Coming from the rurally located University of Connecticut to Rutgers Law School in Camden was a large adjustment. This adjustment was not just in terms of moving from a rural setting to an urban one, but in terms of my previous educational background. Many prospective law students tend to lean towards Political Science, Criminal Justice, and Philosophy majors in their undergraduate studies.
When I started my undergraduate education, I was a biological sciences major. As I started my journey into the world of sciences, I grew more and more of an interest in environmental science which then led me into the world of environmental policy and how it is adopted throughout the world. This prompted me to change my major to Agricultural and Resource Economics with concentrations in Environmental Policy and International Development with a minor in Anthropology—definitely not the stereotypical major for a future law student! As my major allowed me to dive deeper into the world of environmental policy and the rules and regulations surrounding agriculture, not just in our nation, but internationally, I saw a clear path to law school begin to form. Our laws govern how humans interact with our environment and natural resources and I felt compelled to pursue law school.
In addition to having a unique major, I was nervous as I did not have any legal experience. It seemed as if the more future law students I talked to, the more I heard about them having past legal careers and internships. I, on the other hand, was entering into law school right from a summer spent ocean lifeguarding on the Jersey Shore, which is about as far from legal experience as one can get (or so I thought.) Spending the past seven summers as an ocean lifeguard contributed to my personal growth as an advocate for the environment.
As I dove into my first year of law school this past August, I was bombarded with all of the different focuses within the law. Rutgers Law has so many different student organizations that offer all sorts of events to introduce students to the broad range of options they will have once they graduate. By coming in with such a passion for our environment and natural resources, coupled with all of the amazing organizations and opportunities offered at Rutgers Law, I have been able to see how my passions integrate with various different types of law and this has created a large sense of motivation for myself.
I have learned that it is not necessary to come into law school with an abundance of legal experience and with what is considered the typical major for a potential law student. It is important to have experiences in fields that you are passionate about. This not only provides insight into the potential fields of law you will be interested in studying, but it provides a great amount of drive, motivation, and it opens your eyes to how your passions can not only affect your life as a law student, but how they will integrate into your future career. For me, my past experiences have led me to become the 1L representative of the International Law Society and becoming a member of the Environmental Law Society. I look forward to continuing my education here and seeing how the future unfolds.