Name: Elizabeth Noakes, Class of 2011
Bachelor’s degree: BS in Psychology, Saint Mary’s College of California, 2008
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
Quote: I am proud to be a law student at USD. My time here has been both challenging and rewarding, and I am confident my legal education is preparing me to compete successfully with graduates from other top law schools from across the country.
1) During your first week here, what was one of the first things that impressed you?
The intelligence and motivation of my classmates – it is inspiring to be surrounded by individuals with such a broad intellectual curiosity.
2) What activities have you been involved in at USD School of Law?
One of the best things about USD is the ability to get involved and make a difference. I was the evening program vice president of the Student Bar Association and am involved in PBLA’s Domestic Violence Clinic, Tax Law Society, Women’s Law Caucus, Bailiff at the Vis Moot Criminal Procedure Tournament, and a tour guide for the USD Law Admissions Office.
3) How hard is law school? Is it more or less work than you thought?
Law school is a massive amount of work, but it is tremendously rewarding. I have studied relentlessly in the past year, but I have also been excited, motivated and captivated by the information I am learning.
4) What is the best thing that has happened to you here at law school?
Delivering my appellate style oral argument to a panel of distinguished attorneys has been an exhilarating experience. At some point during the delivery of my argument, I realized my anxiety had completely subsided and was replaced with passion. I now feel much more confident in my public speaking abilities and am looking at litigation with fresh awareness of its power.
5) What is some of your previous professional experience? How did that experience help you decide to go to law school?
I realized there are an infinite number of career paths available to law school graduates when working in Washington D.C. as a faculty advisor for the National Youth Leadership Forum on law. I also held a part time position in two different law offices as an undergraduate.
6) What advice would you give to a prospective student? What things might you have done differently?
I would urge anyone thinking about law school to visit each school they are considering, sit in on classes, and talk with current students. I have been incredibly happy with my experience as a first-year here at USD, and I attribute my success to the environment created by my fellow students and the faculty.