2021 Orientation Team Leaders

Cheridan Christnacht

Orientation Director

Hometown: Bethlehem, NH

Undergrad: Temple University

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: Running along the lake!

Favorite Netflix binge watch: 90 Day Fiance

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: Law Women's Caucus, Labor and Employment Law Society, Law and Business Society

1L Advice: Don't get caught up comparing yourself to your peers, you all belong here. And always make time to relax and do something fun unrelated to law school!

Avera Dorsey

Orientation Director

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

Undergrad: Northwestern University 

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: Finding new places for brunch with friends

Favorite Netflix binge watch: Grey's Anatomy 

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: Black Law Students Association, First Generation Professionals, Student Admissions Council, Law Women's Caucus

1L Advice: there's plenty of time for studying so always remembering to take time for yourself to relax whether that's spending time with friends and family, reading, exercising, watching tv, etc. You'll also probably be able to study more efficiently if you're not burnt out. 

Michael Antosiewicz

Orientation Leader

Hometown: Ridgewood, NJ

Undergrad: Rutgers University 

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: Spending time with friends with at The Point on a sunny day

Favorite Netflix binge watch: The Crown

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: IRAP, Impact Initiative, Immigration Law Society 

1L Advice: Do not study for exams solely by yourself! Create study groups or at least review past exams with friends. Law school involves complicated and intricate issues, on which even professional scholars disagree. Getting more perspective on these issues will only help you understand the material better. 

Kyra Cooper

Orientation Leader

Hometown: Des Moines, IA

Undergrad: Truman State University

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: Downtown, I love the Art Institute. In Hyde Park, I like biking Jackson Park/Promontory Point/the lakefront.

Favorite Netflix binge watch: Downton Abbey 

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: Christian Legal Society, Law Women's Caucus, Women's Mentoring Program, Law School Musical, and Chicago Law Foundation

1L Advice: Time spent with your classmates is never time wasted. Also, take advantage of the museums around Chicago (they are often free with your student ID)!

Brynne Follman

Orientation Aide

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Undergrad: Yale University

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: Divvy biking on the lakeshore trail!

Favorite Netflix binge watch: New Girl

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: American Constitution Society, Law Women's Caucus, Law of the Land Society

1L Advice: Prioritize meeting people during the Fall quarter! Things get busier as the school year progresses, so take advantage of your somewhat lighter schedule in the fall to make friends and get comfortable as a new law student.

Laura Geary

Orientation Aide

Hometown: New York City

Undergrad: Swarthmore College

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: Walking from Hyde Park to the Bean

Favorite Netflix binge watch: Queer Eye; The Wire is a law school must-see if you can manage HBO access

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: Law Women’s Caucus, UChicago Careers in Law, Student Admissions Committee

1L Advice: Run your own race.

Leigh Johnson

Orientation Leader

Hometown: Duluth, GA

Undergrad: Duke University

Favorite Thing to do in Chicago: I haven't gotten to do much in Chicago during covid times, but I recently went to the Art Institute for the first time and loved it! I enjoy running on the Lakefront and through Jackson Park.

Favorite Netflix binge: New Girl

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: Environmental Law Society, Impact Initiative, Education & Child Advocacy Society. Ask me about public interest stuff! 

1L Advice: You are a valuable member of this community, and you bring something wonderful to it. Law school can feel pretty intimidating, and if you're overwhelmed, you're not alone. It's okay (great, even!) to put down the books for a little while and carve out time for the people and activities that you love (including sleep!). Take advantage of mental health resources if you need them. You will be so amazed by what you have learned and accomplished by the end of the year! 

Robert Johnson

Orientation Aide

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Undergrad: Cornell University

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: Riding down Lake Shore Drive in the summertime!

Favorite Netflix binge watch: House of Cards, Lost in Space, Altered Carbon

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: Black Law Students Association, Impact Initiative, UChicago Careers in Law Mentorship Program

1L Advice: Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know, and don’t be too proud to ask for help. They don’t record the number of questions you ask on your transcript.

Rachel Katzin

Orientation Leader

Hometown: Boca Raton, FL

Undergrad: Washington University in St. Louis

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: The comedy shows! (Unpopular opinion: Comedy Bar is better than Second City.)

Favorite Netflix binge watch: Criminal Minds and The West Wing

Student Organizations or other activities you are or have been  involved with at the Law School: Jewish Law Students Association, The Chicago Journal of International Law, American Constitution Society, UChicago Careers in Law Mentorship Program

One piece of advice for incoming students: Law school is only as stressful as you make it. Once you realize top grades don’t matter for 95% of jobs (yes, including that one you have in mind), you’ll have a much better work/life balance. And, spoiler: having hobbies and people skills makes you more marketable to employers, too. 

So Jung Kim

Orientation Leader

Hometown: Lake Orion, Mich.

Undergrad: University of Michigan

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: Riding the Divvy (Chicago's bikeshare) e-bike up and down the Lakefront Trail

Favorite Netflix binge watch: Crash Landing on You, Sherlock

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: Labor and Employment Law Society, Law School Musical, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, American Constitution Society

1L AdviceFrom time to time, remind yourself why you came to law school.

