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Meet Our Student Ambassadors


AMBER HENNING
(Class of 2013)

AllieHarrisonALLIE HARRISON
allie.harrison@umontana.edu

Born and raised in Missoula, MT, I am a fourth generation Missoula native and a graduate from The University of Montana. As an undergrad at UM, I majored in Political Science and received a Minor in Nonprofit Administration. I am an active participant in the world of politics and nonprofits. I have worked extensively on political campaigns and, before starting law school in Fall 2011, I worked at United Way of Missoula County raising money for local and international charities. I enjoy the outdoors, music, hiking, flying, and shooting sports, and I am actively involved in the Missoula church community. I love meeting new people and discovering their passions. Regardless of life’s daily stresses, I like to keep the perspective each day that people matter most.

Patricia.SuleimanPATRICIA SULEIMAN
patricia.suleiman@umontana.edu

I am currently a 2L law student and I am from Ontario, Canada. I graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Honors Sociology. I am a first generation Canadian with parents who were refugees from Somalia. I am also interested in playing and coaching soccer and I follow the English Premiership League for soccer. I have volunteered as a newcomer youth mentor back in Canada and I really enjoyed the experience I had as a volunteer at a Legal Aid Clinic in Canada. I am interested in Criminal Law and public interest. I am currently the President of the National Black Law Association at UMSL.


MHVMICHELLE VANISKO
michelle.vanisko@umontana.edu

I am a 1993 graduate from Carroll College in Helena, Montana with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. Although I was raised in California and lived there briefly after getting married, my husband and I returned to Montana in 2006 to raise our family in a safer environment than where we were living. I have worked in the legal field in some manner (secretary, legal assistant then paralegal) for most of my adult life and chose to come to law school to reach my full professional potential.

Shanandoah.RoathSHENANDOAH ROATH
shenandoah.roath@umontana.edu

I am originally from Indiana and have a lot of family in western Montana. I did 2 years of AmeriCorps before undergrad, then went to Indiana University for my biology degree. I worked as a microbiologist for a few years before law school. I was a “nontraditional” (older) student in both undergrad and in law school.  I am the secretary for the Women’s Law Caucus, I am interning at Milodragovich, Dale & Steinbrenner, and am planning on being a trial lawyer after law school.  I have a 7 year old golden retriever named Homie… And I have yet to participate in a law school tradition that wasn’t a total blast – especially the smoker! 

I originally chose Montana Law because of the location. My family lives in Montana and I didn't want to stray too far from them. The tuition was definitely a draw too. I was impressed with the practical focus of the curriculum, and, once I visited the school, I was sold. I was honestly surprised by how friendly everyone was - students, staff, and faculty. The students even seemed like they were enjoying the class that I observed (even more impressive considering that it was Civil Procedure.)

What I like about Missoula and UMSL:
Missoula is a really relaxed town and close to the best parts of Montana. Flathead Lake is close enough for a weekend trip, there are at least 5 ski hills nearby, cross country skiing and snowshoeing everywhere, and all kinds of river sports and hiking in the summer. Based on a completely unofficial and unscientific study of people that I know that went to other law schools, UMSL is uncommonly friendly. I am always surprised by how helpful and understanding the faculty is, and I can always find help from a classmate when I need it. We treat each other like colleagues because most of us will be working with each other for the rest of our careers.

Shea.SammonsSHEA SAMMONS
shea.sammons@umontana.edu

I am a Montana resident, having grown up in Charlo, MT. I have worked at a variety of jobs in the employment spectrum including snowboard instructor, wild land firefighter, general contractor, and store clerk. I attended the University of Montana-Western for undergrad and double majored in Modern History/Global Politics. While in undergrad I served as an officer in the UMW Ski and Snowboard club and I was a member of the Honors Club. During my short time at UMSL I have joined the Environmental Law Group and the Criminal Law Student Group. I am an outdoors nut and love to hunt, fish, snowboard and hike. I have traveled around the world quite a bit and have had amazing experiences through these travels. I feel that I am a fairly ordinary guy and have many relatable experiences whether through school, job, or life experiences.

