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Mitchell Hendy

Taking the Lead

By Joy Y. Wang

Summer 2011

Mitchell Hendy ’11 says he felt at home at Columbia Law School before he even started attending classes. Hendy, an Ohio native and recent co-president of Columbia’s OutLaws chapter, remembers his first visit to the Law School as an admitted student. The warm welcome made a lasting impression, influencing his decision to undertake various mentoring roles while studying law.  

Early on, Hendy volunteered to serve as a Law School student ambassador. This past semester, he worked as Professor Robert E. Scott’s teaching assistant, helping first-year law students understand complicated contract law issues. “I loved interacting with students every week because they asked questions that inevitably stumped me,” says Hendy, who also regularly devoted numerous hours to his responsibilities as a managing editor of the Columbia Law Review.

In addition, Hendy’s leadership role with OutLaws, a Law School LGBT student association, allowed him to work on behalf of a cause he cares deeply about. Hendy, along with the organization’s dedicated members, planned this past year’s Out in the Workplace dinner, which brought together Law School students with openly gay and lesbian practicing lawyers. “It was an effort to help young professionals feel comfortable maintaining an important aspect of their identity in a traditional work environment,” he explains.

Hendy’s experience both in the classroom and beyond will serve him well this year when he begins a clerkship with 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amalya Kearse. Eventually, Hendy hopes to return to legal academia. “Teaching really forces you to engage with the material,” he says. “There’s nothing like it.”

Photographed by David Yellen