The profiles below offer a glimpse into the U of C Law student community. Profiles are listed in alphabetical order by last name. Check back soon for new additions!
Undergraduate institution, degree, and major: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BA, History/Political Sciences, Class of 2005
What area of the law most appeals to you? I worked in finance this summer and I really enjoyed learning about the ins and outs of the markets. I love how it’s changing so much every day and you never know what will happen next.
What makes U of C Law unique? U of C Law is unique for so many reasons but I think it’s the incredible student body that makes stand out. Everyone brings different experiences to the table and really cares about learning. Additionally, the resources and small class size make it easy to interact and use everything available.
What was the best part of your 1L summer work experience? I was a Summer Associate in Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs. There I was able to really get to know finance and learn how my legal thinking can apply to other areas of business. The best part of my summer experience was the people I was worked with. They took the time to make sure that I was getting the most of my summer experience.
What do you enjoy most about the Law School community? I enjoy the friends that I’ve made most. Whether it be spending Easter Sunday ordering Thai food into the library to traveling abroad with classmates, they make the experience fun. We also have the most wonderful faculty and staff. They make sure that we have a strong community. Our Dean of Admissions invited everyone who ran a recent 5k over to her house for pizza last quarter and then I saw her on the Northside of Chicago recently while on a longer run. Everyone goes out of their way to make sure that we have a strong community.
How have you been involved at the Law School? I am currently serving as President of Latino Law Students Association. It is a great way for students to come together and do community service, talk about classes and be involved in the community.
What was your favorite 1L class? Property with Professor Helmholz. While the class was one of the most difficult academically, he made it enjoyable and always kept us on our toes. He also has a great sense of humor.
What was your greatest challenge of 1L? I had not written anything longer than an email for the 4 years previous to law school since I was working. Re-learning how to write was definitely the most challenging. However, my Bigelow was able to give me advice individually and even took notice of progress in my writing throughout the year. She also recommended outside resources for me to use.
What was the most memorable moment from your first year at the Law School? Law School Prom. While I thought it was weird that people in their mid-late 20s were going to Prom again, it was so much fun. We planned a dinner party ahead of time, went dress shopping, got ready together, then went to Prom where we danced all night.
What advice do you have for incoming women law students? Make sure to remember that the Law School is just one area of your entire life and stay involved in other things-keep in touch with family and friends, work out, relax. It will help you do better.
Undergraduate institution, degree, and major: Florida State University, B.A. in English (2006)
Graduate institution and degree: Georgia State University, M.A. in English (2007)
What area of the law most appeals to you? Corporate Law, specifically litigation, because it enables me to apply my writing skills as well as research interesting areas of law…it is a continual learning process.
What makes U of C Law unique? U of C Law is unique because of the small class size that enables a close-knit community and collegiality among law students.
What was the best part of your 1L summer work experience? I worked as a summer associate at Katten Muchin Rosenman in Chicago, IL. The best part of my experience was that it enabled me to gain an insight into different practice areas and the daily lives of corporate attorneys.
What do you enjoy most about the Law School community? I enjoyed having the opportunity to attend a well-respected law school and learning from professors who are luminaries in their field.
How have you been involved at the Law School? I am currently the Academic Chair of BLSA and I am also actively involved in the Student Admissions Committee. These extra-curricular experiences have allowed me to expand my view of the law school community outside of the classroom.
What was your favorite 1L class? My favorite class was Contracts with Professor Ben-Shahar. Even though it was my earliest class, Professor Ben-Shahar was so passionate about the subject that his excitement was contagious.
What was your greatest challenge of 1L? My greatest challenge was adjusting to being a student. Having worked for 3 years in a self-managed profession, it was difficult acclimating to a school environment.
What was the most memorable moment from your first year at the Law School? After completing my final exam and realizing that my classmates and I had not only survived the infamous 1L year, but that we had conquered it.
What advice do you have for incoming women law students? My best advice is to remember that it is a process and that everyone has had to go through it. The best thing to do is to reduce unnecessary stress as much as possible and to always keep the end goal in mind.
