Meet the Branch

The Judicial Branch is composed of four Associate Judges and one Chief Judge, nominated by the President, and confirmed by the Senate, to terms that last as long as they are students at the law school. The Court interprets the Constitution and Bylaws and settles other disputes. It may also issue advisory opinions upon request from the Senate.

2017-2018 Branch Membership

Chief Judge Katelin Shugart-Schmidt (3L)

Katelin Shugart-Schmidt is a 3L who grew up in Logan, Utah and Honolulu, Hawaii. Prior to law school, Katelin attended Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, where she earned a B.S. in Environmental Science, and Virginia Tech, where she earned an M.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Science. She also spent two years working for an ocean conservation focused non-profit in Washington, D.C.

Associate Judge Franchiny Ovalle (3L)

Franchiny M. Ovalle is a 3L from the Dominican Republic where he grew up until he was 17 years old. Before law school, he attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he obtained his B.A. in Political Science and Theory. He is planning on pursuing a career in the field of International Trade and Intellectual Property.

Associate Judge Jihad Komis

Jihad Komis is a 2L who was born and raised in Dearborn, Michigan. After obtaining his B.S. in Biochemistry and International Studies form the University of Michigan, Jihad worked for a boutique criminal defense law firm in Ann Arbor. He also spent two years working with the American Bar Association Racial Justice Improvement Program implementing reform projects across the country to eliminate racial inequities in the criminal justice system.

Associate Judge Michael Sheehan (2L)

Michael Sheehan is a 2L who was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to attending law school, Michael served as an Arabic cryptologic linguist, intelligence analyst, and platoon sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, spending the majority of his enlistment at Fort Gordon, Georgia. He earned a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the American Military University.

Associate Judge Kiera Lindsey (1L)

Kiera Lindsey is a 1L who grew up in multiple places around the world as far as Germany with her military parents. She considers Panama City, Florida her hometown. Before law school, Kiera received a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.A. in Criminology from the University of Florida. She is planning on pursuing a career in Family and Divorce law.