By the time Megan Boyd earned her J.D., she realized she found the study of law more exciting than the practice of law. With no real roadmap for a career path other than practice, Boyd went to work as a litigator at a mid-size law firm in Atlanta. She contemplated what else she could do with her law degree, but it wasn’t until she hired a career coach that it became clear she wanted to get back in the classroom.
“The coach didn’t help me in any way that was groundbreaking or earth shattering,” Boyd said. “It was just the matter of having somebody to hold me accountable, and so I started reaching out to some of my old professors.”
That desire to teach lead Boyd to joining the faculty of the Lawyering: Foundations program at Georgia State Law in 2014. She’s since transitioned to teaching Civil Procedure, Professional Responsibility, Advanced Strategies in Legal Writing and Animal Law.
With her love of legal writing, Boyd also sits as the faculty advisor for the Moot Court program at Georgia State Law. The competition team which enhances students’ legal education by developing their written and oral advocacy skills keeps proving their talent by continually adding to their growing list of titles.
“I think our Moot Court program is just such an outstanding skill builder for our students,” said Boyd. “It’s an opportunity for them to see how what they are learning in law school translates to practice in the real world.”
Of the many valuable takeaways from Moot Court, experience writing briefs might be one of the most important. Boyd says the amount of written client advocacy lawyers do in practice is something that surprises many students, but she loves seeing that shift in their mindset when they understand how the material they produce really matters.
“It’s almost like a puzzle,” Boyd explained. “Figuring out how to communicate a complicated concept in a way that somebody who’s smart but knows nothing about it can understand. I always found a lot of satisfaction in producing something that I was really proud of and that I felt was the best piece of advocacy for my client and I hope my students feel the same.”
In her classes, Boyd also makes a point emphasize finding the line in advocacy between arguments that are reasonable to make and those that are not. Students need to change their mindset from ‘can I do this?’ to ‘how can I do this?’ by thinking outside the box while maintaining ethics, because “good lawyers are problem solvers.”
Now several years later, Boyd is confident that she made the right choice in her career shift. From the variety of courses she teaches to being able give students encouragement throughout their journey, not only is she able to share her passion with the students, but she gets so much in return.
“One of the things about Georgia State is we have such a diverse group of students,” she said. “Many of whom have worked professionally before they came to law school, so they bring such interesting backgrounds to the classroom. Every year that I teach, I learn so many new things.”
Written by Mara Thompson