2015 Achieving Excellence

Law student makes most of his time here

Jonathan Adair

Jonathan Adair, heavily involved during his three years at the School of Law, will take a position as a litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago following graduation.

Third-year law student Jonathan Adair applied to Washington University in St. Louis late in his search process and made a last-minute decision to attend. Now the Chicago native, who took advantage of myriad educational and service opportunities during his time at WashU, can’t imagine wanting to go anywhere else.

“I had planned to attend law school in Chicago,” said Adair, who earned his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University. “But when I saw the School of Law, I was sold. I felt like people at the law school genuinely wanted me to come here. Instead of getting brochures and random emails, I met with people and they really cared about me. It felt right.”

That feeling of connection led Adair to become involved with the School of Law admissions office during his first year, participating on panels, meeting with prospective students, and giving tours. He also got involved in the St. Louis community, volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and mentoring a young man from St. Louis. “I love spending time with him,” Adair says of his ‘little brother.’ “While most people probably think the program only benefits the ‘little,’ I have learned invaluable life lessons from my role as big brother.”

During his second year, Adair became involved with student government because he wanted to play a larger role in student life at the university.

“As treasurer of the Student Bar Association, I worked with each student group to provide funding for student events,” he said. “I met many of my classmates through this experience and had close contact with the administration regarding funding and curricular reform. At the same time, I served as a teaching assistant for Bill Dorothy (JD, professor of practice) and Russell Osgood (JD, visiting professor of law). These positions allowed me to help younger students improve their writing.”

His third year found Adair dedicating himself to the Washington University Law Review, clinical work and externships. “I am one of three senior executive editors of Law Review,” he said. “I also participated in the appellate clinic in the fall, where we filed a petition for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. This semester, I am externing for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri. This experience has provided real-world legal training in a large prosecution office.”

As he reflects back on three years at the School of Law, Adair said he is glad he chose Washington University.

“My experiences at WashU have truly been memorable because I was involved in so many activities and met so many great people,” he said. Adair is now ready to return to his hometown of Chicago for the next chapter in his legal career, working as a litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

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