Emily Martinez Bettinger '14 (JD)

Emily Bettinger on campus

Small private school, big school resources

Legal interests: Criminal defense, public defense
Bachelor's degree: BA in Political Science and Spanish, University of Denver, Class of 2011
Hometown: Denver, Colo.
Dream job: Public defender
Quote: I went to law school because I want to make a difference. I want to help those who need it the most.

Q: What made you decide to come to USD School of Law?
A: I loved the location and the small private school environment with all the resources of a big school.

Q: During your first week here, what was one of the first things that impressed you?
A: The campus and the caliber of the professors.

Q: What activities have you been involved in at USD School of Law?
A: I have been involved in Mock Trial. I am president of La Raza, and a member of Phi Delta Phi.

Q: How hard is law school? Is it more or less work than you thought?
A: The level of difficulty is what I expected, but it’s different at the same time. Law school can be mentally and emotionally draining, and yet it comes with great reward.

Q: What is the best thing that has happened to you here at law school?
A: The friendships I have made and the amazing job opportunities.

Q: What is some of your previous professional experience? How did that experience help you decide to go to law school?
A: Before law school I was a server. Working in the service industry made it clear I needed a good education. I was also an intern at the Colorado State Capitol; that experience encouraged me to go to law school because I noticed that everyone in power has a law degree.

Q: What advice would you give to a prospective student? What things might you have done differently?
A: I tell incoming law students to enjoy your first year. It goes by quickly. While it is terrible in some ways, it is something you will look back on fondly. I also recommend 1Ls interested in criminal law become certified legal interns as soon as possible. As a certified legal intern, you can appear on the record, thus gain more hands-on experience during your internships.