Keia Atkinson '17 (JD)

Keia Atkinson on campus at USD

Unique experience; brilliant people

"The law school experience is one of the most unique experiences anyone can have. In undergrad, and even graduate school, I didn’t find a group of more driven, solution-oriented, and tenacious individuals, almost all of which happen to be brilliant to boot."

Legal interests: Litigation, employment and labor law.
Bachelor's degree: BA in Psychology, University of Oklahoma, 2010.
Masters's degree: MA in Experimental Psychology, University of Central Oklahoma, 2014.
Hometown: Edmond, Okla.
Dream job: Partner at a firm.

  1. Q: When did you decide to pursue a law degree?
    A: I realized that law is for me while I was completing graduate school in Experimental Psychology.
  2. Q: Why did you choose USD School of Law?
    A: USD has a competitive mock trial team and is very well regarded. I fell in love with Southern California when I lived in L.A. in between my undergrad and graduate school and I plan on settling here post-graduation, so it seemed like a natural fit. 
  3. Q: What surprised you the most about law school?
    A: Unquestionably the people. In undergrad, and even graduate school, I didn’t find a group of more driven, solution oriented, tenacious individuals, almost all of which happen to be brilliant to boot.
  4. Q: How hard is law school? Is it more or less work than you thought?
    A: Initially it seems like a lot – reading assignments aren’t short and there is always an event to go to or a paper due.  However, once you get in the rhythm of things it gets much easier; most lawyers lead busy lives and this is good training.
  5. Q: What is some of your previous professional experience? How did that experience help you decide to go to law school?
    A: In graduate school I worked as a teacher, lab researcher, and grant evaluator: jobs that require careful analysis, critical thought, and extensive inquiry into the subject.  As a law student and future attorney I employ the same skillset, but in a way that allows me to directly help others.
  6. Q: What advice would you give to a prospective student? What things might you have done differently?
    A: I recommend talking to current law students at USD, not just about what to expect academically, but interpersonally as well. The law school experience is one of the most unique experiences anyone can have, and it is unlikely most people outside of law school will know what you’ll experience on a day-to-day basis.
  7. Q: What activities do you participate in at USD School of Law?
    A: Currently I am the acting treasurer of the Employment and Labor Law Society (EALLS), in addition to serving as the organization’s SBA representative. Additionally, I have written for Motions, and plan on continuing to do so, and am currently prepping for the upcoming USD Mock Trial tournament.
  8. Q: What is the best thing that has happened to you here at law school?
    A: Recently I was selected for the SDCBA Diversity Fellowship, which is both an honor and very exciting. Mock trial was more fun than anything else my first year, and that was at my most exhausted.
  9. Q: How was the admissions process to USD School of Law? Was it more or less involved than you anticipated?
    A: The admissions process for law school is fairly involved in and of itself, but USD’s process specifically is equal to the admissions process for the majority of law schools I applied to.