Undergraduate institution, degree, and major: California State University, Los Angeles, BA in Applied Economics
What area of the law most appeals to you? I’m interested in international law, specifically international corporate law and transactions between companies based in different countries.
What makes U of C Law unique? The accessibility of professors and administrators. Professors are always around and at different events and they genuinely want to talk to students. The administration is fantastic--so accommodating--and really makes it seem like we aren’t part of a bureaucracy.
What was the best part of your 1L summer work experience? I worked at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a public policy/legal think tank in Israel, and my favorite part was that I was able to actually do international law work that was not just academic in nature. I was working on a paper about the legitimacy of and the best practices in targeted killings (the killing of “high-value targets”—typically, terrorists--when no arrest option is available), namely how to reduce civilian casualties when engaging in a policy of targeted killings. The think tank I worked at had the ear of the Israeli government and since the Israeli government does support military policy of targeted killings, I felt like the work I was doing would have a real impact.
What do you enjoy most about the Law School community? The people. I’m constantly inspired by so many of the people I go to school with—I’m inspired by their stories, their intelligence, their interests, and the general good-heartedness that exists at the school.
How have you been involved at the Law School? I am/have been involved in Law Students Association, Chicago Journal of International Law, Jewish Law Students Association, Neighbors, Spring Break of Service, and in the fall, I will be participating in the Corporate Lab (transactional). I think by being involved, there is a greater sense of ownership of The Law School—you get to plan events that go on at the law school or help contribute to journals that the law school publishes. You get to be the face of the law school in our surrounding community or even in areas where people have never heard of the University of Chicago. Fortunately, there are so many ways to be involved that there really is something for everybody.
What was your favorite 1L class? I really liked Civil Procedure 1, because Civ Pro is really the framework to all of law and helps you to understand the logistics of what is happening in every class.
What was your greatest challenge of 1L? Avoiding the burnout of Spring Quarter—by Spring Quarter, I found that I needed a change of scenery and started studying at the Reg and studying with a group of friends, rather than studying alone which I had done the previous quarters.
What was the most memorable moment from your first year at the Law School? I think that the snowstorm and having my first ever snow day was pretty memorable. It was so nice to have the break in the week and get to work on the memo! There were a lot of memories from that week!
What advice do you have for incoming women law students? Get involved and find something that appeals to you. If you’re not a club person, try to do a journal or clinic that appeals to you. There are so many ways to be involved at the law school, and they all give you really good experiences.
Undergraduate institution, degree, and major: Stanford University, BA in Economics and BA in Communication
What area of the law most appeals to you? Intellectual Property because of the ever-changing nature of the practice and the challenges of applying traditional legal doctrines in modern contexts.
What makes U of C Law unique? The extent to which our faculty and staff care for us. Professors invite us to their homes, Coffee Messes fill us with caffeine and sugar, and the administration sends us cheerful emails to lift our spirits during exams. We are so loved (and so spoiled!) here.
What was the best part of your 1L summer work experience? I was a Law Clerk at Cornerstone Law Group in California. I also was a Research Assistant for Professor Buss. I loved being able to learn more about the inner-workings of firm life and what practical legal work entailed, but at the same time, having the opportunity to work closely with a professor on her research.
What do you enjoy most about the Law School community? The small size of the Law School – there is certainly a sense of warmth that comes along with knowing everyone in your class, even if only by name. Returning to the Law School feels like returning home to a slightly kooky, but supportive, family.
How have you been involved at the Law School? I am a staff member for the University of Chicago Law Review, and I have been involved in the Intellectual Property Law Society and Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. These activities have allowed me to get to know a wide range of incredible people who I may not have gotten the chance to interact with otherwise.
What was your favorite 1L class? Criminal Law, because even though I still don’t know a thing about mens rea, the cases were interesting and Professor McAwesome was, well, pretty awesome.
