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From High School Dropout to Law School Valedictorian

May 3, 2024

Swapanthi Mandalika-Reeves, whose academic journey began as a high school dropout, shares how service to others helped her overcome her own challenges and changed the trajectory of her career. In late 2023, Swapanthi received the Women’s White Collar Defense Association’s (WWCDA) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Outstanding Law Student Award–a national honor granted to one law student each year who best exemplifies Justice Ginsburg’s commitment to excellence, resilience, and perseverance.

Soon to be a graduate of The University of Alabama School of Law (Class of 2024), Swapanthi has been named valedictorian of her class, received 13 best paper awards in her courses, and dedicated more than 230 hours to mentoring other law students during her 2L & 3L years through the Alabama Law Academic Success Fellows Program. Upon graduation, Swapanthi has committed to clerkships in both the Northern District of Alabama and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. She has also been offered a full-time position at the firm Latham & Watkins in Washington D.C. for employment upon completion of those clerkships.

She and her husband also recently welcomed a baby boy into their family. Watch the video above to hear her story. Read more about Swapanthi on the Alabama Law website:

Video produced by Savannah Kelly and Josh Bird
Video footage courtesy of WWCDA

The University of Alabama School of Law strives to remain neutral on issues of public policy. The Law School’s communications team may facilitate interviews or share opinions expressed by faculty, staff, students, or other individuals regarding policy matters. However, those opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the Law School, the University, or affiliated leadership.