Hannah Brown '16 (JD)

Hannah Brown

Prepare and commit to build success in law school

"Law school, especially at USD, is incredibly rewarding and a great experience, but it is an unbelievable amount of work, and should only be pursued if you are dedicated to putting in the time and effort. If you are sure that law school is for you, then it will be worth it. If you are still on the fence and are not sure you can commit the time and effort, then wait until you are ready to make the commitment."

Legal interests: Civil and criminal litigation.
Bachelor's degree: BA in Communications, Chapman University, 2012.
Hometown: Denver, Colo.
Dream job: Civil litigator or criminal prosecutor.

  1. Q: Why did you choose USD School of Law?
    A: I am from Colorado, but went to undergrad in Orange County. I knew I either wanted to stay in California or go back to Colorado for law school. I decided to tour USD, and I fell in love with the campus.
  2. Q: How hard is law school? Is it more or less effort than you imagined?
    A:Law school is definitely more effort than I imagined. When I went through orientation before my 1L year, the advice I heard most often was, “This isn’t like undergrad. You can’t expect to not read and get away with it.” I thought, “I always read in undergrad, so this shouldn’t be so bad.” I was wrong. It is more work than I imagined, but the work is more rewarding and more interesting than the work in undergrad, so it evens out.
  3. Q: What is some of your previous professional experience? How did that experience help you decide to go to law school?
    A: I interned at the Public Defender’s office for one semester.  Other than that, I had no legal experience before law school.  I was previously interested in event planning, and had been a wedding planner prior to coming to law school.  But I think that having a variety of experience, even in such an unrelated field like wedding planning, is beneficial.  I learned how to deal with a crisis (and yes, having the wrong spoons at a wedding IS a crisis), how to be extremely organized, and how to take a hit when I messed up.
  4. Q: Did you have to make any changes to your personal life to attend law school?
    A: I did move to San Diego, which was a big change because I knew absolutely no one here.  I have always loved traveling and exploring new cities, so I was excited to do that, but it was difficult.
  5. Q: What advice would you give to a prospective student? What would you do differently if you had the chance?
    A: I would tell any prospective student to go to law school only if they are ready to commit. Coming into law school with a “I think this is what I want to do” will not work for everyone, and it’s easy to want to quit if you’re not confident in your choice. Law school is a big commitment, and everyone should be prepared for that.
  6. Q: What activities do you participate in at USD School of Law?
    A: I am currently on Moot Court and on the San Diego Law Review. I also participated in the USD Civil Clinic last semester, which I loved. I am now an intern at the California Attorney General’s office in the criminal division, which is an amazing experience, and I would recommend it to everyone.
  7. Q: What is the best thing that has happened to you here at law school?
    A: After our 1L year finals, we waited in angst for our grades. I had studied hard for my finals, but so had everyone else, and I did not know what to expect.  When we finally received our grades, I had done much better than I had expected. It was amazing to see that my hard work had paid off, and that I was succeeding at something that I enjoyed doing.  This encouraged me to keep working hard.