What was your greatest challenge of 1L? My grandmother passed away a few weeks before fall quarter finals. It was a difficult time for me and my family, but by reminding myself of all the reasons why I came to law school, and with the help of my professors and friends to make up the material I missed, I was able to make it through.
What was the most memorable moment from your first year at the Law School? Late Friday afternoons in the Green Lounge, just hanging out and chitchatting with my best friends were hands down the best moments of all.
What advice do you have for incoming women law students? Never be afraid to speak your mind and share your thoughts with your classmates, both inside and outside of the classroom. It can often be intimidating and challenging, but you deserve to have your voice heard, even if it means taking risks.
Undergraduate institution, degree, and major: Stanford University, B.A., double major East Asian Studies / English
What area of the law most appeals to you? I like constitutional law in theory and transactional law in practice. Constitutional law really makes you think really hard about difficult issues, while transactional law is often times about putting together pieces to a puzzle.
What makes U of C Law unique? Our professors – they’re really accessible and care about whether we’re learning and how we’re growing as future leaders in different legal professions.
What was the best part of your 1L summer work experience? The mentors that I had a chance to work with and talk with about my career plans. I worked at the NJ Attorney General’s Office.
What do you enjoy most about the Law School community? This really is a place about sharing ideas – whether with your classmates or your professors – everyone is open to discussing ideas different from their own.
How have you been involved at the Law School? I’m a Comments and Developments Editor for The Chicago Journal of International Law, a Student Director for the Corporate Lab, one of the founders of the University of Chicago Domestic Violence Project, a part of the Exoneration Project, the co-president of the China Law Society, and was a board member of the Law Women’s Caucus. The best part about being involved in law school student groups and activities is getting to know your classmates better and developing friendships and working relationships with them. You also get to do meaningful work and cultivate different areas of interest outside of school work.
What was your favorite 1L class? Elements – It was so different from the rest of our 1L classes, and it was surprising how more conversant you become in legal theory for the rest of your law school career through taking that one class.
What was your greatest challenge of 1L? Learning how to take two-quarter exams. It’s a delicate balancing act to stay on top of your reading and also think about preparing for the exam that seems so far off (and then suddenly just a week away). I think the key is to set aside time to review what you’ve learned so that it doesn’t become so intimidating toward exam time.
What was the most memorable moment from your first year at the Law School? 1L Moot Court – there’s no other ten minutes that seem to go by so slowly and so quickly at the same time.
What advice do you have for incoming women law students? Spend the time you have at Chicago Law making it your home – getting to know your fellow classmates, your professors, being involved in student activities, and trying out activities that you didn’t know you’d be interested in. Law School is a lot more rewarding if you make the most of your experience by being actively involved and challenging yourself the entire way.
Undergraduate institution, degree, and major: Wellesley College, B.A., Latin
What area of the law most appeals to you? For me, this is a question without a definite answer. There are areas of the law that most appeal to me; almost all of them are in litigation. However, within litigation the best that I could narrow it down to is: White Collar, “Soft” IP, Pharmaceutical Litigation, and maybe some Securities.
What makes U of C Law unique? What makes U of C Law unique is the same thing that scares some people away: the sheer passion that the professors and many students have for law and learning. The professors here are first, brilliant, but also funny and approachable. I think that is a very unique mix that is hard to find elsewhere.
What was the best part of your 1L summer work experience? By far the best part of my 1L experience was appearing in court. My job included a very specific program where this district authorized 1L clerks to appear independently in court to try misdemeanor cases. I wanted to see whether I would like being in a courtroom and my experience showed me that I did! (Oh, I worked at the United States Attorney’s Office)
What do you enjoy most about the Law School community? Well, I think it is that you can be whoever you want to be. There is such a diverse group here in terms of personalities, etc. that everyone can find their niche. I think that’s great.
How have you been involved at the Law School? The main thing that I am involved in is the Hemingway Society. I think that the Law School has such a broad set of activities means that one can bring outside interests into the Law School. I have always had a passion for wine and used to be involved with wine as a career, so it is nice to have a way to explore with my fellow students.
