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When she first learned about the death penalty in elementary school, Beverly Beaver '08 knew what she needed to do.
"I knew something was wrong with the way the world worked if we had something like that in our system," Beaver explains. "I knew then I wanted to be a lawyer. I wrote many papers in school about the death penalty."
This spring, Beaver graduated from Rutgers School of Law-Camden and was selected to participate in the Equal Justice Works Public Defender Corps, a highly competitive national program. Beaver is among 18 new attorneys selected from 450 applicants to join the program that trains recent law school graduates to serve in public defender offices in seven states.
Beaver says her education at Moravian and her work in the Honors Program, where she wrote an in-depth paper on the history of women's baseball, gave her the preparation she needed to be successful in the rigorous world of law school.
"I really loved my time at Moravian," says Beaver. "The small classes were very important. They allowed me to really talk to my professors and to build relationships."
Moravian athletics played a key role in Beaver's success as well. "Being part of the athletics program was one of my favorite things of all time," says the former leading player on the school's field hockey team. The discipline she developed as a member of her college's team was invaluable, she adds.
The new attorney remembers her first history professor at Moravian as a wonderful, positive influence. Dr. Sandy Bardsley's "excitement and enthusiasm" helped transform and inspire Beaver. "She was really excited about the subject she taught and she brought that energy to the classroom. She pushed you to live up to your fullest potential."
Beaver also credits Bardsley with helping her develop her skill as a writer, and Moravian’s emphasis on critical thinking with teaching her to work independently—both vital parts of her success in law school
As she begins the next chapter of her life in the Public Defender Corps, fulfilling a lifelong goal, Beaver will take the skills she developed at Moravian and Rutgers with her.
"I've always had the dream of being a public defender and advocating for juvenile justice," she says. "Being a part of the Public Defender Corps is helping make that dream a reality and provides me with a unique opportunity for additional training to be the best possible advocate for my clients."
"The small classes were very important. They allowed me to really talk to my professors and to build relationships."