Emily King

Orientation Leader

Hometown: Tampa, FL

Undergrad: University of Florida

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: Spend the day at one of the city's amazing museums! (Highly recommend the Driehaus Museum)

Netflix Binge Watch: The Good Place

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: American Constitution Society, Law Women's Caucus, Law Students for the Creative Arts 

1L Advice: Everybody learns and studies in different ways, and there's not one singular path to success in law school. Don't spend too much time comparing yourself to others. Find out what works for you and stick to that!

Jaden Lessnick

Orientation Leader

Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah

Undergrad: Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: eating anywhere on the river (personal favorite: Beatnik)

Favorite Netflix Binge Watch: Billions (unfortunately it's a Showtime show and not a Netflix show...but it's so good)

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: Federal Criminal Justice Clinic, Jewish Law Students Association (incoming VP!), American Constitution Society, Careers in Law Undergraduate Mentorship Program, Student Admissions Committee

1L Advice: Be willing to be vulnerable! Whether in volunteering for student organizations, being able to admit to a professor when you're confused, or interacting with 2Ls/3Ls, your 1L will be considerably easier and more enjoyable if you're willing to seek feedback or help from others.

Stella Park

Orientation Leader

Hometown: Pacific Grove, CA

Undergrad: University of California, Berkeley

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: I love to get some melon custard buns and BBQ pork buns from Chiu Quon Bakery and sit at Ping Tom Memorial Park to eat them

Favorite Netflix Binge Watch: Emily in Paris (just kidding)

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, OUTLaw, National Lawyers Guild, Impact Initiative, Law Students for the Creative Arts

1L Advice: I would say not to compare yourself to people - especially people with different goals and different values than you. And don’t forget to zoom out! There’s a whole world outside the law school 

Jacqueline Pecaro

Orientation Leader

Hometown: Gig Harbor, Washington

Undergrad: Cornell University

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: I love going to Mario's Italian Lemonade downtown in the summer! There are also amazing restaurants near there too; I'd recommend Al's Italian Beef right across the street from Mario's.

Favorite Netflix Binge Watch: Schitt's Creek

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: Criminal Law Society, Law Women’s Caucus, Law School Musical, Research Assistant, Student Admissions Committee, Spring Break of Service, Public Interest Law Society, International Law Society

1L Advice: Be kind to yourself! The first year is a time to learn and adjust to law school so be confident that you are absorbing a lot of material and doing your best.

Angela Peterson

Orientation Leader

Hometown: Mundelein, Illinois

Undergraduate Institution(s): University of Wisconsin-Madison

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: Walking through the different Downtown neighborhoods, making sure to vary your path so you see new architectural finds, while munching on a delicious Molly's Cupcake (Flourless Molten Chocolate flavor preferred).

Favorite 1L class: Selling Sunset. Bonus points for making me very excited to start Property class.

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: American Constitution Society, Law School Musical, Law Womens' Caucus, Student Admissions Committee

1L Advice: Be kind to yourself. 1L is a marathon and not a sprint. Be sure to prioritize sleeping and eating well (even if sometimes this means a Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza) and set aside time to be with friends inside and outside of the Law School. 

Paige Petrashko

Orientation Leader

Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA

Undergrad: University of California, Berkeley

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: Hang out at Promontory Point!

Favorite Netflix Binge Watch: Just about anything, but I could watch Community on loop forever and be perfectly content.

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: Law Women's Caucus, Public Interest Law Society

1L Advice: Don't forget about life outside of law school – connect with your classmates and professors outside of the classroom, get engaged in the surrounding community, and take time to explore. It'll make your life better and brighter! 

Gracie Smith

Orientation Leader

Hometown: Charlevoix, Michigan 

Undergrad: The University of Alabama

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: My favorite thing to do in Chicago is spend time on/in/around the lake 

Favorite Netflix binge watch: New Girl

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: The American Constitution Society, Hemingway Society, The Vincent Gambini Society 

1L AdviceTake the time to get to know your classmates, they'll get you through the stressful times. 

Christina Zaldivar

Orientation Aide

Hometown: Miami, FL 

Undergrad: University of Florida (Go Gators!)

Favorite thing to do in Chicago: I love to take my dog to the Point and look at the Chicago skyline. I also like exploring the different neighborhoods in Chicago. Chicago has GREAT places to eat and drink as well – I am trying to try as many as possible! 

Favorite Netflix binge watch: Currently, The Crown & Criminal Minds but I’m a longtime fan of Gossip Girl 

Student Organizations or other activities at the Law School: LLSA, LWC, Student Admissions Committee 

1L AdviceEnjoy your 1L year and really focus on cultivating friendships your first quarter. Starting law school is overwhelming and it is even more overwhelming when you feel like you are alone. Everyone wants to make friends and they make the whole experience so much more manageable. Plus, they’ll be the basis of your professional network for the rest of your life. The same goes for your professors – they are great people; get to know them. Finally, remember to take walks and that it is okay if you aren’t being 100% productive at all moments.