Hometown: Pueblo, Colorado
Education: University of Denver (BA), University of Colorado, Boulder (1L)
Affiliations: International Human Rights Law Clinic, Berkeley Journal of International Law, Moot Court, Women of Color Collective, Women of Berkeley Law
I was on a full-ride, four-year, in-state scholarship sponsored by the Boettcher Foundation which I used at the University of Denver. But I ended up graduating early, so I spent that last year of my scholarship at University of Colorado Law School in Boulder. I have a particular interest in pursuing a career in international law, beginning in international arbitration and eventually doing international human rights work.. And as much as I loved my first year at Colorado, international law really requires being based in a major hub city.
I decided to apply to transfer to a larger law school in the spring of my 1L year, just as the pandemic shut down the world. I knew I wanted to try a large city, and I was lined up to do my first summer in New York, so it really came down to the Bay Area or LA. Berkeley Law is well known for its programming in international law, including the International Human Rights Law Clinic and the Berkeley Journal of International Law, plus the notable faculty and large alumni network. Also, I really liked the environment at Berkeley. The people are very high level, but also laid back and very supportive of each other and have lives outside of law school.
One thing that really stood out to me is that Berkeley Law was the only school I applied to that doesn’t require an application fee for transfers, which is awesome. It also has an organization dedicated to supporting transfers, Transfers at Berkeley Law. Our first few weeks they had an open house on Zoom and we all got to ask questions and get to know one-another. So we all kind of felt like our own “mod,” like they have for 1Ls. We had that instant community. I think that’s really indicative of what Berkeley is like and the support you get here.
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since starting 2L year. One thing I have discovered is that Berkeley Law wants you to do what you want to do and helps you chart that path, whatever it is. And so I feel like I’ve gotten a little bit of every single experience you can have at law school since transferring.
Basically as soon as I was admitted I started looking through the courses and there was so much I wanted to do. Someone had advised me that if you potentially want to do a clerkship down the road, you should do a semester field-placement as a judicial intern. So I reached out to Berkeley Law’s Field Placement Director Sue Schechter and she immediately gave me a to-do list and started reaching out to her contacts at the Colorado Supreme Court and that was it. My first semester, I took a half course load and worked part time with Chief Justice Brian Boatright and his clerks.
I also auditioned right away for the Moot Court team, and I was thrilled to make the Jessup International Moot Court Competition team. That was a wonderful experience. Even though we had to do the entire season over Zoom, I still got really close to my teammates. We competed in the regional competition and qualified for the global rounds. It was an amazing opportunity to compete against teams from the Netherlands, China, Brazil, Germany, and more. Seeing their different expertise and how they handle these international problems was a unique learning opportunity about how the different countries approach international law that will definitely serve me well in the future.
Berkeley Law makes it easy to work in some sort of experiential capacity every semester, so I’ve taken advantage of those opportunities and they have really influenced my legal progression. I also did the International Human Rights Law Clinic, where I focused on promoting international human rights in the United States criminal justice system. I’m also the outgoing senior online editor for the Berkeley Journal of International Law, where I supervise the journal’s blog and podcast.
To anyone considering transferring to Berkeley Law, I would say it really comes down to professional goals and life happiness. If you have a specific area of law you want to practice, you have to consider whether the offerings and resources of your law school are going to get you there. Berkeley has top-ranked programs and an incredible alumni network that can help launch you into a career in basically any city in the world. But also, the environment and the people here are just wonderful. One of my favorite things is just how engaged the student body of the law school and the greater Berkeley community is. It’s just really eye-opening and cool to be in an environment where people care so deeply about so many things. I’m feeling sentimental that my time is almost over here and I only had one real year on campus, but it’s been a life changing experience.