1. What interested you about going to law school? Lawyers run in my family. From my grandfather to my parents, I have been surrounded by the law and its practitioners since I can remember. With that said, my transition into the profession came naturally, but not without serious consideration. Upon graduating from the University of Virginia, I found myself at a crossroads. I knew that I wanted to earn a professional degree, but I was unsure whether I wanted to focus my career in business or the law. As a result, I chose to work as a legal consultant for a large corporation. That experience exposed me to aspects of both professions and, in turn, strengthened my desire to become a lawyer.
2. Has your experience in law school been what you expected it to be? If not, what has been different than what you expected?
Surprisingly, law school has turned out to be exactly what I had expected it to be. As I mentioned above, I have been surrounded by lawyers my entire life, so I had the benefit of knowing what to expect based on conversations with my family members. Additionally, friends of mine who went straight to law school after college provided me with great insight and advice about what to expect and how to best prepare for that next chapter in my life.
3. What has been the most challenging thing for you about your law school experience?
The most challenging aspect about law school has been time management. I have a type-A personality, so I am extremely meticulous and organized. With that said, balancing my schedule in law school still has proven to be a challenge. In addition to attending classes and studying, I also have worked part-time throughout my law school. I take school and work very seriously, so the real challenge has been balancing these experiences with my personal life. Whether it is dinner with friends, yoga, watching my favorite bravo television shows or online shopping, I always strive to have something to look forward to at the end of each day. Otherwise, I would lose a sense of myself, which I know would negatively affect my school and work product.
4. What is your best advice to a young woman considering law school?
I always advise young women considering law school to think long and hard about why they are truly pursuing a career in the law. With student loans at an all-time high, it is very important for young women to recognize the financial obligations that accompany a law school education. In addition, job shortages in the wake of the recession have caused some undergraduates to apply to law school merely based on the fear of unemployment. Law school is more than just a three-year “filler”— it is an enormous financial undertaking that affects students for years to come and must be considered carefully.
5. What have you enjoyed the most about your experience in law school?
My experience as Symposium Editor on Seton Hall’s Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law was one of the best experiences I had in law school. Along with my co-Symposium editor, I was responsible for organizing the Journal’s 2011 Symposium, which was very successful. In preparing for the event, I networked and communicated with esteemed members of the legal community to select panelists for the event. Once the panelists were chosen, I then communicated individually with each panelist and, shortly before the event, organized and led group conference calls. Through this experience, I honed my communication skills, and I will carry these skills with me throughout my career as a lawyer.
6. How do you expect to use your law school education after graduation?
I am pleased to report that I recently accepted a clerkship with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court following law school. I look forward to refining my research and writing skills and observing different styles of lawyering in that capacity. Along with my bankruptcy experience, I will graduate from Seton Hall Law in May 2012 with a concentration in intellectual property. I have encountered various intellectual property issues while serving as a law clerk to the General Counsel of the New Jersey Devils, and I find this work very interesting and rewarding. Following my federal clerkship, I hope to work as an associate in a law firm specializing in either bankruptcy or intellectual property law or, perhaps, as an entry-level attorney in a government agency.
I am pleased to introduce some of my favorite women law students and lawyers to you. Each of them has distinguished herself as a student or a practitioner, and I know that the candid remarks and advice from these young women will be very helpful to you.
The first woman featured is none other than my own daughter, a student at Seton Hall Law. As you see in the Spotlight! on Elizabeth Blakely, she definitely has been listening all along! I am very proud of Elizabeth, and I am delighted to start the Spotlight! feature with her.
Spotlight! will change every few months. If you know someone who you think should be spotlighted, let me know. Maybe it is you!