Erin A. Donelon firstname.lastname@example.org
B.A., Tulane, 1994
Erin Donelon is lawyer, the Director of Legal Research & Writing and Professor of Practice at Tulane University Law School. After graduation from Tulane, Erin worked as a teacher in California, but returned to New Orleans to pursue a law degree at Loyola University. After graduating first in her law school class, she clerked for Judge Eldon Fallon on the US District Court and then for Judge Jacques Wiener on the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Loyola Law Review.
Erin reflected on her experience as a History major...
Why did you choose to major in History?
I chose to major in History because I had several outstanding high school History teachers. During my first semester at Tulane, I took an honors History seminar and I was hooked.
How has your History major helped you since graduation?
My History major has been a tremendous asset. I eventually chose to pursue a career in law, and the research and writing skills that I learned in my History classes were invaluable in law school. The History faculty took time to provide constructive feedback on papers and exams, and that feedback really helped to improve my writing. I now teach legal writing and I advise pre-law students to take as many history classes as they can and to take the courses that require a lot of writing.
In hindsight, what would have you done differently as a History major?
In general, I would not have shied away from challenging classes. I was risk averse as an undergraduate, and I was reluctant to take courses from professors who were notoriously "hard". Now I realize I should have embraced the challenge. I also wish that I had taken Prof. Powell's Civil War course. I was never able to fit it in my schedule.
Any words of wisdom for History undergraduates?
I would advise undergraduates to take advantage of the accessibility of the History faculty. It is very easy to find a mentor, and faculty advice can be very helpful in course selection and career planning. I would also take advantage of Tulane's JYA and other study abroad programs if possible.