What was your favorite 1L class? Civil Procedure II. First, It was wonderful to take a class from Professor Epstein and hear his view on everything from Pennoyer to the Vioxx case. Second, I really like the way that procedural rules fit together and learning how to navigate them. I think it’s a little puzzle every time.
What was your greatest challenge of 1L? I was out of school for a while before coming to law school and I just did not know how to study or approach the materials that were given to me. I do not know anyone who is a lawyer who I could ask for help and to a certain extent did not know where to turn. I studied with my close friend for the first quarter, to the extent that we wrote the exact same thing in our outlines and did everything together. I think that it is great to study with someone (I am scared that we are not in any of the same classes this year) but she and I would have difficulties with different topics and I think the way we studied first quarter meant that we hit everything, but did not get an in-depth understanding of the topics we struggled with. The second quarter we modified how we studied, doing some together and some apart and continued this into third quarter. It helped immensely.
I think that law school involves some introspection about what is working and not working for you and involves you being honest about your strengths and weaknesses. And don’t worry, your grades will improve and no one (not even the “best law firm in the country”) is going to judge you for one misstep your 1L fall. If you have questions or want to chat about this, please, come find me!
What was the most memorable moment from your first year at the Law School? It is not from 1L year, it is from ASW (admitted students). During ASW I met a friend and we quickly bonded over a love of teeny-bopper (sp?) novels. (See: The Hunger Games, Twilight, etc.) This friendship continued and she is still one of my best friends. It was amazing to realize that I did fit in here.
What advice do you have for incoming women law students? Ask for help if you need it. The Law School provides tons of resources for you, take advantage of those resources. I never went to the academic advisors when I struggled and I should have. Do the Peer Interviewing Program, talk to Career Services. People want to help. If you are having issues, find someone to talk to or who can help you work through it.
Undergraduate institution, degree, and major: Vassar College, B.A. in Mathematics and Political Science
What area of the law most appeals to you? I am interested in litigation and most recently in everything finance. Litigation appeals to me because it is adversarial, dynamic and because I enjoy oral advocacy.
What makes U of C Law unique? U of C Law is unique in the dedication of its professors. Not only are our professors some of the most talented academics, they take time out for their students and come to class to inspire us.
What was the best part of your 1L summer work experience? I loved every bit of my first year summer as a summer associate at Fensterstock & Partners. My favorite part was getting the opportunity to go to court – once to hear Second Circuit arguments, a few times to the Commercial Division for arguments and once just to observe a federal trial. Arguments are fascinating and exhilarating when you know how much work goes into those brief appearances.
What do you enjoy most about the Law School community? What I enjoy most about the Law School community is how active it is. Every day there are speakers at the Law School, every week we have coffee mess, wine mess and bar review, and my classmates are always planning trips downtown.
How have you been involved at the Law School? I am on the board of the Law Women’s Caucus and a member of the Chicago Journal of International Law. I’m just starting most of my responsibilities this year, but I anticipate many benefits from being involved with these activities.
What was your favorite 1L class? My favorite 1L class was Contracts with Professor Posner. A close second are Civil Procedure I with Professor Buss and Civil Procedure II with Professor Cox. All of these classes appealed to me because I learned so much (that served me well in my summer job) from professors with infinite patience and wisdom.
What was your greatest challenge of 1L? My greatest challenge was definitely getting through exam periods and at the end of exams getting through the writing competition. I just didn’t give up!
What was the most memorable moment from your first year at the Law School? The most memorable moment from my first year was probably when Justice Sotomayor visited the Law School. She was so eloquent and inspiring and I could not believe I was sitting so close to her!
What advice do you have for incoming women law students? Reach out to upperclassmen. They have been in your shoes and they are happy to help.
Undergraduate institution, degree, and major: UC Berkeley, BA in English
What area of the law most appeals to you? It’s a new challenge every day and an opportunity to work on cases that might ultimately have an effect on national policies.
What makes U of C Law unique? There isn’t a single lazy person here.
