Class of 2015

Hometown: Rockford, Minnesota
Undergrad: University of Saint Thomas
College Major: Political Science
Student Orgs: SBA, The Precedent, Intellectual Property and Technology Law Society, Criminal Law Association
Internship/Externship: In Spring 2015, I worked in the Gang Unit at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Legal Field Experience:
Before law school, I worked at a law firm in Minnesota (Meyer & Njus). Meyer & Njus is a multi-state law firm specializing in consumer collections, wills and trusts, consumer litigation, and personal injury. When I moved to California and began law school, I worked at a legal office that dealt with and filed mechanic’s liens (CRM Lien Services). During my second year of law school, I earned a position at the Nevada State Legislature as the Journal Clerk for the Assembly. At the legislature, I wrote the Assembly’s Journal based on Assembly floor session, and I participated in research for the Assembly and Senate bills. I then worked at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office during my last semester of law school. There, I drafted legal motions and briefs, conducted legal research on various issues, and even wrote an opposition to a defendant’s motion based on newly discovered evidence that was directly used at a hearing. Since graduation, I have clerked for two civil litigation firms while studying to pass the Bar exam.

Two Biggest Positives about Western State:
Western State’s Introduction to Legal Methods (ILM) program is extremely helpful for entering students. As a 1L, students do not know what to expect or even how to study for law school, and this program teaches entering students how to succeed. Most importantly, the ILM class teaches entering students how to master a law school exam. Western State’s size is very beneficial to students. The class sizes are small, which means the students are more engaged and the professors are more available and willing to answer students’ specific questions. Also, because there is a smaller student body, the faculty and staff get to know each individual student and can usually pinpoint in what area the student needs assistance. For example, the Career Resources Department personally assists each student with writing and finalizing resumes and cover letters. When I was applying for an externship, Career Resources sent emails to remind me directly when applications were due and when my interviews were scheduled. The students and staff of Western State are all part of a tight-knit community; I would not have made it this far without my Western State family.

Best Experiences I’ve Had:
Public Service Week was my favorite time of the semester. It was great to see all of the Western State students and staff volunteering and working hard together to reach our public service goals. It is the week our Western State family is the strongest, and the week we see the most students on campus at one time supporting one another as well as the surrounding community. During Public Service Week, the school participates in community service activities such as the 5K Race for the Cure, various mentoring programs at local high schools, the Red Cross Blood Drive, park clean-ups, and events at the Orangewood Children’s Home. It is a very rewarding week for those who participate.

The class that was very beneficial in a practical sense was my Criminal Pre-Trial Practice class. Each week, the class progresses further through the pretrial process. On day one, we worked on meeting clients and client interviews, and each class thereafter we moved forward through pretrial phases. The students in our class practiced writing and submitting various pretrial motions every week, and then were given the opportunity to orally argue those motions in the “courtroom.” The skills we practiced included discovery requests, depositions, arraignments, bail hearings, and more. I believe this class prepared me and gave me more confidence for my first day in court. Criminal Pre-Trial did not just teach me to know the law, it also taught me how to apply and practice the law.