Amelia Runyan, 2L

Amelia Runyan JD/MBA ‘14
Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga, California
Undergrad: Princeton University, ‘07
Major: Economics
Law School Activities: 1L Representative for Law, Inc. (Law & Business Society), Student Admissions Committee, Health Law Society

Amelia Runyan was well into establishing a professional career when she decided to return to the classroom.

For two years after college, Amelia worked for McKinsey & Company, traveling the country to work on cost-containment measures for healthcare insurers and consumer health initiatives for obesity and diabetes prevention. Then, in the year prior to law school, she lived in Basel, Switzerland, while working for Novartis Pharmaceutical’s strategic planning department.

It comes as no surprise, then, that a major factor in Amelia’s decision to attend the Law School was the availability of interdisciplinary opportunities, particularly with the Booth School of Business. Chicago Law students are encouraged to take courses outside the Law School when their schedule allows and some students enroll in the JD/MBA program at Booth or pursue other joint degrees.

She committed to attending the Law School after Admitted Students Weekend, which marked the first time she set foot in the school as well as her first visit to Chicago. The Law School’s intimate class sizes gave the community “a close-knit feel,” she said. Hyde Park, the Chicago neighborhood the Law School calls home, had a similar vibe – a quiet neighborhood with charm, but with easy access to Chicago’s bustling downtown.

Since she started here, Amelia has been impressed with the Law School’s culture outside the classroom. Students are encouraged to mingle with each other and the faculty at Coffee Mess, the weekly coffee/hot chocolate/donut/bagel-fest, and at Wine Mess, the Friday afternoon happy hour. Both are held in the Green Lounge, the Law School’s main social gathering space.

Law students also have the opportunity nearly every day to attend a lunchtime talk, often sponsored by a student organization, that typically features career-focused panels, judges, or notable alumni, like Harvey Levin, the creator of TMZ, and David M. Rubenstein, cofounder and managing director of the Carlyle Group. Other social activities held during the Autumn Quarter were an Election Day results party, a pre-Thanksgiving pie day, and pick-up soccer games on the Midway.

“The full experience comes together to balance academics and extracurriculars, removing the intimidation factor of 1L year,” she said.

Here’s what Amelia said about her first quarter at the Law School:

“After being out of school for a few years, I was a bit nervous heading into the first quarter. But from the start of Orientation, the faculty, administrators, and upperclass students have hosted advisory workshops, shared tips, and answered any questions that come up along the way. It's been a huge help in reducing the confusion of 1L year and easing us into the routine.”