For as long as she can remember, Kelly Biringer Eleneski ‘07 would argue with her mom. And her mom would ultimately give her the same answer: that she should just go ahead and become a lawyer—since arguing pleased her so much she may as well make a living at it.
She visited Washington College on the advice of a high school guidance counselor and fell in love with the place. “When I got there,” Kelly recalls, “the campus and the town just spoke to me.”
Majoring in English with a minor in political science, Kelly had the freedom to explore other disciplines as well, and found Professor John Taylor’s civil liberties classes fascinating. They would read cases and argue them, an experience she found “exhilarating.”
Kelly was on the staff of the campus newspaper all four years at WC, spending her first two years as a staff writer. In her junior year she was engaged as the features editor and spent her senior year as Editor-in-chief.
Kelly believes her Washington College education—with its emphasis on critical analysis and writing—was the perfect prelude to a career in law. “Because of the wide array of activities offered at WC, I was able to try so many different things—journalism, law, creative writing. Washington College students tend to be pretty active on campus, and this environment allowed me to nurture my interests while becoming well rounded and skilled at balancing several things at once. Not only that, but the small classes encouraged debate and discussion, making me a better orator.
“Most of all,” she says, “WC was an amazing place to grow. It helped to make me who I am today and gave me the confidence to know that with hard work, I can succeed.”
Kelly served as a judicial extern in the U.S. District Court in Providence, RI, before earning her law degree in 2010. After graduating from law school, she was a volunteer attorney with Legal Services working on bankruptcy cases her hometown of Toms River, NJ. Her most recent posting as a volunteer associate in Atlantic City, where she handles prosecutions involving crimes on the casino floors, has brought her one step closer to her goal: a full-time position as a criminal prosecutor. A member of the bars of New Jersey and New York, Kelly was sworn in as a Special Deputy Attorney General in New Jersey in August 2011.