What was the best part of your 1L summer work experience? I worked at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, an NGO in South Africa. The best part of the summer experience was probably going to their highest court, the Constitutional Court, and watching as our attorneys brought a case against the government. Not only was it an opportunity to see my hard work in action, but it got me excited about becoming a litigation attorney.
What do you enjoy most about the Law School community? I like that the school is small and there’s an opportunity to get to know everyone.
How have you been involved at the Law School? I am involved in the South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA) and the Chicago Journal of International Law (CJIL). SALSA is a lot of fun (and we’re looking for new members, join us!) CJIL is a great way to get legal research and writing experience.
What was your favorite 1L class? I really enjoyed Elements. This is a U of C-specific class that exposes you to a number of different legal theories in various areas. What other class allows you to discuss the Coase Theorem and Feminist Legal Theory in the same day?
What was your greatest challenge of 1L? The 3-hour exam. I wasn’t used to this kind of time-pressured test so I practiced with old exams until I got better at it. My first 3-hour exam ended up being my lowest grade.
What was the most memorable moment from your first year at the Law School? After we turned in our briefs, our Civ Pro II professor surprised us all with donut holes.
What advice do you have for incoming women law students? Don’t be intimidated. Law students and lawyers are extraordinarily smart and ambitious, but so are you. Be confident and don’t let other people cause you to doubt yourself.
Undergraduate institution, degree, and major: Howard University, Bachelor of Science in Systems and Computer Science (2004)
Graduate institution and degree: University of Michigan School of Information, Masters of Science in Information in Information, Economics, Management, and Policy (2006)
What area of the law most appeals to you? Intellectual Property Law. Because of my background in engineering and my continued interest in the field, I think it’s the area of law that best suits me.
What makes U of C Law unique? The Law and Economics approach to learning about legal issues definitely makes our law school stand out amongst others. Firms seem to really value the impact that this training has on graduates’ approach to practicing law, so I really think it puts students at an advantage.
What was the best part of your 1L summer work experience? I worked at Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard, and Geraldson in Chicago. Pattishall is a small firm, which focuses primarily on trademark litigation. I think the best part of my summer was putting my newly acquired legal skills to practical use. I also enjoyed receiving feedback from practicing attorneys because it gave me a goal toward which I could strive when working on subsequent projects.
What do you enjoy most about the Law School community? I truly enjoy my classmates. I think that there is a group of people for everyone, and just in general my classmates are smart, really helpful, and encouraging. I think I have enjoyed this experience as much as I have thus far because of the people with whom I have developed relationships.
How have you been involved at the Law School? I served as a 1L Representative for the Black Law Students Association, and this year I am serving as BLSA President. I am also a member of the Intellectual Property Law Society, serving this year as the Membership Chair. I am also in my second year as a Law School Representative to the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois. Finally, I will be participating in the Corporate Lab: Transactional Clinic.
What was your favorite 1L class? My favorite class was Property. I had Helmholtz, and everything about the class was challenging. In fact, Property with Helmholtz is probably the most challenging class that I have ever had, which is saying a lot for a former engineer. I enjoyed the class so much because I was forced to be truly prepared for class, to internalize the information that was taught, and to aggressively defend my position when discussing the law. I think it was the first time where I felt what it might be like to be a litigator, and after reflecting on the experience, I am very grateful for it. I also think that having Helmholtz, though challenging and quite possibly resulting in a blow to your grades, is a rite of passage at UChicago Law. Oftentimes, a mention of Helmholtz’s name gives you an instant jumping off point for conversation with decade’s worth of alum.
What was your greatest challenge of 1L? I am one of the few women at The Law School who has children; so honestly, my greatest challenge was balancing putting in the work needed to do well in 1L year with the demands of running a home. The only way to overcome it was to be very productive at every moment of the day, and to be strongly committed to keeping a strict schedule. I look back on the year and sometimes am mystified about how it all worked out, but I am thankful it did.
