state house, everything.”

She is particularly interested in pursuing corporate law after taking an online class in high school about Business and Personal Law.

“I got to choose between a bunch of different classes and I saw that one, and I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer, but I didn’t know what type of lawyer so I figured it might guide me in the right direction. I’d say it did because it gave me a type of law I was really interested in.”

In fact, her passion for politics and the Constitution started as early as childhood. She laughs, “Whenever I got in trouble, I would print out the Constitution and tell my parents that my punishment was unconstitutional.”

At UNH Law, she will be able to put that passion into practice. She says,“I’m excited that I’ll be able to learn more about how the law works and how it affects my daily life and everyone else’s daily life. I think that’s an important part of being a lawyer.”

Most importantly, she knows she made the right choice. Despite applying to Boston College, Boston University, and Suffolk, UNH “has a lot of really good programs specific for intellectual property…and they have good job placement, so I’m hoping that will help me get a good job when I’m out of law school.” The fact that UNH gave her a full-ride made her decision much clearer because of the high cost of law school.

UNH Law is a three-year program, so while some of her peers will still be in grad school, Moran will be ready to enter her field. Right now, most of her friends are juniors and haven’t started the thesis process quite yet. She says it’s definitely hard to say goodbye, but given Concord’s close location, she plans on visiting often.

She intends to start the program right away before the fall. She says, “It starts late August, so I’m going to stay up in New Hampshire, move up to Concord and get ready to start.”

Her senior thesis was one important resource in preparing for law school. Her thesis was on state-sponsored terrorism, in which she worked closely with Professor Klevin to see what causes certain groups to succeed. It could even help her future coworkers, as well as policy makers to “see what factors would help us interfere to stop terrorism.” What she found surprising was some of the groups had members as young as 12-years-old.

She tried looking at her thesis from an international law perspective, which led her to a 1980s court case from the International Court of Justice called Nicaragua v. The United States, which says that states should bear responsibility for “non-state actors” such as terror groups and rebel groups. From a legal point of view, she found that our ways of intervening in terror groups aren’t held to the most effective standard.

Even if she doesn’t use the content from her senior thesis at UNH, she says, “The research skills, the writing skills, the organization skills will be absolutely invaluable in helping me [in law school].”

While she may be starting her life sooner than her friends, she feels Saint Anselm has prepared her for the big leap into law school.

She says, the college curriculum “is a rigorous education and it opens you up to so many fields, with the core requirements and writing intensive requirements, that I think I’ll be well-prepared to go.”