Northwestern University, B.S. Journalism and International Studies
American University in Cairo, study abroad 2006-2007
Professional Experience Prior to Law School:
After graduating from college I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at a Somali community-based organization south of Seattle for a year. Then I taught English in a boarding school in northern Thailand for a year thanks to a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant. After my grant concluded, I volunteered on the border between Thailand and Burma for a few months at a non-profit that provides educational and occupational training for Burmese migrant youths. Then I interned at the largest immigration advocacy organization in Washington for six months.
What I Am Hoping to Do with My Law Degree:
I hope to be an advocate for refugees and immigrants, through direct representation and policy. I want to pursue some combination of refugee, international and human rights law.
My Best Experience at Penn Law:
So far my best experience at Penn has been some of the volunteer opportunities I’ve had. During orientation I got to visit the Nationalities Service Center and learn about immigrant and refugee communities in Philadelphia. I am looking forward to getting involved in the Philadelphia non-profit scene, and visiting NSC was a great window into that world and a reminder of why I came to law school in the first place.
Professor Who Influenced Me Most:
Professor Jody Kraus – he is demanding and pushes us to analyze cases, doctrines and philosophies at a deep level. He doesn’t let us lose sight of the big picture with respects to the subject matter – contracts – or the practice of it. He inspires me to work harder and really reach for a full understanding of the theories behind contracts and how they intersect – something I never thought I’d be interested in.
My Favorite Course:
Contracts. Professor Kraus brings energy and intensity to every class that makes it impossible to get bored. He makes the material come alive and shows us how to pull out the key facts, doctrine and policy out of every case.
An Example of How the Law School’s Cross-disciplinary Approach Influences My Legal Education:
My professors weave their areas of expertise into class on a daily basis. One of my professors, Professor Jonathan Klick, brings his economics background into our discussion of the law every day. It’s a great opportunity for someone like me – who has no background in econ – to access two novel subjects (torts and econ) in an integrated way, simultaneously.
Penn Law is known for its collegial environment. Why is collegiality important to a legal education? How has it affected your legal education?
Collegiality is incredibly important in law school – knowing your classmates support you and want you to do well helps you get through some of the rougher moments – bad cold calls, late nights at the library, etc. I wasn’t sure how much stock to put in Penn’s claims to collegiality when I was thinking about coming here, but now that I’m here, I get it: it’s true. My classmates are bright hard-workers but also supportive team players. We keep each other sane. After I endured a particularly rough cold call, I felt a bit shaken, so my friends talked me through it and sincerely reassured me.
There’s really a sense that we’re all in it together – it makes 1L year so much more bearable knowing that your classmates have your back and are rooting for you. It makes me feel more comfortable asking questions in class (something I’m not particularly keen on), knowing that no one wants me to feel stupid.
My Favorite Philadelphia Moment:
When I first moved to Philly, a friend and I rode around the metro and wandered around the downtown area, around City Hall. Another time we went to the First Friday in Old City, and walked around some of the oldest parts of the U.S. I love history and getting to see these old buildings and streets was a thrill for a West-Coaster like me. Philadelphia is so different from cities I’ve lived in before, and I love its sense of history.
What I’m Most Proud Of:
Keeping law school in perspective and not losing my mind first semester 1L year…yet…
My Extracurricular Activities at Penn Law:
I’m in two pro bono groups, and I’m a 1L BarBri representative. I’m also a regular at Penn Law’s hip-hop dance class (they take everyone, thank goodness).
What I Did For Public Interest:
I’m on a casework team with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). I’m also part of a team researching marital property rights in India as part of the Swayam Project of International Human Rights Advocates (IHRA). During spring break, I’ll have the opportunity to go to Amman, Jordan with a team of IRAP members and interview clients with University of Jordan students. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for spring break.
My Favorite Place or Activity on the University Campus:
I love the Great Hall in Silverman in the Law School – every time I’m there, I am struck by the fact that I go to an Ivy League law school. I end up staring at the ceiling and gawking at the splendor – it gets me every time.