Hot Bench: Dominique Fenton '21

Dominique Fenton ‘21

Dominique Fenton ‘21

Dominique Fenton ‘21

Interviewed by Christina Luk ‘21

Hello, Dominique! Thanks so much for coming to Hot Bench. Let’s start things off easy – What kind of pastry do you prefer, croissants or éclair? I hate to get to be that guy, but a croissant is technically viennoiserie, not pâtisserie (pastry). 

What a fascinating distinction. Are baked goods a passion of yours? Funny you should ask! I spent a few months as a baker’s apprentice in my mom’s hometown in France before moving to Charlottesville.  

Did you grow up in France? I was born and raised in Southern California, but spent my summers in France as a kid. 

Any aspirations to return to California or to France after law school? Maybe to California, though I haven’t lived there in twelve years!  

Where have you wandered these twelve long years?? Four years in Connecticut, four years in New York, three years in South Dakota, and one in Texas/France! 

If you could take a week off right now, which of those places would you revisit? South Dakota, without a doubt.  

Dark horse, South Dakota! What did you do there? I lived and worked on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota Nation, first in education but primarily in criminal and family justice. 

Did you bring anything with you from there when you moved to Charlottesville?  A number of things, including my dope dog Mato! 

Now that you’re here, what’s one thing you’re most looking forward to at UVA? Convincing as many people as possible of the immeasurable value of a career in public service! The bonus is paid out in your hearts, people. 

Okay, Lightning Round:  

Favorite food? Mom’s cooking. 

Favorite sound? The sound of #NOGI in late summer.  

Favorite place in Charlottesville? My bedroom in the woods.  

Anti-stress hobby? Long walks. The most I’ve done in a day is 40 miles.   

Motto to live by? Tread lightly and deliberately.  

Pet peeve? Overcooked pasta.  

Deepest, darkest fear? Disappointing my immigrant mother.  

If you could ask yourself a question 10 years in the future, what would you ask? How is America’s experiment with democracy going? 

If you could tell yourself something on the first day of law school that you know now, what would it be? You will meet kind, wonderful people.  

What is your beverage of choice in the morning? Tea or a smoothie.  

What’s something meaningful you want to do with your J.D.? If I can help move the needle in at least a few people’s lives, I’ll be happy.  

If you were reincarnated as an animal, which animal would it be? A leatherback turtle.  

Does your dog snore? No, but I allegedly do.  

What’s one movie that left an impression on you? Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love

What’s one question you came to law school to answer? What, like it’s hard? 

And lastly, a reader favorite: What are the 7 wonders of the law school?