What was the most memorable moment from your first year at the Law School? It’s difficult to isolate one moment. I feel like the best and most memorable times were when the school or a professor celebrates students. For example, Omri (a Professor who is awesome for allowing students to call him by his first name) hosted a party at his beautiful home to celebrate the end of our Contracts course. The school bringing in a Macaroni and Cheese truck to celebrate the end of exams was pretty awesome (and delicious!). Finally, two big events at The Law School – the annual CLF Auction and The Law School Musical were both a great time.
What advice do you have for incoming women law students? Law School overall is about the experience. Because of this, particularly as a woman, I think it is important to seriously vet your law school options to ensure that you are choosing the right school for you and the situation with which you come to law school. As a mother, wife, and older student, it was imperative for me to come to a place that valued my unique perspective, allowed me to contribute to the community in my own way, and would offer me amazing career opportunities following graduation. All this said, the best advice I can give is to be critical as you are consider schools, be diligent in your studies as a student, but most importantly, do not be afraid to go outside of the box to enjoy and contribute to the community atmosphere at your school; doing all of these things will truly help make your law school experience a more fulfilling and rewarding one.
Undergraduate institution, degree, and major: University of Colorado, B.A. in English
What area of the law most appeals to you? I am interested in international human rights law, criminal law and government work.
What makes U of C Law unique? The diversity of opinions (political and otherwise).
What was the best part of your 1L summer work experience? My summer experience was awesome. I worked for the United Nations International Labour Organization in Geneva, and the best part was getting to travel around Europe on my days off. Although, the job itself was also great, and it was an amazing experience to get to work for the UN!
What do you enjoy most about the Law School community? My favorite thing has definitely been getting to know my fellow students and making some wonderful friends, but the faculty is also great.
How have you been involved at the Law School? I am the treasurer for the Law School Democrats and the Human Rights Law Society, and I was also in the Law School Musical. Participating in these activities gave me the chance to meet other students that I might not normally get to meet. The musical was a really fun experience – if you are considering it, you should DEFINITELY do it.
What was your favorite 1L class? Criminal law. Professor McAdams was a great instructor, but I also found the material really interesting.
What was your greatest challenge of 1L? What? Who feels challenged as a first-year law student? In all seriousness though, the workload is difficult, but I think time management, being sure to keep up with the reading, and starting outlines early on is important.
What was the most memorable moment from your first year at the Law School? I can’t say I had a “most memorable” moment, as there were several things that really stand out. But, participating in the Law School Musical was pretty memorable.
What advice do you have for incoming women law students? Enjoy your first year and try to make time for hanging out and seeing Chicago a little.
Undergraduate institution, degree, and major: Wisconsin, B.B.A., Double Major in Finance and Legal Studies
What area of the law most appeals to you? I’m focusing on transactional practices. Transactional lawyers can create lasting symbiotic relationships between two entities. Every deal has different challenges and nuances, resulting in dynamic legal work. That kind of collaborative effort and creative thinking makes for a rewarding practice and strong client relationships.
What makes U of C Law unique? U of C is unique because our professors genuinely care about us as students. While all of them are accomplished legal scholars, they view teaching as their most important role. I’ve never felt uncomfortable knocking on a professor’s door to get help, discuss a topic that piqued my interest, or ask for career advice.
What was the best part of your 1L summer work experience? I had the great fortune to work at the National Football League during the high-profile lockout. Proofreading player contracts signed during the “free agent frenzy” and analyzing language in the new collective bargaining agreement provided my first experiences with drafting contract language. Knowing the inside scoop on the latest negotiations before ESPN reported on them wasn’t too bad either.
What do you enjoy most about the Law School community? Our community is so inclusive. 3L’s encouraged me to get involved with student organizations, 2L’s invited me to play on their intramural innertube water polo team, and my fellow 1L’s have started numerous new clubs to serve even more students. We all have interests that have nothing to do with law, and we all readily include our classmates in sharing those interests.
