Logan J. Gowdey ’16
Counsel for the Defendant-Appellee
When it comes to legal writing—brief writing or otherwise—Logan J. Gowdey ’16 has a useful trick gleaned from editing the work of others: He leaves himself comments in the margins to keep track of his thoughts before writing them out.
Serving as executive essays and reviews editor for the Columbia Law Review has provided Gowdey with ample practice assessing weaknesses in an argument and figuring out how to rectify them—key skills for the Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Competition. “A brief is an argument with so many sub-pieces,” he says. “Being able to step back and evaluate an argument as a whole, as well as each particular piece of an argument, was helpful for me.” And, as a member of a four-person Law Review committee that decides things by unanimous consent, Gowdey has garnered experience convincing colleagues of his position.
He also credits his coursework with his success so far in the competition, starting in his first year with the legal writing program and an elective in administrative law taught by Professor Peter L. Strauss. “With Professor Strauss I learned the importance of knowing your audience—how a court is different from a legislature is different from an agency,” Gowdey says.
This semester, Gowdey is enrolled in Appellate Advocacy with Professors Debra A. Livingston and Gerard E. Lynch ’75, both judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. As part of the experiential seminar, students argue cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. “That’s been a huge help for my oral advocacy, which I feel is the hardest thing to work on in a rigorous way,” Gowdey says. Two of his fellow Stone finalists, Alexander N. Ely ’16 and Aaron Michael Macris ’16, are in the same class.
Active in student organizations, Gowdey has served as co-president of Law Students for Reproductive Justice and as academic chair of Outlaws, the Law School’s LGBTQA group.
After graduation, Gowdey will spend a year clerking for Judge Amalya L. Kearse on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, before going on to clerk for Judge Denise L. Cote ’75 of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Gowdey earned his B.A. degree from Boston University and he is fluent in French.