February 26, 2021 : By Jacob Couch - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
In the decade since Kerri Kupec (’11) received her Juris Doctor from Liberty University School of Law, she has greatly impacted the fields of law and government on a national level, building an impressive resumé while standing firm in her faith.
This week, Kupec returned to campus to spend time with Liberty Law and Helms School of Government students and share about her journey, which has included serving as the Director of Public Affairs and Counselor to Attorney General William P. Barr for the Department of Justice under President Donald J. Trump and as the White House spokesperson for the U.S. Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh confirmation team.
Kupec has appeared on FOX, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC and has been quoted extensively in print and online news publications, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post. She is a 2017 recipient of the America’s Future Foundation Buckley Award, an award recognizing outstanding young professionals for their above-and-beyond service to the liberty movement.
After attending college in New York for her undergraduate degree, Kupec said Liberty was the only law school to which she applied.
“I was drawn to the ties I could see between God and law. … I felt like someone had designed a law school for me and handed it to me on a silver platter,” she told law students on Thursday.
During her visit, she shared stories from her professional career before joining the Department of Justice, from serving as a law clerk to the Hon. William G. Petty of the Court of Appeals of Virginia to working as legal counsel and communications director for Alliance Defending Freedom, the largest conservative nonprofit law firm in the United States.
Kupec reminded students that building her resumé took time, and she offered insight on how to remain well with the Lord through the ups and downs that the world of politics throws at those in the field.
“Actively seek to make stars of others,” she said. “I know that can sound counterintuitive when you yourself are trying to make a career, but looking to make others shine whether personally or professionally is not only a great way to build your career, but it’s a good way to live life.”
Despite her positive outlook, Kupec said she has faced challenging and difficult situations that consistently tested her resilience.
“I believe that courage is like a muscle almost like anything else is,” she said. “Building courage can begin when you are in your high school and college years having difficult conversations with friends, family, and college classmates. In these situations, you have to think of ways to communicate your point persuasively and lovingly. But you build on those experiences and that is what enabled me to do the things that I was able to do in Washington.”
Kupec advised the classes, which were also open to visiting families as part of Liberty’s College for a Weekend event, to try and build off some of the lessons she has learned.
“Courage is contagious. When people see you being comfortable with yourself and speaking truth in a way that is caring and loving, that will typically inspire other people and make people feel like they can do it, too.”
Kupec said that in a culture that is already difficult for conservatives to live in, students should do all they can to learn about their future employers before accepting a position.
“Talk to people and learn about people. … If someone has a good reputation for being good to their people and good at what they do, it doesn’t matter so much about what it is you are going to do for them.”
No matter what position or regardless of a student’s chosen vocation, Kupec believes that a life lived for the Lord offers the sustainability to weather any storm.
“You’re either going to live life walking with the Lord or you’re not,” she said. “I think by just being human there are times and situations you’ll go through in life where you will question God’s plan or your relationship with Him. But to live life without God would be far worse than to live life with God. Having a relationship with God is a gift and a great comfort.”