While learning to analyze issues like a lawyer lured 3L Jana Kovich to law school, leading the Student Bar Association – the student government – at Duke University School of Law anchored her to the school’s community, starting in her first year. “As any law student will tell you, 1L is hard,” Kovich said. “Participating in the student bar association allowed me to meet upper-level students and contribute to the law school outside the classroom.”
The law has long beckoned to Beatrice Barenboim, but business has, until recently, held sway over her career. “Law is what I always wanted to do since I was a kid,” said Barenboim, who loves the critical thinking, the logic and the debate aspects of lawyering as well as the prospect of working with and for people.
Watching her parents navigate the maze of special-education and disability services to help her autistic brother inspired Pepperdine Law 3L Amanda Michelle Sanchez to become an attorney: She wanted to give a voice in the courtroom to people who didn’t have one. Sanchez now plans to become a prosecutor, a job that will let her try cases — which she loves — while helping victims of crime find justice.
Prad A. Georges, a 3L in the JD-MBA program at the University of Akron School of Law, has come full circle personally and professionally. In his former career as a therapist, he saw that he could give his clients better lives if he were able to help improve local economies. Now he says he has the law and business skills to do that.
Scott Sasser’s service in the U.S. Marine Corps became the key to finding a school that would prepare him for a career as a California attorney. Now a 3L, Sasser chose Pepperdine University School of Law because of the sense of community he found there, its nationally renowned dispute-resolution center and the full scholarship offered to veterans through government-assisted Yellow Ribbon financing.
As Fernanda Beraldi tells the story, it was her career as in-house counsel at aircraft-maker Embraer SA that led her to Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where she’s earning an LL.M. degree. Beraldi, who knew she wanted a master’s degree in U.S. law, had narrowed her search to Chicago and Michigan but was so impressed with the skills of MckInney Law alumni when she was negotiating a plane sale in Indianapolis that she decided to check out their school.
Finding the right fit is how Michael Tipton, a 3L at the University of Akron School of Law, describes his first years working at a nonprofit. “I really liked where I was – executive director of Project SPY, which provides emergency home repairs to families in need in Southwest Virginia,” Tipton said. “But I saw how attorneys could both protect us as needed and improve our effectiveness.”
Living outside the U.S. left Colby Jones and his wife, Melissa, with a unique appreciation for the challenges faced by immigrants. Now, even though they’re no longer abroad, the experience continues to wield an influence. Colby Jones plans to use the law degree he’s obtaining in a singular online-on campus degree program at William Mitchell College of Law to provide community legal training that empowers immigrants and refugees.
The ability to think creatively, work cooperatively and use theater as a tool for social change is what drew Hannah Adams, a 3L at Northeastern University School of Law, into the world of stage production and lighting design as an undergraduate. After five years helping with fair housing enforcement in New Orleans, the ability to think creatively, work cooperatively and use law as a tool for social change is what convinced her to pursue a legal career.
Kate Dewan was all business – literally and figuratively – when it came to choosing law as a career and the law school that would launch it. The 3L at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas had geared herself over the years for the jobs in marketing she thought she would enjoy and at which she knew she’d do well. And the jobs did come; the enjoyment did not. “I wasn’t using all my brainpower; I didn’t have to challenge myself,” Dewan said in a telephone interview. “I needed something more.”