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Benjamin Beaton

Washington Bound

Benjamin Beaton ’09

By Mary Johnson

Summer 2009

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In Paducah, Kentucky, where Benjamin Beaton ’09 was born and raised smart children usually grow up to be one of two things: lawyers or doctors. Beaton initially thought he would practice medicine. Then, one semester during college, he paired his organic chemistry class with a course on civil liberties. “That’s when I realized I much preferred arguing about cases than thinking about the formation of chemical compounds,” Beaton says with a smile.

After graduation, he spent three years working in state and federal government. “I thought law school would be a lot more valuable if I had some experience beforehand,” he says. And Beaton was right: The work inspired him to pursue a future as a government lawyer.

While at the Law School, Beaton has engaged in a myriad of activities, from joining the Federalist Society to serving as a research assistant for three professors. He competed in the Dean’s Cup basketball game and worked at both the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and at Davis, Polk & Wardwell. He also served as articles editor for the Columbia Law Review.

After three years in Morningside Heights, Beaton is now heading to Washington, D.C., where, in August, he will begin a clerkship with Judge A. Raymond Randolph of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The move will put the future government lawyer exactly where he wants to be.

Photographed by David Yellen

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