Hometown: Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Education: Saint Joseph’s University; Major: Sociology, Minors: Gender Studies and Leadership Ethics and Organizational Sustainability
Job: Litigation Associate, Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young LLP
Program: Full-Time Day
Temple Law Community
During my time at Temple Law I was involved with the Temple Law Review, the Student Bar Association, the Student Public Interest Network, the Academic Core Enrichment Program, and I served as a tour guide and student worker in the Admissions Office. Each of these opportunities contributed to my experience at Temple Law and my legal education just as much as the knowledge I gained in my classes.
On all of my tours—roughly one a week for three years—I told prospective students that my level of student involvement was not unique. Temple Law is a place where most students can rattle off several opportunities and experiences that significantly impacted their time at Temple. I know that my experiences impacted my legal education and, more importantly, my life.
The Volume 91 Editorial Board of the Temple Law Review taught me that a little belief can lead a team of people to work towards dismantling systemic access barriers in order to create a journal that better reflects Temple Law. Serving as Vice President of the Student Bar Association taught me that failing to attend to your high school prom does not disqualify you from throwing the best Barrister’s Ball in school history (self-proclaimed). A year as the President of the Student Public Interest Network (SPIN) taught me that Temple Law is the premier public interest law school based on its undying student commitment—a commitment so strong that students spend countless hours fundraising $20,000 a year to ensure their colleagues can pursue their public interest passions.
Most importantly, my time at Temple Law taught me that creating connections with people is the key to success in the legal profession. Taking time to be kind and to work hard for your colleagues goes a long way. It is the people at Temple Law who leave a mark in your memories and each of these organizations indelibly left its mark on me.
Commitment to Service
As a 1L, eager to participate in all the law school had to offer, I applied to be a 1L representative for the National Lawyers Guild Expungement Clinic. Throughout the fall, I attended various clinics hosted by Community Legal Services (CLS) and volunteered my time to complete client intakes. In the first week of the Spring 2017 semester, the Expungement Clinic Board sent out an email on behalf of CLS. CLS was seeking a practicum student to work in the Housing Unit. As a 1L I knew that I could not participate in a practicum, but the opportunity was enticing so after no upper-level students sought out the position, I reached out to CLS to see if I could work for them.
With one semester of law school under my belt, I spent every Friday afternoon of that semester working in CLS’s Housing Department as unpaid, un-credited volunteer. I was the first intern in the Housing Unit to work on expungement petitions for housing clients; prior to this CLS only did expungements for employment clients. I spent my time filing petitions for low-income elderly clients who were denied affordable housing based on their criminal record. In one case, I helped expunge over forty charges and convictions from an 86-year-old client’s record. This gave her a blank record for the first time since she was sixteen.
Volunteering my time so early in law school to use the few legal skills I acquired meant a great deal to me. Temple Law provides students opportunities to impact Philadelphia, in however small or large of ways. Taking this opportunity allowed me to use my free time to impact the lives of countless clients. At Temple Law, this opportunity is not rarity, it is commonplace.
Professor Craig Green was my absolute favorite and certainly the most challenging professor I had at Temple Law. I must first be thankful for my 1L schedule which introduced me to Professor Green’s Constitutional Law class. It was filled with strange anecdotes, unusual phrases, and Professor Green’s uniquely pervasive commitment to my education. Following Constitutional Law, I had the opportunity to do semester-long guided research alongside Professor Green, as well as participate in his Federal Courts and Administrative Law classes. I cannot speak highly enough about his in-classroom, and even his out-of-classroom teaching.
However, Professor Green has meant more to me and to my Temple Law experience than the four semesters I spent in the classroom with him. In addition to these experiences, Professor Green was available to brainstorm and encourage my research and idea process for my Temple Law Review comment regarding the constitutional implications of the transgender bathroom cases. Professor Green also provided insight regarding increasing diversity and inclusion on the Temple Law Review. Professor Green encouraged me and supported in ways beyond the classroom and in doing so increased my confidence and capabilities as law student and a lawyer.
Temple Law Lessons
Prior to starting law school I told myself that I would keep my head down, go to class, get good grades, and get a job. I did not intend to “waste” my time on student organizations, volunteer opportunities, and developing mentorships. Luckily Temple Law and upper-level peers knew that I had the ability to be more than the person I intended to be. In fact, choosing to contribute so much of time throughout law school to activities I initially ruled out had the single greatest impact on my legal education and likely my legal career.