MORGANTOWN – West Virginia Law student Paige Diggs has
forged her own path in her legal studies. The former Fresno State University
basketball player asked herself “how can I forge two passions” of sports and
law and found a unique answer.
“I’m a little different,” Diggs told The West Virginia Record. “I’m not going the
traditional path at all.”
Diggs found an externship in the compliance office working
for WVU Deputy Athletic Director Keli Cunningham that allows her to apply what
she has learned in law school while giving her the opportunity to help young
“I really like helping people in general,” Diggs said.
At first, Diggs said the university did not have a position
available in which she could work in both the legal and sports realms. However,
a position in the compliance office was created after Cunningham told Diggs “I
see something in you,” she said.
Diggs said meeting the parents of the WVU athletes is one
fun part of her experience. In addition, she has worked at WVU sports events,
which she said has allowed her to experience college sports from a different
perspective than that of a student-athlete.
“I’m learning more than just compliance,” she said.
As part of her externship, which is continuing through Diggs’
final year at WVU Law, she represented the university at the NCAA Regional
Rules Seminar in Orlando, Florida in May 2016.
Back on campus, some of Diggs’ responsibilities in the
compliance office include updating contracts and working with regulatory and
Following graduation from law school in the spring, Diggs
said she’d like to remain “in the university realm,” including possibly in
compliance. But, no matter what position she takes, she would like it to be a
role that allows her to prepare the student athletes for life after college.
“(I enjoy) helping with getting people to that next level,”
However, she said her career path likely does not include
coaching basketball. Diggs said she is still in contact with her college coach
and she recognizes the importance of a coach’s role in raising their young
charges into adulthood, serving as coach, teacher, counselor and surrogate
“That’s a lot of responsibility to do that,” Diggs said.
Before her externship in Cunningham’s office, Diggs said she
interned with a judge.
“I loved it, but I wanted to do something different,” she
One message she’d like to convey to prospective law students
is that being a lawyer doesn’t have to be limited to working in a courtroom,
although that is what most people believe when they consider the profession.
“Keep your mind open to all possibilities,” Diggs said.
An Amarillo, Texas, native, Diggs said she came to West
Virginia Law to follow in her brother’s footsteps. She said her brother was at
West Virginia law early in her tenure there.
“Always a little sister, I guess,” Diggs said.
Diggs said she likes West Virginia, although, as a Texas
girl who completed her undergraduate studies in California, she said it has
taken some time for her to get used to the colder Morgantown winters.