Amy and I sit across from each other every other morning to distract ourselves from our reading. It is our time to unwind in the morning before we "hustle and bustle" for the rest of the day. I met her my first year and we connected over our love of football (go Niners!). What I like about Amy is that she is not your traditional student. Most of us want to become an attorney and be in a courtroom. Amy, however, wants to work in the legislative arena. At the end of the day, how do you want to advocate? Well, here's a little bit about Amy, after surviving being eaten by a crocodile.
What's your educational background?
I have a bachelor's degree in Journalism and in History from the University of Iowa, and a master's degree in Media Research from the University of Colorado. I first thought I wanted to be a Journalist, then thought I wanted to study media, and then totally changed my focus and decided to go to law school to study Animal Law.
What about your family background?
My family is from Chicago, and my parents along with lots of extended family still live in Chicago. My dad graduated from the University of Illinois and currently owns a commercial real estate business in Chicago. My mom graduated from Northern Illinois University and is a special education teacher. My brother went to the University of Colorado, Boulder and has never left. He is currently a civil engineer at a large engineering firm in Denver. There were no lawyers in my family until this past August when my cousin married one.
Why did you decide to go to law school?
One year into the master's program I was in, a friend of mine told me about the reality of factory farming in this country. I was appalled, and as any good student would do I researched the crap out of the issue. About a week later, I decided I had to dedicate my life to doing something about that system, mainly for the sake of the animals. The thing I found most disturbing was that the way animals in agriculture are treated is totally legal. I knew I had to try to do something about that. Law school was the obvious place to start. I didn't even think it was possible to study Animal Law, but after my first google search, I realized that it was possible at a school in Portland that I had never even hear of!
What is your favorite part about Lewis & Clark?
My favorite part about L&C is that most students are here to make a difference. I think that's really rare for a law school. It affects the culture of the school in a huge way. Also, I would not be here if it weren't for the animal law program, so I have to put that at the top of the list too.
What is your least favorite part about Lewis & Clark?
As a top ranked school for both animal and environmental law, I expected more classes and extracurriculars in each of those areas, and I expected the school as a whole to be more supportive of those areas. So, there's been some disappointment there.
What are your future job and career goals?
I graduate in December, so this is a question I am getting good at answering. I want to do legislative and policy work that is connected to animal welfare, environmental, and food safety issues. I want to help draft and pass laws on both federal and state levels that regulate factory farming from all of the aforementioned angles.
What do you think prospective students should know about law school?
Make sure law school is what you really want and is something you really need to get where you want to be because it is hard, and expensive. The best advice I could give to law students is to use all your externship credits. You can only learn so much in a classroom.
What is an interesting part about your background? Or in other words, how do you contribute to the diversity of Lewis & Clark?
I'm not sure I contribute to the diversity of Lewis and Clark. In most schools it would be rare that I am vegan, but that's pretty normal here. Perhaps my media background and my desire to do legislative work separates me. I also don't plan on staying Oregon after school, and most people here do.