Erin Elisabeth Cawthorn Gomez
PHOTOS: Work portrait for Carr Allison and graduation from Emory Law
Class Year: 2012
Major at MC: Spanish & International Studies
Senior Thesis Topic: Muslims and Monks: San Juan de la Cruz’s Place Within the Spanish Mystic Tradition
Current Town/City of Residence: Chattanooga, TN
Family: Daniel Gomez, MC 2010; sister: Alex Cawthorn, MC 2015
Describe your career path since graduating from MC.
While a senior at MC, I began interning with Catholic Charities' Office of Immigrant Services. Through my legal work at the office, I decided that I wanted to become a lawyer. I continued working at Catholic Charities for a year after graduating from MC, while I took the LSAT and applied for law schools. I was accepted and chose to go to Emory University School of Law in Atlanta. While in law school, I interned with the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Latin American Association, the U.S. Department of Labor, and The Coca-Cola Company. After graduation, I began work with Carr Allison law firm in Chattanooga, TN. There, I practice civil defense in premises liability, transportation, employment, and immigration law. I passed the Tennessee Bar exam in October, 2016 and was admitted to the TN bar in November.
Describe your job or a typical day “in the office.”
I am an associate in a mid-size civil defense firm. I spend my days managing between 10-20 cases. I investigate claims, write briefs and file motions, attend hearings and trials, depose witnesses, and negotiate settlements. I write and research a LOT!
How did your MC experience prepare you for your vocation and/or life?
I felt like I was more prepared for law school than many of my classmates who went to major universities or Ivy league schools. MC forced me to always be prepared for class, to not be afraid of speaking up in front of a crowd, and to research and write like a scholar. It also encouraged me to get involved in my school and community, which lead me to pursue leadership positions throughout law school. As I looked to return to Tennessee after graduating law school, several MC alum gave me advice, references, and support.
Also, I met my wonderful husband and my best friends at MC! I wouldn't be where I am without MC!"
What has been your most exciting/enjoyable professional experience to date?
As a member of the Emory International Law Clinic, I spent a semester working with the U.S. Marine Corps University. My role was to draft lesson plans and teaching assignments on the International Law of War for officers in training at the university. I taught them about Russian "lawfare," the legality of China's activity in the South China Sea, morality in war, and other topics. I felt like I was having a direct impact on our military and foreign policy efforts!
What are your hobbies? What do you do for fun?
I began running when I was at MC and joined the cross country team. I've stuck with it, and since college have run two marathons, a ton of half marathons, and am currently training for a half-ironman! I love running because it gives me a chance to unplug, to get to know an area, and to meet new people.
What’s your best memory from your years as a student at MC?
This is WAY too hard of a question! If I had to pick an especially spectacular memory though, I'd pick July 14th, 2011. I was wrapping up a semester abroad in Malaga, Spain when Alli Little ’12 and Marcelle Fisher ‘12, two of my MC roommates, came to meet me and Eurotrip me all the way home. On the night before I went back to America, we went to Paris for Bastille Day. We went to Eiffel Tower with about a million other people, shared a bottle of Brut, and watched the Tower light up in time with the French orchestra! It felt too magnificent to be true, but it was the perfect way to end my European adventure.