The one-on-one advice and attention in the UCAP program were critical to my success.
Why I Chose Ursuline
I moved back home to Cleveland after my first two years as a traditional college student at an Ivy League institution for financial reasons. I knew that I wanted to continue to pursue my goal of becoming an attorney but did not want to risk another break in my education due to finances. I was hired as a legal assistant in the law department of a local Fortune 200 company that offered tuition reimbursement and set out to find a program that offered me the ability to obtain my degree while working full time. When I discovered the Legal Studies UCAP (accelerated) program, I knew it was exactly what I needed and it turned out to be a great fit for me. Affordable, awesome professors, small class size, and interesting courses.
Putting My Ursuline Degree to Work
I am currently an associate attorney in the Houston, Texas office of one of the largest and most successful law firms in the country, Kirkland & Ellis LLP. My practice focuses on advising clients on environmental aspects of a variety of corporate transactions. Prior to working at Kirkland, I practiced environmental regulatory and corporate law at another large firm in Austin, Texas. I graduated from the University of Texas School of Law, with honors, in 2015. In my short 5 years of practice, I have had the opportunity to serve as a speaker alongside top government and private attorneys at the largest environmental conference in Texas and was recently named to the National Black Lawyer’s 2019 Texas 40 under 40 list. I knew early on that I wanted to attend a top law school to achieve my goals. Anne Murphy Brown, the director of Ursuline's Legal Studies program, as well as other professors in the program such as Avery Friedman, were instrumental in helping me prepare for and apply to law school. They read and edited essays, wrote recommendation letters, and provided tips on studying for, and taking, the law school entrance exam (the LSAT). The one-on-one advice and attention in the UCAP program (and subsequent relationship building) were critical to my success both at Ursuline and beyond.
I’m Making My World More Inclusive
The legal industry has come a long way but is still very much a work in progress when it comes to diversity and inclusion. I think this field in particular benefits greatly from differing backgrounds and perspectives. I am a first-generation college graduate, had a few breaks in my college career, and worked full-time throughout my time at Ursuline. I obtained my degree through non-traditional means and still was admitted to, and graduated with honors from, one of the top law schools in the country and I work amongst some of the top names in the legal industry. There is more than one path to success and I hope to be one of many examples to show that the race can be won even with a rough start or unexpected course. Many thanks to those at Ursuline who cheered (and continue to cheer) me on along the way.