Katie Gonzalez ’19

Hometown: Watsonville, CA
Education: UC Berkeley 2011
Affiliations: Foster Ed Project, Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Boalt Parent Network, La Raza Worker’s and Tenants’ Rights Clinic, La Raza Law Students Association

I always wanted to go to Berkeley Law, but as a parent, it was difficult to make that choice.  My son had a community in our hometown, so I decided to attend the local school, Santa Clara Law, my first year.

Staying close to home during 1L allowed me to have the support of my family during that difficult first-year experience. But I knew second year would be more flexible, and I decided to transfer to Berkeley Law. Since I am able to arrange my schedule into a few days per week, I did not have to uproot my son from his school and our family.

I wanted to transfer because Berkeley Law has more opportunities in terms of courses to choose from, student organizations, clinical work, and access to jobs. Berkeley is also great about providing support for student parents.

As a transfer student that is only on campus a few days per week, getting involved in student groups has really helped me meet people and build a community. I joined the La Raza Workers’ and Tenants’ Rights Clinic and the Foster Education Project and met people that share similar interests and professional goals.

I think my experience at Berkeley is a little different than other law students’ experience. Parents have to find a school-life balance, and it takes time to do that. My son is eight, so I’ve had some time to figure it out. Now, I’m able to manage my time well, and I feel like many student parents are able to find that same balance.

Plus, I have my son as motivation. He gets to see me work my way through law school, and he’s encouraged to work towards his goals too. He loves Berkeley Law, and we get to experience it as a team.