How have you been involved at the Law School? At the Law School, I’m involved in the Edmund Burke Society, the Federalist Society, the Hemingway Society, and the Student Admissions Committee. I’ve gotten to know classmates that I never would have met otherwise, and every person I meet enriches my experience at Chicago. I’ve also developed connections with alumni who have readily provided invaluable school and career advice.
What was your favorite 1L class? It’s a tie between Property with Helmholz and Criminal Law with Masur/Miles. It was always interesting to see how my classmates coped with Helmholz’s unrelenting pursuits (where I usually resorted to self-deprecating humor since I didn’t know the answers) or the polarizing social issues we faced in criminal law.
What was your greatest challenge of 1L? It’s challenging to stand out in a crowd of such accomplished classmates. I came to law school directly from undergrad and found my peers’ life experiences somewhat intimidating. Those who feel the same when they first start school should take advantage of their classmates’ experiences by learning as much as they can from their friends.
What was the most memorable moment from your first year at the Law School? A friend and I took our spring elective together. It met after lunch so we always got sweet snacks to share during class. One day we couldn’t decide what we felt like eating, so we bought a bag of Skittles, a bag of Cheetos, a cookie, and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked. We got some strange looks sharing that huge spread during class, but sometimes you have to resort to extreme measures to get through that Friday afternoon class.
What advice do you have for incoming women law students? Hang in there! Develop relationships with your professors and get involved with student organizations. Law school is hard, but at Chicago you have some real opportunities to make it a fun, fulfilling experience.
Undergraduate institution, degree, and major: Washington University in St. Louis, B.A., Majors: International Studies, Spanish
What area of the law most appeals to you? Generally, I prefer litigation over transactional work. Specifically, I like litigation work with a tangible human element. I like to take the details of someone’s story and find a law or case that helps me get that person what they need. I love criminal law and I also love cases like one I worked on this summer where a doctor was suing an insurance provider who we alleged defrauded him out of claim payments. It’s not the conflict but the puzzle that interests me most.
What makes U of C Law unique? While UChicago is an academically rigorous place, people are not just defined by their academic prowess. Every day I am amazed by someone’s story. Before they got here, my classmates were journalists, consultants, PhDs, publicists, researchers, campaign managers, and much more. They serve on community boards, own their own businesses, run marathons, are classically trained dancers, and do volunteer work. It’s really an honor to get to study here with these people who have done and will continue to do amazing things with their lives.
What was the best part of your 1L summer work experience? I worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Illinois. The job was perfect for me after 1L. It was really substantive. I wrote motions, memos, and attended court. Some highlights included attending the Blagojevich trial, writing a response to a motion for a new trial, meeting as a small group with U.S. Attorney Pat Fitzgerald, and attending the closing arguments at the Burge (police torture) trial. The work felt so real and relevant and the attorneys at the U.S. Attorney’s Office are top notch.
What do you enjoy most about the Law School community? There are a number of things. I think the thing I like the most about it is also the thing that intimidates me some days. Some of my classmates and our professors are truly brilliant. They think about issues we discuss in class on so many different levels and from so many different viewpoints. Being a practical and pragmatic person, I love to be surrounded by people who force me to stretch myself academically and intellectually.
How have you been involved at the Law School? My extra-curricular involvement in the law school has been almost (if not more) meaningful than my classroom experience (not to take away from the value of the classroom). I am currently the president of the Chicago Law Foundation. We raise money to support students who do public interest work over the summer. Last year I co-chaired the auction for CLF and, while it was a tremendous amount of work, the pay off is well worth it. Being able to support students who are using their law degree to make this community (and their home communities) a better place feels great. I also am on the Chicago Legal Forum journal. Last year I was a staffer and this year I am running our Symposium. We are a topical journal so the participants in our Symposium will write our articles for next fall’s issue. This year our topic is “Combating Corruption.” As someone who spent all last year obsessively taking Crim Law classes, I am excited to see this Symposium come together. Last year, I participated in the Immigrant Child Advocacy project clinic. My clients were unaccompanied immigrant youth who are in detention. It was my job to find out their stories and advocate for their best interests before the court. There is nothing like working with a client one-on-one in order to achieve the best outcome for his or her future. Additionally, for fun (not that the other activities aren’t!), I am in Scales of Justice. It is an a cappella group here at the law school. We get together, sing, and sometimes even perform publicly. SOJ is a nice change of pace from the otherwise academically rigorous, activities-packed days here at the law school.
