Tammy Wang, 3L
Tammy Wang '12
Hometown: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Undergrad: Johns Hopkins University, '07
Major: International Relations with a concentration in East Asian Studies
Law School activities: The University of Chicago Law Review, Student Admissions Committee, International Fellow, Alumni Relations Committee, Big Sibling, Transfer Buddy, Asian/Pacific-American Law Students Association, China Law Society, Law School Film Festival
Tammy Wang came to Chicago Law with a plan to squeeze every bit knowledge and experience she could out of law school. One look at the long list of her Law School activities is proof of her success.
But she's found opportunities for growth beyond involvement in student groups. Tammy says her professors and classmates provide diverse sets of opinions and arguments that satisfy her craving for learning. She learns everything she can from them, and encourages others to do the same.
"You will most likely never have ready access to such an amazing pool of minds, ideas, and ideals again," she said. "Take part in everything with an open mind and a healthy, respectful attitude, but recognize that you may have something to contribute, too."
Following her graduation from Johns Hopkins University in 2007, Tammy took a break before applying to law schools. She spent several years travelling, working at an influential Internet forum, and independently studying and improving her Chinese, experiences that benefited her in explicit and implicit ways.
Her language skills became especially useful. She spent her 1L summer abroad in Taiwan, working at two different businesses. Tammy worked mornings at PricewaterhouseCoopers Taiwan and afternoons as an in-house legal counsel at Twinhead International, a computer manufacturer. The jobs gave her a sense of what it would be like to work abroad.
"Not only was it a blast, but I gained a lot of invaluable practical legal experience, simply by virtue of being both bilingual and an American law student," she said.
Tammy has found that the sense of respect and community that runs through the Law School reinforces the decision she made to come here.
"The faculty really cares about teaching, about the students (they know us by name and face!), about our opinions, and I think that sense of respect trickles down to us as well," she said. "I love that I can have a friendly discussion or debate about any number of controversial topics with a classmate over coffee or lunch in the Green Lounge and still go out for a drink at the Pub afterwards."
Here's her advice to future 1Ls:
"Chicago runs on ideas. It relies on passion. These things don’t just come out of thin air; they originate in people, in part in us. It’s important to realize that we’re a part of the Law School and to take part in the feedback loop in whatever capacity—as a leader, a volunteer, an attendee, or a listener. We really get what we put in."