Erin is a 1L who grew up in Chicago. In high school, she saw the impact of legal reasoning and was intrigued by public policy. Learn what she loved about her torts class and the opportunities she’s looking forward to in Chicago-Kent’s certificate programs. Erin also gives advice to incoming students, describes why she loves Chicago, and how she enjoys the city.
- Class year: 2022
- Division: Full-time Day
- Hometown: Chicago, IL
- Academic background: Bachelor’s Degree in Social and Economic Development Policy from Illinois Institute of Technology.
- Social Media: LinkedIn
What drew you to the legal profession and law school?
I became interested in the legal profession after taking a government and politics class in high school. We participated in a project researching a then-current case on the Supreme Court docket, and I really enjoyed the challenge of interpreting the Court’s reasoning and exploring precedent.
Since then, I have become keenly interested in local government and public policy through my undergraduate studies and several internships I have participated in. I believe law is an amazing avenue to further explore those areas while advocating for others.
What stood out about Chicago-Kent?
Chicago-Kent is perfectly balanced: the amazing faculty are renowned in their fields of study, making the doctrinal courses engaging and interesting, but Chicago-Kent also has strong programs for applied learning and practical experience.
For example, I am working in the Plaintiff’s Employment Clinic this spring, which will help me explore my interest in Labor & Employment Law, while giving me useful, exciting, and practical experiences as a 1L student.
Do you have a favorite professor or class from your first semester at Chicago-Kent?
Professor Mickie A. Piatt’s Torts class was wonderfully challenging and engaging. Rather than simply teaching us the elements of intentional torts and negligence, Professor Piatt always encouraged us to engage as attorneys would: assessing pieces of evidence, strategizing, and recognizing the rhetorical gymnastics various courts employ to justify their decisions. This class made me even more excited about the lifelong learning that attorneys must commit to.
Are you focusing your studies on a particular area of law or certificate?
As I am hoping for a career in municipal law and local government, I have chosen to pursue the Public Interest Certificate at Chicago-Kent, and am considering working toward the Labor & Employment Law Certificate as well. I am intrigued by the pro bono and practical work experience each program encourages, respectively, and look forward to a concentrated and tailored approach to my legal education.
- Society of Women in Law – Member
- American Constitution Society for Law and Policy – Member
- CK Admissions – Student Advocate
What is your top advice for incoming law students?
Be confident in what you know, but always be ready to be wrong and learn something new. Keeping an open mind is critically important not only for understanding legal concepts, but also for developing new passions and interests.
Beyond Law School: Get to Know Erin
What are some skills or interests people might not guess about you?
I love doing the New York Times crossword puzzle. I take a shot at it almost every day-with varying success-and I really do enjoy the challenge.
What do you do to relax outside of school?
I bake A LOT for friends and family. Trying new recipes is challenging enough to help me feel productive in my free time, but also very rewarding and fun! I also enjoy doing yoga, and am so glad a student group at Chicago-Kent provides weekly classes to de-stress at the downtown campus.
What neighborhood do you live in? What do you like about it? What does your commute to Chicago-Kent look like?
I live with my family in Jefferson Park on the northwest side of Chicago. Jefferson Park is a true transit hub, which can be really exciting-so many interesting places are right off of the CTA Blue Line, and being able to hop on whenever I want helps me engage much more meaningfully with the city.
My commute to Chicago-Kent is an easy 30-45 minute ride to the Clinton Blue Line station, and I enjoy taking the time to listen to music or podcasts, or to do some light leisure reading.
What is your favorite way to enjoy Chicago?
I love enjoying Chicago on the weekends with my family. There are always exciting events in various neighborhoods and at iconic Chicago landmarks, such as the Music Box Theatre and Lincoln Park Zoo. It is so easy to find fun and interesting activities around the city, and I love when I can bring people together to enjoy them with me!
The diverse Chicago culinary scene is also quite impressive: I love trying new restaurants, as well as revisiting some of my favorites such as Little Goat in the West Loop, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! and Athenian Room in Lincoln Park, and Yes Thai in Ravenswood.