Dave.BellDAVE BELL
david2.bell@umontana.edu

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and attended the University of Utah for my undergraduate degree.  Soon after college, I moved to Montana, which has now been my residence for more than a decade.  My work life since college includes a unique array of experiences from working for environmental groups to owning a small construction contracting business.  Prior to attending UM Law School I worked as a legal assistant in a plaintiff’s firm here in Missoula.  In addition to studying and working toward my J.D. Degree, I have a young family that keeps me busy at home. With any remaining spare time, I enjoy backcountry skiing, trail running, and spending time outdoors with my wife and one year old son. I am proud of the Law School and the positive impact it has on our community. I believe I have a unique perspective of the Law School as a parent and person who is starting a new career.

Shannon.HathawaySHANNON HATHAWAY
shannon.hathaway@umontana.edu

I was born and raised in Missoula, MT and have loved every second of living here. So much so, after leaving Missoula for my first year of undergraduate studies, I decided to transfer to the University of Montana and continue my education here. In 2008, I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and went to work in the mental health field, primarily counseling severely emotionally disturbed children. After feeling frustrated my lack of power to affect change in these children's lives, I decided to look into going to law school.  I'm currently working for Montana Legal Justice, a public interest law collective. 

My family has a rich history with this law school; my grandfather, father and uncles all attended this law school, and I felt a privilege in carrying on that legacy. I am also happy to have the chance to continue living in the Missoula community, which has so much to offer students. Within Missoula there is a wonderful feeling of connectedness to the place we live and to the others who live here. There are numerous community organizations to become involved in; I myself have been on committees and volunteered for non-profit groups, am active in Missoula Downtown Association events, and participate in the Run Wild Missoula running club. Whatever you may be interested in, it's not hard to find someone else in Missoula who shares those interests.

Kari.JensenKari Jensen
kari.jensen@umontana.edu

I was born in Montana and grew up on a farm just over the state line in North Dakota. After graduating from NDSU in Fargo with a degree in English, I taught English and French at the secondary level for twenty-eight years, mostly in northeastern Montana. My husband of thirty-two years and I have two grown children and one granddaughter. Living and teaching in a small community has given me the privilege of many leadership roles. I was president of the local MEA/AFT teachers’ union, served as its negotiator, and was an active member of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee, which filed grievances and defended members. I coached a summer league swim team for many years, was a member of my church’s council and one of its Synod Assembly delegates, and am still on my hometown’s Park Board. As a 1L, I have joined the Women’s Law Caucus and intend to volunteer at CASA. My hobbies and interests include flower gardening, running, motorcycling, cooking, writing, and politics.

Matt.MitchellMATT MITCHELL
matthew1.mitchell@umontana.edu

I grew up in Tri-Cities Washington, but I have spent most of my time after high school living in Montana (Helena and Polson). I graduated from Carroll College and studied Political Science and Psychology. After graduating from Carroll I decided to take some time to work and pursue my hobbies (skiing, fishing, and hiking) before returning to school. During that time I worked in various trades. I have been  a commercial flooring installer in Seattle, WA, a Counselor at Intermountain Children’s Home in Helena, MT, a “fish-pusher” for a salmon cannery in Nanek, AK, and even a ski bum in Sun Valley, ID. The diversity of work and experiences I had after graduation allowed me to grow a lot as a person and see how the law can impact any type of work, which made me excited to pursue a legal education. Much of my interest in law stems from my work experience as a counselor, where I hope to work with families, foster children, and on mental health policy related to the law.

baudry_brandt

Brant Beaudry
brant.beaudry@umontana.edu 

Everyone fears the first semester of law school, but the supportive teachers, staff, and students at the Montana School of Law got us through.  Now, we are preparing to help and counsel live clients in only our second semester! 

Montana has given me many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Now, with the Clark Fork River just a stone's throw from campus, I can take study breaks to do some fly fishing.

RachelWandersheidRACHEL WANDERSHEID
rachel.wandersheid@umontana.edu

I grew up in Ashland, Oregon and attended the University of Montana for my undergraduate degree.  I achieved a BA in Philosophy and have minors in Native American Studies and Wilderness Studies.  In my first year of law school I participated in the Client Counseling Competition and loved learning about the subtleties of attorney-client relationships.  The summer after my 1L year I was an intern for the Montana American Civil Liberties Union and I now serve as the law school representative on the ACLU State Board.  During my 2L year I joined the UMSL Trial Team and can honestly say it is my favorite part of law school.  During this past summer I interned for the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Montana.  My academic career is an extension of my commitment to social justice.  In my personal life I enjoy practicing yoga and cooking. 

