Grace Goodblatt, '16

“I hope to bring compassion, connection, and a sense of purpose to my practice as an attorney.”

Hometown: San Diego, California
Undergrad: University of California, Berkeley
College major: Political Economy
Law School activities: Law Students Association, Law Women's Caucus, Domestic Violence Project, International Fellow, Chicago Journal of International Law

Grace Goodblatt’s future came into focus while she was volunteering in Israel after college. For part of that year, she worked with women attorneys who were fighting for a variety of social causes, including domestic violence.

“I attended a one-day conference where women from all parts of Israeli culture had gathered to discuss their personal definitions of words relating to female empowerment,” she said. “I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of community with women I’d never met before and had almost nothing in common with. My group had organized the gathering, and it showed me one aspect of what a lawyer can do.” 

Before she went abroad, Grace had known she wanted to go to law school. But in Israel, she figured out why.

“Being a lawyer is the best way to navigate laws on behalf of society,” Grace said. “And that’s what I saw these women doing.”

When she returned to the United States, she spent a year working at a small law office and applying to law schools. When UChicago offered her a spot, she eagerly accepted, despite being a bit nervous.

“I thought because it was ranked so highly that people would be really cutthroat,” she said. “But from the first event on Admitted Students Weekend, I was so taken by how nice people were. It’s a really supportive environment.”

She found her place quickly, joining the Law Women’s Caucus, the Law Students Association, the staff of the Chicago Journal of International Law, and the Domestic Violence Project. She made friends and forged strong bonds with the Law School’s faculty.

Lior Strahilevitz, the Sidley Austin Professor of Law, and David A. Strauss, the Gerald Ratner Distinguished Service Professor of Law, both “made a positive impression on me because of the kindness with which they both lead their classrooms,” she said. And Saul Levmore, the William B. Graham Distinguished Service Professor of Law, taught her to “lighten up on some things, and to enjoy every conversation.”

After law school, she plans to work for a firm—she’ll be a summer associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in 2015—and hopes to bring with her the inspiration she’s gathered at the Law School and abroad.

“I hope to bring compassion, connection, and a sense of purpose to my practice as an attorney,” she said.

Advice for 1Ls:

“Older students always tell you that fall of 1L is the easiest because there are the fewest units, but it’s also when you’re getting used to being a law student,” she said. “That time is about finding your own space and study habits. There’s no one right way to do it. You should find what’s comfortable, and what works for you, and that may not be what works for anyone else.”