Alumni Profile: Ashley K. Feasley
Although most law students would never come across a case from the United States Court of International Trade in the course of their studies, the court was exactly what one recent graduate was looking for.
Ashley K. Feasley (JD 07) had been interested in international issues since undergrad, where she earned a degree from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown.
After graduating from UF Law, Feasley had a couple of offers from law firms, but she was unsure if that was the right path for her.
Browsing online, Feasley found a clerkship with Judge Evan J. Wallach at the Court of International Trade in New York. The court is an Article III court that has jurisdiction over all international trade issues in the United States.
Although Feasley did not expect to even be considered for the position, she applied knowing it would be a better opportunity for her.
“I thought honestly, I’d be lucky if I got an interview,” she said.
After the interview process, Feasley learned she got the clerkship and started in March 2008.
As a clerk, Feasley works on cases given to her by Wallach from start to finish.
“You oversee that case as it comes to the court as a complaint, any orders or motions that are put in, you help work on looking at the law about how the judge should rule on a particular order or motion,” she said. “There is some trial time, but a lot of the work is dispositive briefs.”
Another area that the court has jurisdiction over is claims related to Trade Adjustment Assistance (T.A.A.), which is a U.S. Departments of Labor and Agriculture program that helps workers whose jobs have been moved overseas.
“Sometimes the government denies it and they bring their cases to the court,” Feasley said. “A lot of them are pro se litigants, so someone from the [Court of International Trade Bar Association] will normally represent them. They’re a little bit rarer but the court has jurisdiction to oversee them.”
Feasley got the idea to attend law school working as a consultant at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C. focusing on international issues.
“I worked on international border agreements with Mexico and Canada, particularly related to oil resources and security,” Feasley said. “I thought it was interesting. Then I worked with a group of consultants and they seemed to really like the fact that they had gone to law school.”
So Feasley enrolled at UF Law with an interest in international issues but not sure if she ever wanted to work in a law firm. She still is not sure if she’d like to work for a firm after her clerkship.
Feasley began a one-year L.L.M. program in International Law in August at Fordham Law School. She will graduate next August at about the same time her clerkship ends.
“Law school was something that I thought would open the door to more opportunities, but not necessarily for being a lawyer in a firm,” Feasley said. “I’ve really enjoyed clerking; it’s been a great experience in terms of learning about the process and how judges come to some of the decisions they do.”