Running Down a Dream: 3L Chases Olympics Bid

Dan Lennon

Dan Lennon ’19 knows how to go the distance. The third-year Albany Law School student and marathon runner balances a full course load, clerkship and law journal duties, and training for the Olympic trials. Academically and athletically, he is performing at the highest level. Lennon, of Peru, N.Y., will graduate early, in December. Two months later he will compete for a spot on the U.S. team for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Lennon qualified for the trials in 2018 with a marathon time of 2:17:33. It was a remarkable feat for a runner who hadn’t raced in over a year. First, a stress fracture interrupted his training. Then, Lennon suffered a broken jaw. Although that injury temporarily slowed him down, Lennon routinely completed 20-mile runs with his mouth wired shut.

He sees parallels between long-distance running and studying law, describing both as requiring “patience and mental fortitude.” Both also are ideal pursuits for someone who likes to challenge himself. “I have the mindset to keep moving forward.”

Lennon began running in high school, after his football coach suggested he try out for track. Lennon made the team—and became the fastest sophomore in the state. He went on to run cross-country at Syracuse University as a member of the 2015 NCAA championship team.

His interest in law also dates back to high school, when he became fascinated with constitutional law and the Supreme Court. While looking at law schools, Lennon was surprised to learn that the justice he respected most, Robert H. Jackson 1912, was an Albany Law School alumnus. “I did some research and, after finding out more about the alumni and faculty, was really set on coming here.”

He has tackled the law with the same determination he devotes to distance running, serving as lead article editor of the Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology, moot court competitor, research assistant, law clerk, and member of the Business Law and International Law societies. Lennon is confident that Albany Law School has prepared him for his preferred career as a litigator—and that he will hit and maintain his stride.


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