- Sadie Normoyle
Brief Background: I was born and raised in the PNW. I have three siblings, all of whom are 15-18 years older than I am (talk about being the baby in the family). Growing up I have always been passionate and engaged with the outdoors. I first went camping when I was only a few weeks old with my parents. I also grew up knowing I was interested in law and policy work – in fact, my Aunt has a clear memory of me at about age nine, when we were skipping rocks on the Salish Sea, telling her that I wanted to become a lawyer so that I could “protect the animals and protect the earth.”
I went to Western Washington University knowing they had a strong environmental studies program. I majored in Environmental Policy with a minor in American Indian studies and was in the Honors program. I quickly learned while I was at Western that my passion was in tribal fishing rights and water quality issues.
I knew after graduating that I wanted to attend law school, but knew I wanted to take some time off before going back to school. I was in AmeriCorps for a year at the WA Department of Ecology doing outreach as well as running a food bank garden. I then worked in Seattle at Built Green, a small program which certifies sustainable residential buildings before coming to Lewis and Clark.
I have a cat named Bella Luna, and a Mini Aussie named Jackson – both of whom frequently star in my social media, especially when they are succeeding in distracting me from my homework.
My Top Three Activities
- One school related activity that I am involved in is NALSA (Native American Law Students Association). I was a 1L rep my first year and am the Vice President for this upcoming year. I went to the Federal Indian Law conference held in Scottsdale this spring with some other NALSA students and had a wonderful time. NALSA has been a wonderful way for me to be involved in Tribal law while still being a first-year student. Keep an eye out for our fun bingo nights we have each semester!
- Another activity I am involved with is distance running. I did a half marathon a few years ago, and was in cross country all through high school. I hope to do another half marathon this year and work up to a full marathon within the next few years. I love running when I feel stressed or anxious, as it helps me focus and calm down (even if my “distance” running at the moment consists of a very slow 2 mile run).
- Another activity that I love to do, but haven’t been as involved with lately, is yoga. While in undergrad I started attending yoga classes to help with stress, and have loved the relaxation it provides me. I am still looking for a studio to go to here in Portland if anyone has any recommendations!
Favorite Law School Class
So far my favorite class from my first year has been Constitutional Law. I really loved getting to dive into the document that is so often quoted by people, but sometimes not very well understood. It was also fascinating to see the real life events unfolding that related to constitutional questions while in the class.
Why Law School?
I always knew I wanted to go to law school, from the time I was little. It really wasn’t a surprise for any of my family when I applied. My father, a lawyer, said the indication for him was my early obsession with an old brief case of his that I carried everywhere. Although the briefcase was almost as big as I was, I kept all my “office” supplies and “legal papers” in it.
I have always been interested in how law and policy can be used to help those that are marginalized in our community. Along with that, for me the main reason I decided to go to law school is the concept of seven generation stewardship. Are the decisions we are making now going to benefit the children seven generations into the future? Are the environmental policies we are enacting now strong enough to protect future generations?
Advice on Choosing a Law School
My biggest piece of advice is to go where feels most comfortable to you. What really made my decision was when I visited L&C’s campus, I immediately felt at home and comfortable on the campus. I fell in love with all the trees and the big windows in the library. I remember thinking, “This is a place where I can study – I can imagine myself being here”
Hardest Thing About Adjusting to Law School
The hardest thing to adjust to, for me, was how long it takes to read cases and class readings, especially at the beginning. I am a fast reader, but it still takes a big chunk of time to read only a chapter of one of the casebooks. It was also hard for me to get back into having reading and homework late into the night after I was so used to a 9-5 job. The good news is though that you do get quicker and more efficient at the reading as time goes on!