Hometown: Harleysville, PA
- University of Delaware, 2017 | Criminal Justice and Psychology
Job: Assistant District Attorney – Manhattan District Attorney’s Office
Program: Full-Time Day
Law School Motivation
When I was a freshman at the University of Delaware, I joined a campus chapter of the nonprofit group International Justice Mission (IJM). This organization partners with law enforcement and judicial systems around the world to combat slavery, violence against women and children, and police abuse of power against the poor. I developed a heart for victims of human trafficking and sought to do the kind of work that prosecutors at IJM are doing. At the same time, I was taking Criminal Justice classes, and fell in love with studying the law. Those same motivations sustain me today, as I proceed to a career with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office post-graduation in the hopes of eventually joining their Human Trafficking Unit.
Life at Temple Law
As a 2L, I held the position of Auction Chair for the Student Public Interest Network. The SPIN Auction is a fundraiser for students pursuing unpaid, public interest internships. We accept bids on donations from local businesses and professors, which has the added benefits of deepening relationships between students and professors, as well as promoting minority- and women-owned businesses in Philadelphia.
Admittedly, the student group closest to my heart is Temple’s Trial Team. I participated as an advocate for both my second and third years, and the trial team became my family. There are few other experiences at Temple that embody camaraderie and hard work as much as Trial Team. After advancing to Nationals and placing second at the American Association of Justice’s student trial advocacy competition during my last semester, I finally felt confident to leave law school and pursue real-world trial advocacy.
Life After Law School
Temple’s Law & Public Policy program connected me with an endless number of alumni who work in New York City, specifically at District Attorney’s offices. I received game-changing advice from them on the application and hiring processes, as well as other important factors like housing, budgeting, etc. Grants from both Temple’s financial aid office as well as the Student Public Interest Network helped me to fund housing for my summer internships outside of Philadelphia. Even one of my student colleagues from SPIN, who had worked at the Manhattan DA’s Office prior to law school, connected me with current Assistant District Attorneys at the office. Once I obtained an internship at the Manhattan DA for my 2L summer, I was able to meet a handful of Temple alumni in person who were working there and even completed some assignments for them.
Jules Epstein and Marian Braccia will be invited to my future wedding. I cannot emphasize enough how much these two built up my confidence through their coaching on Trial Team and how much they have taught me about evidence, advocacy, and teamwork. Professor Epstein in particular has been a mentor of mine throughout the academic process, as well as Jim Shellenberger. I have been blessed with being able to learn about both sides of the criminal adversarial process from these three superstars.
Advice from a Temple Law Grad
Comparison is a poison. Temple Law does extremely well at fostering an environment of cooperation and encouragement between students, but comparison and imposter syndrome inevitably creep into our minds because we’re all human. But we’re all smart, accomplished humans, because we’ve made it to Temple Law School. So as much as you can, try not to analyze your own success or development based on how your colleagues are doing. Don’t talk to your friends about grades or GPA. Don’t discuss on Monday about how much work you all did or didn’t do over the weekend. Come up with the study methods and work-life balance that work best for YOU, and don’t reinvent your own wheel just to make it look like someone else’s.
Definitely exercise and eat healthy. I am not the fittest person in the world (BELIEVE me), but I found that being outdoors or working out helped to keep my mind more focused and alert during the day, and I was able to study more efficiently. And give yourself at least one day off a week. If you prefer to study longer on weekdays and give yourself the weekend off, do it. You will not do better just because you spend the most time reading out of all your classmates. I personally attended church and volunteered in the community throughout law school, which helped me to keep the bigger picture in mind of why I was there, which was to prepare myself to help others as best as I could once I graduated.