Zeynep Elif Aksoy: 2016 Best and Brightest

Zeynip Elif Aksoy

Zeynep Elif Aksoy

George Mason University School of Law

Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey

Undergraduate School: Boğaziçi University (BA, Economics); Brown University (MA, Economics), American University (PhD, Economics, expected).

Undergraduate Major and Minor: Economics

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During Law School: I attend George Mason Law School at night while working full time as a Senior Financial Economist at a trade association in Washington, DC. At George Mason, I am a Robert A. Levy Fellow and the Articles Selection Editor for the Journal of Law, Economics & Policy. I was also a teaching assistant for George Mason’s course on economic foundations for legal studies.

Where have you interned during law school? In summer 2014, I was a legal extern for Commissioner Joshua Wright at the Federal Trade Commission. In summer 2015, I was a summer associate at Jones Day’s Washington, DC office.

What practice area will you be specializing in after graduation? Antitrust

Why did you choose to attend law school? I had it in my mind for a while, but I came to the U.S. on a student visa to study economics. In 2010-­‐2011, the trade association I was working for represented private creditors in negotiations aimed at Greek debt restructuring. I was exposed to legal issues during the negotiations between Greece and financial institutions. I found these very interesting, took the LSAT, and applied.

 What was your favorite law school class? Constitutional Law and Law & Religion were some of the best classes for me because I learned so much about the U.S.

Which attorney do you most admire? Casey Anthony’s attorney, Jose Baez, not because of the case but because he persevered after being denied admission to practice law for not being able to support his family.

What have you enjoyed most about law school? My classmates. From preparing for exams to competing on the job market, we supported each other. At George Mason, I have not only gotten a great legal education but also built life-long relationships that will continue to support me through my legal career.

 What word best describes your professional brand? “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.”

 If you were debt free, how would you spend your first paycheck after landing your first law job? I was very fortunate to receive a full-­‐tuition scholarship and stipend to attend George Mason.

“I knew I wanted to go to law school when…I knew I wanted to go to law school when I was working in collaboration with a British law firm on Greek debt restructuring.”

“If I didn’t go to law school, I would be…I would be an economist.”

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? Last year, I participated in George Mason’s Supreme Court Clinic. I drafted part of an amicus brief for a Supreme Court case and my research was cited in a Supreme Court opinion.

Fun fact about yourself: I played with baby lions in South Africa.

Favorite book: The Stranger by Albert Camus

Favorite movie: WALL-E

What are your hobbies? Going to Hawaii!

What made Zeynep Elif such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016?

“I can say without reservation that in 15 years of teaching, Elif is one of my top ten students in the areas of: work ethic; high level of in-class contributions; and natural understanding of legal systems and analyses. She is nothing short of relentless when it comes to learning the law.”

Helen Alvare
Professor of Law
George Mason University School of Law