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Inside Law


November 19, 2010

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My Background:

In college, I majored in Spanish and Russian, did a lot of traveling, hiking, and playing music. After college, I worked for a few years at an NYC-based humanitarian organization called the International Rescue Committee. Since then I’ve held all manner of jobs: I worked for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, coached girls lacrosse, and installed gardens for people. I’ve always been a country person at heart, so Portland is a perfect place for me to be because it’s got a small-town feel with big-city amenities and incredibly easy access to amazing hiking and outdoor experiences.

What I’m doing outside of class:

I’m on the board of the Public Interest Law Project – This is an incredibly great organization that empowers students to pursue jobs and activities in the public interest sector; jobs which they might not have otherwise been able to pursue. PILP champions active and meaningful engagement in the sectors of the world that most need our help – no matter what the cost – and that’s sort of my mantra.

Environmental Justice Advocates – This is a fantastic group that really encourages hands-on and in-depth engagement in issues of environmental justice. Issues like transportation equity, brownfields reclamation and food security all ignite my passions and remind me why I came to law school.

My favorite class:

Constitutional Law with Professor Paula Abrams. These are big and important issues, and the way that Professor Abrams frames them makes deeper discussion of judicial opinions and motivation incredibly meaningful. She makes things as mundane as lettuce, milk processing, and freight trucks come alive as items implicated in larger, deeper, constitutional questions.

Why law school:

Overall, I want to learn how to use, change, and promote “the rules” for the benefit of the environment and humanity. Specifically, the JD is an incredibly versatile degree and right off the bat I’ll have a marketable skill set that can be used in a variety of different contexts.

Why I chose to attend Lewis & Clark:

I think that honestly, L&C must’ve paid off Jack Frost or the Gods of Rain or whoever decides what Portland’s weather will be like in March – because when I visited for the Admitted Students Day last spring, Portland was HEAVENLY. I think in my mind I knew that it was the right place for me – an incredible environmental law program in a fantastic, livable city in an exciting and adventurous part of the country – with an informal and wholly embracing community atmosphere. But the weather last March sure sealed the deal.

Advice for students making their final law school choices:

Really try to envision yourself in a place, interacting with students, talking to professors, sitting in the library for hours on end. Try to picture your life as it would be if you attended each school you’re deciding on. In the end, you have to choose the one where the vibe fits you most – not necessarily the one with the top-notch X, Y, or Z program – because you’ll be living there for the next three years and you’ve GOT to love where you live.

The hardest thing about adjusting to law school:

Trying to figure out how to balance having a personal, social life – outside of law school – and getting enough work done. Sometimes Portland  (and the surrounding natural beauty) is distracting. Sometimes I spend too much time in the garden. Sometimes I push my run to 10 miles instead of 6. Sometimes I take too many breaks for jam sessions with my neighbors.