First to the Bench

Student Veda Wooley will be attending the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law this fall as the first Wilmington University alum to be admitted.

At 4, Wooley knew she wanted to be a lawyer. While her peers were preparing for kindergarten, she got a backrow seat viewing college courses while her parents taught at WilmU and Widener University School of Law. 

She remembers sitting in on a class taught by her mother, attorney Vera Holmes Toliver, and correctly answering a question that stumped second-year law students. “They were discussing (details involving) preserving witness statements,” says Wooley. “I raised my hand and said, ‘Can’t you video record the statement?’” 

Later, she disclosed that she’d learned that technique on her favorite cartoon, “Jimmy Neutron,” when the character investigated toy theft.

“I thought law school was easy after that,” says Wooley, who earned her B.S. in Finance in 2017, and will complete her MBA this fall, both from WilmU. 

Her father, College of Business adjunct professor David Wooley, has taught at WilmU for more than 20 years. She’s monitored his classes since she could walk.

“I know the type of relationships people build here, so there was no other place I wanted to attend for my undergrad and grad degrees,” says Wooley.

Her sister, Davina, also graduated from WilmU in May with a B.S. in Business Management.

Wooley credits that WilmU support for her acceptance into Drexel’s program, which was ranked one of the Top 50 Law Schools in the U.S. by The National Law Journal and Above the Law. She hopes to specialize in corporate law.

Her professors knew of her law school dreams and connected Wooley with resources and assisted her through the studying and application processes.

Dr. Audrey Blume, chair of the Business Management program, met Wooley during her first semester. “She took the initiative to set up an appointment with me to discuss the Business Management degree program and her goals,” says Dr. Blume. “During our meeting, I became aware that Veda was focused, mature and strategic, and that whichever path she set, she would reach her goals. As expected, she maintained a 3.99 GPA, was inducted into the Delta Epsilon Rho Honor Society and the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society, and graduated summa cum laude.”

 Says Wooley: “I can’t wait to combine my business acumen with my law studies. All that studying will finally pay off.” WU