Year Graduated: 2010
Major at Michigan
English and Political Science
Share the story of why you chose your major?
When I first came to Michigan, I knew that law school was in my future, so choosing Political Science as a major seemed like a natural choice. During orientation however, my academic advisor asked me what my favorite courses in high school had been. When I told her about my love for poetry, she suggested taking a creative writing course—just for fun—in addition to the other courses I had planned. That class quickly became my favorite part of the week. I enjoyed reading my classmate’s work, attending local poetry readings, and attending classes off-site in locations intended to inspire our writing. I had never expected a college course to be so enjoyable and to encourage so much creativity. It wasn’t long before I was convinced that I needed to add English as my second major, and it was a decision I never regretted. My English courses allowed me to express myself and balanced out my political science coursework. Now, as a law student, I am grateful for my advisor’s suggestion and the reading and writing skills I gained.
At Michigan, I spent most of my time outside the classroom…
participating in student organizations! My favorite memories at Michigan are all connected in some way to one of Michigan’s many student organizations. As a member of Dance Marathon, Greek Life, Kappa Alpha Pi Pre-Law Fraternity, and The Prison Creative Arts Project, I was able to have experiences that my courses could never give me, and I met some of my best friends. Though I met many students at Michigan, the strongest network I have today was built from my participation in extra-curricular activities.
What story stands out to you in your first year on the job?
During law school, I have held several positions as a legal intern for various public defense offices. I came to law school straight from my undergraduate studies, which means that in most legal offices, I am the youngest person there. At first it was intimidating to work with attorneys, clients, and especially judges who are so much older than me. In the beginning, I was afraid that clients would see my youth and assume I was inexperienced, and would ultimately prefer a different attorney. I quickly learned how to use my youth to my advantage, however. By providing a fresh perspective and new ideas I have been able to contribute to each job that I have held. If clients are wary to trust me, I emphasize that while it is that true I am younger than most attorneys, my youth gives me an energy and passion for the work that not all attorneys have. Though it can be intimidating to start out in a new profession as a young graduate, I would encourage students to find their own unique ways to contribute.
What’s next in your story? (next steps, future plans)
I have one more year of law school left and am pursuing a career in public defense.
What is one thing every student should have on their “career to-do” list?
Reach outside your comfort zone—when an opportunity presents itself, take advantage, even if it scares you or is something you have never considered. You never know who or what will lead you to the career of your dreams.
To learn more about careers in law:
Use O*NET™ OnLine, the Occupational Information Network, for an overview on the legal field.
Contact The Career Center at 734-764-7460 to find out how you can learn more about this field.
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