I feel when you love something you should share it with others.  Since first setting foot in Montana I knew I loved this place and ever since I have encouraged others to visit and even attend the University.  I can proudly say I have encouraged at least five students from my home town to attend U of M.  At times people have joked that the University should hire me as a recruiter.  My enthusiasm for the University of Montana has only increased since attending UM School of Law.  This school provides students with incredible Professors who are committed to their work and to the community.

amyabendrothAmy Abendroth
amy.abendroth@umontana.edu   

 I have been a resident of Montana since the age of 12. I moved to Missoula in 2000 and received my undergraduate degree from the University of Montana in Sociology  with an emphasis in Criminology. I have held a variety of professional positions, including Correctional Unit Manager for a community corrections program, Chief    Misdemeanor Probation Officer, and City Police Officer. I am embarking on a new career and am thrilled to be attending the University Of Montana School Of Law. As a 1L,  I am involved in the Women’s Law Caucus, the Christian Legal Society, the Montana Trial Lawyers Association and serve as a 1L representative for the Criminal Law  Group.

caitlinbolandCaitie Boland
caitlin.boland@umontana.edu    

I grew up in Great Falls, Montana. I majored in Government at Georgetown University and received a Master's degree in International Political Theory from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. After working at a large litigation firm in Washington, D.C., I moved back to Montana to attend law school. At the University Of Montana School Of Law I am the teaching assistant for the first-year Contracts class and I was elected to be the next Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Montana Law Review. I also intern for the Hon. Judge Donald W. Molloy. I am glad to be in law school at UMSL because Flathead Lake, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and my family are never far away.

sarahgraySarah Gray
sarah.gray@umontana.edu     

 My home state is Alaska. I have worked as a legal assistant, but spent the majority of the past five years as a barista. I attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks for my undergrad, and graduated with a B.A. in Criminal Justice with a minor in Communication. While at the UAF I served as both Secretary and Vice President for the Prelaw Society on campus. Here, at the University Of Montana School Of Law, I am involved in several different exciting clubs! I am a member of the Rural Advocacy League, serving as the 1L representative. I am also a part of the Criminal Law Group on campus and am the 1L representative for that student group as well. I am also a member of the Trial Lawyers Association, the Environmental Law Group, Phi Delta Phi, and Women’s Law Caucus. I recently underwent a quick training for the TOP’s (Temporary Orders of Protection) group on campus as well and am excited to volunteer with them in the spring. Currently I am interested in tax law, and am looking forward to the next three years!  My hobbies include hiking, biking, swimming, and PADDLE BOARDING! I also enjoy reading a great book and tending to my miniature garden.

robpadmosRobert Padmos
Robert.padmos@umontana.edu    

 I come to the University of Montana from Helena, MT. I graduated from Carroll College with a degree in Sociology. Before coming to law school, I worked at the State Bar of Montana as the Director of the Lawyer's Fund for Client Protection. I also, am a member of the Montana Air National Guard.  Currently I am a member of the school’s Rural Advocacy League, The Criminal Law Group and the Trial Lawyers Association. I look forward to being able to give insight into the wonderful world of UM Law, and impart at least some of the enthusiasm I have because I chose to attend UM. 

ryanhennenRyan Hennen
ryan.hennen@umontana.edu    

 I grew up in Whitefish, MT and earned a degree in Information Systems from the University of Montana. After school I spent 3 years working for a Fortune 500 company in both Montana and Chicago, IL. My previous experience with a fast paced work environment led me to my current pursuits in Criminal law. I spent my 1L summer as a clerk for the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, which operates in the largest criminal court system in the United States. While I enjoyed urban life, I decided to return to Montana and was accepted as a transfer student at the University Of Montana School Of Law. I enjoy sports, reading, and movies and concocting various schemes in order to fit these things into a hectic law school schedule. 

brookeperkinsBrooke Perkins
brooke.perkins@umontana.edu 

I’m originally from Hamilton, Montana, but have lived in Anchorage, AK (where I did my undergrad in business), New York City and Los Angeles.  I mainly worked in Human Resources before returning to my hometown five years ago and getting a job at the Ravalli County Attorney’s Office, which was the catalyst for my going to law school at age 35.  I’m involved in SBA and two student groups.  I’m a huge believer in helping one’s local community, which is why I organized a fundraiser last year for a classmate’s sister who was diagnosed with cancer.  I’m actively involved in two student groups (Montana Public Interest Law Coalition and OUTlaws).  I’m also an avid runner, hiker, camper, and rock climber.  I’m proud to be a Montanan and very proud of our law school.