I chose to attend The University of Texas School of Law for many reasons, but there were three primary ones. First, I believed a law degree from UT Law would give me the best return on my investment. I considered several Ivy League schools and quickly learned that even with scholarships the costs would be substantially higher. Not only would the tuition costs be higher, but the costs of living on the East Coast would be much greater as well. My second reason for choosing UT Law — it’s in Austin, Texas. Austin is, by far, one of the coolest cities in the United States. I love the weather, live music, parks, variety of food options and so much more. The third reason I chose UT Law was that I liked the culture within the law school. I visited the school a few times and found the culture to be friendly and warm. Often times, top law schools can have cold, cutthroat atmospheres. Studying law here at UT allows students to have the best of both worlds — a top-rate education and a pleasant atmosphere.
I have always been a big dreamer. I graduated from high school utterly convinced that I would impact the world. A few weeks into my freshman year at UT, I learned of the university’s slogan: “What starts here changes the world.” I remember thinking, Wow, I really did select the right school. What better place for a future world-changer like me? In essence, that’s what being a Longhorn means to me. It means being equipped with the knowledge, experiences, resources and networks to go out into this world and impact it for the better. That’s what I intend to do, and I believe being a double Longhorn will help me do it.
My most memorable moment at UT Law so far is a conversation I had with Assistant Dean Monica Ingram. I was beginning to feel that all-too-familiar 1L pressure and went to talk to her about it. She took the time to listen to me, encourage me and even refer me to some 2L students to whom I could speak. I left her office feeling so much better and I often refer back to that conversation.
I hope to practice in the education law field for some time. I believe education inequality is the primary civil rights issue of our time, and I hope to become involved in local and national legislatures. Earning my J.D. will qualify me to interpret laws, and I believe it will also give me an advantage in making them. I do not know if I will run for office and personally make laws, but at the very least, I intend to be integral in the lives of people who do.
The last day of 1L orientation, one of the professors said, “In three quick years, we will all come together again and celebrate the conclusion of your law school journey. What kind of journey do you want to have?” I found his comment and question to be poignant. I decided then and there that I wanted my law school journey to be one in which I learned as much as possible, persevered through the struggles, celebrated the victories and excelled academically, professionally and personally. I often refer back to that moment, especially on the difficult days.
My Teach For America experience was life changing. It was the most difficult task I had ever undertaken, and there were times I didn’t think I would make it. I'm so glad I did, though. I learned as much from my children as they learned from me. They genuinely loved me and I loved them. I am incredibly grateful I had the opportunity to give back to some of this country's underserved children and experience "life" before beginning law school. Although I am not a schoolteacher anymore, I am still passionate about helping teens and young adults. When I consider the success I've enjoyed in my life thus far, I see it's due in part to the people in my life who have continually shared their wisdom and life experiences with me. As a result, I have been able to avoid some of the mistakes and painful consequences they endured. I hope to pass that insight along to those coming behind me. If I can spare any young person a life changing mistake or unnecessary heartache, I will be grateful.