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Ian M. Shoulders

Ian Shoulders

Ian M. Shoulders - Class of 2022

Before law school

For the last five years I worked as an 8th grade teacher in Memphis, TN. I taught American history (1607 - 1877), spent a lot of time writing and editing the district’s honors curriculum, and coached teachers to help improve their practice.

Why WVU Law?

Growing up, I always hated living in West Virginia. In 2014 I took a commission-only job doing something I was under-qualified to be doing, in a city I had never even been to, just to get away. As soon as I did though, I felt incredibly homesick — not just because of my friends and family, but for things like the air, the mountains, the snow, and even the quirks that I grew up being annoyed by; also pepperoni rolls and Sheetz gas stations. I would catch myself correcting my students for mispronouncing “Appalachia” and celebrating June 20th like it was my own birthday. It took me leaving to realize the grass isn’t greener on the other side, but where you water it. Once I decided on going to law school, I knew WVU Law was the only place I was going to consider.

Law Interest

My interest in law is skewed heavily towards academia. Being an avid reader, a self-professed history nerd, and a teacher-at-heart, I’m interested in teaching law and writing. In terms of the field of law, I would confidently say Constitutional Law, and within that, I’m highly interested in first amendment issues, particularly for students.

In 10 years…

In 10 years I’d love to think I will have made the right moves to get into the law school classroom as a professor. It’s a tough road, but every decision I make between now and then is with that end-goal in mind.

Outside of law school…

I’m a musician. I actually started as a music education major at WV Wesleyan before switching to elementary and history education. Memphis gave me some great opportunities to play and record so outside of school, I’m probably playing guitar, hanging out with my wife, or reading.

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