Graduate Success Stories
As a graduate of Widener University School of Law, you are among a unique and diverse group of amazing individuals who should be very proud of your accomplishments. We would like to celebrate those accomplishments by dedicating this page to our graduates who are utilizing their Widener degrees to be leaders in their profession!


MJHeatherSmith200pxHeather Smith

Heather received a degree in nursing in 1989 and has worked at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania since that time. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1999 at Eastern University. Her nursing background is in transplant and cardiovascular surgery intensive care. Her administrative background includes nursing management, patient affairs, and outpatient clinical practice operations.

Heather's Success Story: "Our Chief Nurse Executive knew I was in the MJ program at Widener Law. She also knew that Penn Medicine was developing an Office of Patient Affairs and thought the degree would help make me a good candidate for the Director position that was open in that Office. I was hired for the Director of the Office of Patient Affairs and held that position for almost 2 years."


MJJuanitaWilliams200pxJuanita Williams

Maryann Brown, Professor of Constitutional Law, taught us to think outside of conventional thinking. I have always adhered to that way of thinking just as I have always valued my experiences from Widener University School of Law. Since graduating in May, 2005, with a degree in Masters of Juris Prudence in Health Law, I obtained a position as an Expedited Appeals Manager for a company contracted by CMS to handle all level of expedited Medicare appeals. Prior to attending Widener Law, I worked as a Registered Nurse for the University of Pennsylvania Health System for over thirteen years. I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2000 from Wilmington University and my Associate of Science in Nursing in 1992 from Hahnemann University now a part of Drexel University. Thinking outside conventional thinking led me from Nursing to Law.

I have always maintained a love and concern for people for which drives me to continue working as nurse when time permits and assists in maintaining my clinical skills. In 2007, my family and I moved to North Carolina, where I obtained my current position as a Utilization Manager at University of North Carolina Health System. My job entails obtaining authorizations for high dollar radiology tests and completing appeals for denied hospital admissions. My husband and I adopted two beautiful children expanding our already blended family from four to six children. I remain very active in my community especially with voting rights and education. I have come to love and enjoy my new life in North Carolina but I will forever keep Widener Law near and dear to my heart.


MJCourtlandHines200pxCourtland Hines

Courtland Hines received his Master of Jurisprudence in Corporate and Business Law in 2011. Courtland also has an MBA and is a Certified Internal Controls Auditor. As Sr. Manager of Corporate Internal Audit at Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Courtland is responsible for overseeing the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA) audits that occur globally for J&J.

My interest in furthering my education in the area of jurisprudence was born out of my desire to be more than a casual observer within the regulatory arena and instead equip myself with skills to not only be able to interpret the legal requirements but also assist in drafting corporate policy to reasonably ensure compliance.

Since receiving my MJ I have garnered a tremendous amount of respect for the various complexities that the regulatory requirements bring about within the legal and corporate community. I also don’t get the sense that future regulations will be any less intricate in its structure and design and therefore the skills that I received in the MJ program has provided me with a disciplined approach to accurately interpret regulatory requirements and its intent.

I was particularly drawn by the MJ’s program’s emphasis on Legal Methods and Analysis, which has ultimately made me a better writer and creative and analytical thinker. It has also made me very interested in returning to law school to obtain a JD.


MJCarrieBond200pxCarrie Bond

I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Upon graduation I began my career in healthcare at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and went on to hold positions at Shared Medical Systems and DePuy Synthes Companies of Johnson & Johnson. A key component in each role has been a strong sense of quality and compliance, along with a desire to achieve outstanding results for patients - both in direct patient care as well as the development of medical devices. The training curriculum I manage for DePuy Synthes is heavily focused on FDA requirements for medical devices. Health Care Compliance initiatives have increased in recent years and I found myself becoming more involved with the HCC training efforts. For this reason I made the decision to pursue a Masters of Jurisprudence in Corporate and Business Law with a focus on Regulatory Analysis and Compliance. I completed the program in May 2014.

Carrie's Success Story: Being part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies affords exposure to a wide variety of opportunities. Shortly after completing Widener’s Master of Jurisprudence program I posted for the position of Senior Manager, Global Training with responsibility for working with the Health Care Compliance & Privacy Leadership Team. This role partners with Regional HCCO’s, Privacy Officers and Operations leads to ensure conformity of the training and communication content with policies and guidance. I was fairly confident I would not get the position, but felt the interview process would be good experience as I move forward with my career. In each interview, the interviewer commented on my varied background and always asked about my decision to pursue the MJ degree, especially because I was not working in a compliance department. Although I have over 15 years of experience in training for regulated industry, I am certain that without the experiences and education from the MJ program, I would not have been seen as such a strong candidate. I accepted the position and am so grateful for the knowledge and support of the professors, and everyone involved in Widener’s MJ program!