Like many law students, Claudia Duncan ’14 spent the recess before her final year of school preparing for her impending career by working as a summer associate at a law firm. Unlike most of her peers, she also spent the summer preparing to be judged in the categories of “interview,” “gown,” and “swimsuit.” Months of training culminated in August, when Duncan, who was named Miss Harlingen USA, competed in the Miss Texas USA pageant.
“I felt the same terror during the swimsuit preview as I did the first time I got called on in Professor Johnson's Con Law class,” says Duncan, who had been fascinated with pageants since she was a child but had never before entered one. This year, she decided to take the plunge.
Duncan points out that the demands of legal study and pageant competition overlap more than one might think. “Both require extreme dedication, intense preparation, and large time investments,” she explains. “Preparing for a pageant facilitates the development of qualities like confidence and meticulousness that are directly transferable to the practice of law.”
Duncan is a contributing associate of the Cornell Legal Information Institute's Supreme Court Bulletin and has served as an associate on the Cornell International Law Journal and as vice president of the Cornell Christian Legal Society. After graduating next spring, she will join Thompson & Knight, in Dallas, as an associate in the firm’s Oil and Gas division.