ALUMNI PROFILE Alison Davis (JD ’17)
Following a social justice mission
Following law school at Loyola, Alison Davis (JD ’17) joined the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Benin, West Africa, where she advises and monitors the organization’s implementing partners on compliance with U.S. and Beninese law and policy related to gender, social protection, and family planning. She also works with the Ministry of Health to improve Benin's legal, medical, and social service response to gender-based violence.
What brought you to Loyola for law school?
I selected Loyola because of its social justice mission. I received a generous scholarship because of my previous government and volunteer service. It showed me that Loyola valued my experience and commitment to serving others.
What co-curricular and extracurricular activities did you participate in at Loyola and how did they complement your classroom learning?
My interest in social protection and human rights was strengthened during my time at Loyola by a grant I received from Loyola’s Center for the Human Rights of Children, where I served as a Children’s Rights Graduate Scholar. My research at the center focused on victim witness protection for child trafficking victims. In this role, I was given the opportunity to travel to Geneva to participate in the civil society portion of the Universal Periodic Review of U.S. implementation of the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. As a 3L, I served as the editor of the Loyola University Chicago International Law Review’s symposium on rebuilding the rule of law following armed conflict. I also competed in the Clara Barton International Humanitarian Law Competition and as a member of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot team in Vienna, where my team advanced to the round of 32.
How did Loyola help to prepare you for practice?
I came to Loyola interested in learning more about strategies to advance human rights through policy change. I knew I needed a strong writing, research, and reading foundation to comb through dense legal texts (which I now do with relative ease). I partially credit that ability to Professor Gathii’s courses. Many of the courses I took at Loyola were taught by professors with experience in international law or in rights-based disciplines. Administrative Law is a must for anyone who wants to work for the U.S. government. National Security Law and Prosecuting and Defending Terrorism were also excellent courses.
What is the most rewarding part of your job with USAID in Benin?
I am completing a technical review of Benin's Standard Operating Procedures for HIV positive persons in high-risk populations. As part of this review, I’ve successfully advocated for the inclusion of protection provisions for minors.
What’s next for you professionally?
In November 2018, I will be presenting a paper at Amnesty International in London addressing how international law can be used to attain the demographic dividend and reduce the likelihood of armed conflict in West Africa. The presentation is part of a workshop to bring together early career researchers to explore new perspectives on international law, women, and peace and security.
What do you do in your spare time in Benin?
My family and I spend time cooking, raising chickens, and swimming in our neighborhood in Cotonou. I also continue to run a small scholarship program for young women in Burkina Faso, which I started in 2011 during my Peace Corps service.
Ready to start the JD application process? Let’s get started.
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