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Kristen Popham ’20

Law Student and Human Rights Advocate

Majors: {{,Government}} and {{,French & Francophone Studies}}

When looking for a college, Popham, who is from Chantilly, Virginia, quickly found a home at William & Mary. She was vice president of the Mock Trial Team, an intern in the Office of University Communications and a Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellow. She also studied abroad in France. Meanwhile, she was advocating for students with disabilities on campus and led a student organization that visited residents in a local juvenile detention center, providing a supportive community for them.

Now a student at Columbia Law School, she is the founder and president of Columbia’s Disabled Law Students Association. As a member of the school’s Human Rights Clinic, she is working with nongovernmental organizations that bring attention to discrimination against Muslims and women in the Central African Republic.

Popham hopes to become a civil rights impact litigator — using litigation as a strategic tool to move legal theories forward, such as by choosing cases that represent larger legal questions. “Researching and thinking critically about the way the law works and doesn’t work for different people … that all came from my work at William & Mary,” she says.

Learn more about Kristen