Alumni Services

Bessie Daschbach

Bessie Daschbach came to Edinburgh in 1996 as a visiting student. She tells us how she went from studying the writing of Victorian women to taking on major corporations as a lawyer.

Name Bessie Daschbach
Degree Course Victorian Women’s Writing Honours Programme
Year of Graduation Attended 1996
Bessie Daschbach

Your time at the University

I came to the University of Edinburgh to take the programme in Victorian Women’s Writing , a course which considers themes of gender, class and empire (including Scotland and England in relation to each other) as well as looking at questions of social position, the position of women in Victorian society.

I chose Edinburgh for this because of the quality of the literature course. My time there, while short, was incredible. I made friendships that have survived so many years and memories that I still cherish.

Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University

Following my time in Edinburgh, I graduated from Duke University and went on to Tulane Law School back home in New Orleans.

After I received my Juris Doctorate from Tulane, I practiced law in New Orleans for some years with a commercial litigation firm before heading up to Columbia Law School in New York for my masters in International and Comparative Law.

While at Columbia I interned for the United Nations and for Open Society and, after finishing my degree at Columbia, I worked for a time at the International Labor Organization (a division of the United Nations) office in Bangkok, Thailand.

While there, I focused on a factory improvement project in Sri Lanka.

I made friendships that have survived so many years and memories that I still cherish.

Bessie Daschbach

I eventually returned to New York, where I returned to private practice, and after a few more years I returned again to New Orleans.

I manage the environmental law practice at my firm (Jones, Swanson, Huddell and Garrison) and I am currently focused on managing litigation on behalf of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East (a political subdivision) against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies for their role in the coastal erosion that has so exacerbated the risk of flooding in the New Orleans area during hurricanes.

Our fight is a heated - and heavily political - one as we face a legislative session during which the governing administration very much aims to put the lawsuit to rest.

Alumni wisdom

In the words of Winston Churchill: never, never, never give up. Never give up trying and never give up trying new things.