What was your favorite 1L class? Why? Property with Strahilevitz. He made the class I was dreading the most into an interesting and meaningful subject. He also cares so deeply for each of his students, a quality that I find improves someone’s quality of teaching by leaps and bounds.
What was your greatest challenge of 1L? I had been out of school for 4+ years so I found it challenging getting back into the groove of school. I got used to having customers and deadlines working as a consultant and I had to remember how to read, study, take notes and make myself learn something for a final. I took advantage of the academic counselor’s help and I also asked friends about their study habits in order to develop a formula for myself.
What was the most memorable moment from your first year at the Law School? Having been involved in the Chicago Law Foundation for all three years, the first year when I actually saw the Auction come together and raise over $100,000 to support students doing public interest work….that was amazing! It was incredible to see how generous the community was and how much fun everyone had that night. For me, the Auction is always my favorite night of the year.
What advice do you have for incoming women law students? You don’t have to act differently to be successful in the legal world. If you are calculating, driven, and tough, don’t change to soften up your style to “be more feminine” in order not to intimidate men in your classes, law firms, etc. If you are quiet, thoughtful, and diligent, there is room for you in the legal community. I’ve never tried to change who I am in order to fit the stereotype of a law student or a lawyer. So far, that plan is working all right for me. I hope you take my advice and bring what you have to the table without trying to mold yourself into what you think the “perfect law student” looks like. Chances are you already are!
Undergraduate institution, degree, and major: The University of Michigan: Ann Arbor- Sociology and Political Science
Graduate institution and degree: Chestnut Hill College: Philadelphia, PA- Special Education and Secondary Education
What area of the law most appeals to you? Public Interest- Child Advocacy and Representation
What makes U of C Law unique? I think U of C has insanely impressive educators. I highly recommend talking to your professors about your interests and learning more about their focus areas.
What was the best part of your 1L summer work experience? I was one of ten law school interns at Cabrini Green Legal Aid. My favorite part of my summer was doing criminal and civil client intakes in Spanish.
What do you enjoy most about the Law School community? I like the fountain in front of the school. Little kids play in it, law students lay out in it when it first warms up, and people pace around it before exams; it’s there when you need it. Also, on 64th and Woodlawn is House of Hope, which was a service site last year for 1Ls. If you have an hour you want to spend volunteering they have a daycare center and GED classes for homeless women in the Hyde Park community.
How have you been involved at the Law School? I am board member on the Chicago Law Foundation and have been since my 1L year. This year I am a co-chair for our annual Public Interest auction (the greatest social event of the year). The benefit of this role has been expanding opportunities in public interest for the U of C Law Community, especially knowing the impact we have after my experience this summer. I am also a member of the American Constitution Society.
What was your favorite 1L class? Criminal Law with Professor McAdams. Great professor and subject matter; further invested me in advocating for children.
What was your greatest challenge of 1L? Time management. I overcame this challenge by reminding myself the following: 1) Never forget that there are two options in school: to do your work or to not complete it. You are at U of C because you complete your work and you do it well. So you may have to drink a sugar-free Monster, but it will get done, because it always does. 2) Surrounding myself with people I love and people who love me, and if you’re really lucky, at least one of those people will be in school with you (or Law Women’s Caucus!).
What was the most memorable moment from your first year at the Law School? Chicago Law Foundation Auction: zoot suits, flappers gear, and I won a champagne brunch for six. Not too bad.
What advice do you have for incoming women law students? Take pride in being a woman in the legal field and being at an institution with absolutely brilliant female leaders. Take courses taught by them, read their books. Also, it’s okay to wear pant suits (whether or not you like Hilary Clinton).