Joy Utomi, Class of 2011
Legal interests: Appellate litigation, criminal law
Bachelor’s degree: BA in Political Science and Communications, Loyola Marymount University, 2005
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.
Dream job: Judge; host of my own legal commentary program
Quote: Coming to USD law was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The camaraderie of the students, the quality of the professors, and the quantity of resources has helped me enjoy every second of what would have been an otherwise unbearable journey.
1) What made you decide to come to USD School of Law?
I really liked the idea of going to the best law school in a major city. You get access to a lot of resources and opportunities that other schools may not. Also, I was sold on the student body. Students here are friendly and helpful- not the stereotypical cut-throat law school.
2) During your first week here, what was one of the first things that impressed you?
One of the things that impressed me early on was the friendly community atmosphere I felt. The teachers were open, helpful, and accommodating and the students followed suit. I could immediately tell that the school was a place where I could be comfortable in and succeed.
3) What activities have you been involved in at USD School of Law?
Throughout my law school journey, I have had the opportunity to participate in many clubs and activities. I’ve served as the Secretary for the Student Bar Association Executive Board. I’ve been a member of both the Associate and Executive Boards of the Moot Court. I have served as President of the Black Law Students Association. I am also an active participant and a four time champion in the Intramural Sports League.
4) How hard is law school? Is it more or less work than you thought?
It’s harder than what I thought it would be, but I will say, it’s amazing the focus and determination you can pull out of yourself when you need to. I was always a good student but I really had to step up my work ethic and time management in law school.
5) What is the best thing that has happened to you here at law school?
Getting involved in the legal community. I’ve participated in San Diego County Bar, Lawyers Club, and Earl B. Gilliam events, and through it I’ve been able to give back to the community through various service events while getting to know the San Diego legal community. It’s a great way to network with attorneys and judges and learn more about the plethora of legal careers out there.
6) What is some of your previous professional experience? How did that experience help you decide to go to law school?
Before law school I was a news producer at a major network affiliate. It was hard work, long hours, but it was also exhilarating and a great fast paced environment to work in. But working in news for two years made me realize that EVERYTHING revolves around the law. Consumer rights, business dealings, politics, health care... everything! I realized that if I wanted to have an impact in the world, I needed to know the laws that govern it.
7) What advice would you give to a prospective student? What things might you have done differently?
My greatest advice to students would be to take advantage of every resource and event career services has to offer. There are so many opportunities to meet USD law alum in mixers and panel events. Start building your network early on and it will open the door to internships and jobs in the future.