Elizabeth Cruikshank ’15
Counsel for the Appellant
Elizabeth Cruikshank ’15 spent much of her time at Columbia Law School preparing to focus on transactional work after graduation. She served as co-president of the Columbia Business and Law Association and as a teaching assistant for a first-year contracts class. Then, while working on a trial team at Cravath, Swaine & Moore during her 2L summer, Cruikshank was surprised to find out how much she liked litigation.
“Since I didn’t come to law school thinking I wanted to be a litigator, I didn’t pursue the traditional tracks for that,” she says. “So I thought the moot court would be a great opportunity to practice the litigation skillset.”
Fortunately, having spent 15 years as a competitive figure skater, Cruikshank was used to performing in front of an audience. Working as articles editor for the Columbia Law Review and as a research assistant for Professor James S. Liebman helped hone her research and writing skills for the brief-writing portion of the competition as well.
Cruikshank was also pleased to find that her third-year coursework, which focuses on public law subjects, has helped prepare her for the substantive legal issues in the competition.
“I was taking federal courts last semester when the moot court problem came out,” Cruikshank says. “So I was particularly excited to be addressing the standing question, since it was part of what I was learning at the time.”
In the Harlan Fiske Stone Stone Moot Court finals, Cruikshank has found herself in familiar company. Fellow finalist Peter Fountain ’15 also served as a research assistant to Professor Liebman, and both worked on the same team during their summer at Cravath. The two will be working in the law firm’s litigation department after graduation.
After Cravath, Cruikshank will clerk for the Honorable Kim McLane Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and then for the Honorable Jesse M. Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
So far, Cruikshank is finding the Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court to be everything she hoped.
“I’m having a lot of fun, which is exciting,” she says. “It’s a good sign that I picked the right path going with litigation.”