Top law school, high prospects in San Diego
"I realized that San Diego is the place for me, and USD is the best law school in San Diego. I wanted to be sure to go to the top law school of a region because I knew that job prospects would be better."
Legal interests: Intellectual Property and Medical Malpractice, specifically litigation.
Bachelor's degree: BS in Biochemistry with a minor in Business Administration, Texas A&M University, 2012.
Hometown: College Station, Texas.
Dream job: To practice both intellectual property and medical malpractice in the same job; in-house counsel for a research hospital.
- Q: When did you decide to pursue a law degree?
A: I didn’t know I was going to pursue a law degree until my senior year of undergrad. Up to that point, I was preparing an application for veterinarian school. However, I took some business law classes in undergrad and found that I had a deep appreciation for the material and immediately determined that I wanted to pursue a law degree. After doing lots of research, I discovered that all I needed to do was take the LSAT to be eligible to apply to law school. I took the next available LSAT and began applying to law schools for the next school year.
- Q: Why did you choose USD School of Law?
A: I chose USD School of Law for two main reasons. First, I wanted to come to California. Growing up in Texas, I was ready for a change. Based on everyone’s advice, I realized that San Diego is the place for me, and USD is the best law school in San Diego. I wanted to be sure to go to the top law school of a region because I knew that job prospects would be better, so I picked USD. Second, USD is unique in that it has some of the best professors in the legal community. I figured I would get the best level of education at USD compared to the other law schools I was accepted into, even though some may have been ranked slightly higher. I am absolutely satisfied with my decision based on the professors I have had the luxury to work with thus far in my academic career.
- Q: How hard is law school? Is it more or less effort than you imagined?
A: I thought the material would be harder than it actually is. After struggling the first semester, you figure out how to read cases, how to analyze different fact patterns, and how to write. After that foundation is built, law school is not hard. USD does a great job of building that foundation for first year students. However, the second and third years of law school are as difficult as you make them. Balancing school and extracurriculars requires a lot of effort. I am involved in multiple oral advocacy programs (Moot Court and VICAM), I am on Law Review, and I have worked each semester since my first year. Balancing each of these different extracurricular activities while keeping up with coursework is extremely challenging and takes a lot of effort. Basically, I think law school is not as hard as I thought it would be, but it definitely requires more effort than I imagined.
- 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 worked as a research technician at my undergrad school. This work experience gave me insight to working in a professional environment and forced me to learn how to work while being a student. I did not enjoy being a research technician and knew that I needed to pursue a different career, and that helped me decide to go to law school. Working as a research technician also allowed me to witness how the laws limit research with respect to patent law and federal regulations, and I found that very intriguing. Based on this newfound interest, I convinced myself that law school would be an excellent fit. I still have my interest in science, and I plan to mix that with my legal interests and pursue a career in Intellectual Property law or Medical Malpractice law. Thus, my experience not only helped me decide to go to law school, but it also helped me decide what type of law I want to practice.
- Q: Did you have to make any changes to your personal life to attend law school?
A: I had to move from College Station, Texas to San Diego. I rented a Penske truck and drove here in July before school started. I came early to get settled in San Diego and to figure out where all the good food places were before school started. I wanted to adjust to my new surroundings before I started, and I am glad that I did just that. When school started, I was the guy telling people about burrito places to try (California Burrito).
- Q: What advice would you give to a prospective student? What would you do differently if you had the chance?
A: I would tell prospective students to be absolutely sure in their decisions to go to law school. Law school is extremely demanding, especially if you participate in multiple activities. You must be willing to give up some of the things you like to do, especially if you want to do well in law school. This takes a lot of commitment and that requires proper motivation. Thus, I would tell a prospective student to be sure that they want to become a lawyer.
There is not much I personally would do differently if I had the chance. I was very methodical in my decision to go to law school, and I love being in law school. If I was forced to pick an answer, I would say that I would work less hours during the fall and spring semesters at my jobs. Balancing school work with extracurriculars can be extremely demanding, and I would have enjoyed a few extra hours to work on everything. Other than that, I have enjoyed and learned from each activity and experience at law school.
- Q: What activities do you participate in at USD School of Law?
A: I participate in everything I can at USD. Moot Court by far has been my favorite activity that I participated in. I am currently on the Executive Board for USD's Appellate Moot Court. Last year, I was on Moot Court, Law Review, and VICAM. I also participated in the intramural Mock Trial competition my first year, which was fun as well. I have also been involved in other various organizations at law school, including Animal Rights organizations and Health Law organizations, and I am currently on Honor Court for SBA. I even play softball with the other law school teams, and I created a few law school intramural basketball teams. I participated in the VITA Tax Clinic during my first year. In essence, there is nothing at law school that I have not tried to explore. I had an extremely open mind when I came to law school, so I participated in everything that I could handle and worked hard for everything. I didn’t want to have any regrets for not doing something while in law school. I would recommend other students do the same.
- Q: What is the best thing that has happened to you here at law school?
A: While getting academic recognition is great, the best thing that has happened to me in law school is the friends I made. The friendships that I have made in law school will last forever. That by far is the best thing that happened to me at law school. USD provides multiple opportunities for students to network amongst themselves and with other members of the USD community. I am extremely grateful for those opportunities. The friendships and relationships I formed with my colleagues and professors is definitely the best thing to happen to me at law school.