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2022 Order of the Coif: Marina M. Speligene

Twenty graduates in the LSU Law Class of 2022 have been selected for induction into The Order of the Coif, the highest honor a law student can receive.

Membership into the honorary law fraternity is strictly limited to the top 10% of each graduating class of law students. Of the more than 200 American Bar Association accredited law schools in the country, LSU Law is one of just 86 with a chapter in The Order of the Coif.

“We are extremely proud of each and every one of the 200 graduates in the LSU Law Class of 2022 because all of them worked incredibly hard and made great sacrifices to earn a law degree, which is the most difficult postgraduate degree that one can attain,” said LSU Law Interim Dean Lee Ann Wheelis Lockridge. “Our graduates who have earned membership into The Order of the Coif in addition to their law degrees are most deserving of special recognition. This high honor reflects their unparalleled commitment to academic excellence, and we take immense pride in honoring their great achievement.”

The LSU Law chapter of The Order of the Coif was established in 1942, with a purpose of stimulating scholarly work of the highest order and fostering a high standard of professional conduct. Outside of ordinary membership for law school graduates, honorary membership into The Order of the Coif may be granted in special cases to lawyers, judges, and teachers who have attained high distinction for their scholarly or professional accomplishments.

Marina M. Speligene | Gonzales, Louisiana

What are your immediate career plans?

I’ll be working as an associate at Fishman Haygood in their Business Section.

What are your long-term career aspirations?

One day, I’d love to work for the FBI as a Special Agent.

Please tell us about the organizations and activities you participated in at LSU Law, including any awards or honors you received.

During my 2L and 3L years, I served as a member of the Louisiana Law Review, and I was named either a Paul M. Hebert Scholar or Dean’s Scholar several times throughout my law school career. I also received the CALI Award for the highest grade in Louisiana Civil Code of Procedure I and Income Tax I.

Please tell us about any LSU Law faculty, classes, or other experiences that were particularly impactful on your legal education.

My work as a research assistant for Professor Sautter was probably one of the most valuable experiences of my law school career. Not only did it provide me with an opportunity to learn about a niche area of the law—which actually sparked my desire to practice in that area—but the work itself drastically improved my research and writing skills. On top of that, I’ve learned a lot from Professor Sautter herself. She’s someone I look up to both professionally and personally.

What are your fondest memories from your time at LSU Law?

I’ll never forget the champagne toast on the steps after finishing our last final of our first semester. I remember feeling equally exhausted and rejuvenated because as drained (both physically and mentally) as I was, it was then, surrounded by some of best people I’ve ever met, that I knew I’d be able to do this for two and half more years. I also look back fondly on the times that I accomplished some of the goals I set for myself–whether big or small. For example, the time I got the phone call that I had been selected to join the Louisiana Law Review or when I powered through, though admittedly unimpressively, my opening argument during Trial Ad.

What advice would you give to students entering law school who aspire to become an Order of the Coif member when they graduate?

I would urge those people not to underestimate the power of grit. Law school rewards those who work the hardest. Intelligence has its limits; I truly believe that hard work is the great equalizer.