Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Above the Law, Law Student Turned Pageant Queen With A Purpose:
Katherine Merck ..., a student at Gonzaga Law School, ... has a passion for rodeo that she hasn’t let law school kill. In fact, yesterday she was crowned Miss Rodeo America — the first ever from Washington State. In order to nab the national title, she beat out 33 other state queens by excelling in horsemanship, rodeo and equine knowledge, a speech, and a fashion show.
According to Miss Rodeo Washington, Merck’s love of rodeo and time in law school dovetail nicely:
Since graduating from the University of Notre Dame, she is studying at Gonzaga University School of Law in hopes of helping farmers and ranchers preserve and pass their land on to the next generation.
Merck gets more than a brand-new cowgirl hat for winning the pageant. As the Spokesman Review notes, for her efforts Merck won a shiny new saddle and an LLM:
The crown is accompanied by $25,000 in educational scholarships and prizes including a saddle, jewelry and clothes. Merck plans to use the scholarship to attend the University of Washington law school’s Master of Laws in Taxation program. She has said she wants to help farmers and ranchers with estate planning and water rights.
Nifty. But the LLM is going to have to wait a little: Merck has to put her JD on hold for a year while she fulfills her duties as a rodeo queen, which will involve traveling 340 days and covering more than 120,000 miles in the next year.