Meet Zoe Appler, Class of 2022

Zoe Appler (headshot)

Zoe started her 1L year in our part-time evening program and is continuing now in the full-time day program. She’s originally from New York. Learn how her theatre background led her to the Trial Advocacy Program at Chicago-Kent. Her favorite class with Judge Erickson, Criminal Law, has confirmed that path. Zoe also shares what she would have done differently when applying to law schools and how she found the right fit at Chicago-Kent.

Student Profile

  • Class year: 2022
  • Division: Full-Time Day, formerly Part-Time Evening
  • Hometown: Buffalo, NY
  • Academic background: Majored in Political Science at American University
  • LinkedIn

What drew you to the legal profession and law school?

I was originally a theatre major when I started my undergraduate education and I was feeling unfulfilled. On a whim, I ended up joining my University’s mock trial team, and realized I could use my interests in public speaking and politics for a better cause! 

I started competing every weekend up and down the East Coast, arguing in front of actual judges and justices, in some of the country’s most respected courthouses. After my first year trying cases, I knew the courtroom was where I wanted to be for the rest of my life. Once I understood that litigation was the best avenue for my passions, I took the LSAT and never looked back.

What stood out about Chicago-Kent?

The Trial Advocacy Program stood out. Very few law schools take their trial teams as seriously as Chicago-Kent does. They work hard to mold law students with a passion for litigation into actual, practice-ready lawyers.

Do you have a favorite professor or class from your first semester at Chicago-Kent?

Criminal Law with Justice David A. Erickson. Judge Erickson is the head coach and director of the Trial Advocacy Program at Chicago-Kent, and having him as a professor has been an incredibly enlightening experience. He has been a judge for many years, so he has practical knowledge and experience to share with students who want to enter the litigation field.

Are you focusing your studies on a particular area of law or pursuing a certificate?

Yes, I am pursuing a certificate in Criminal Litigation.

Student Involvement

What is your top advice for incoming law students?

Visit the schools BEFORE applying. I wasted so much money applying to schools that I thought were a good fit, and then I ended up visiting the campuses and coming up disappointed. Plan early and plan thoroughly before you spend money on application fees.

What would you have done differently to prepare for law school?

Not have focused so much on rankings. Law school rankings factor in a lot of characteristics that I don’t really care about, such as library size. If I would have prioritized schools that had the aspects I care more about earlier on, I would have saved a lot of time and money on useless applications.

Beyond Law School: Get to Know Zoe

What are some skills or interests people might not guess about you?

I am a podcaster! I worked on a podcast about classical feminism for the past year. Since moving to Chicago, I am also hoping to start a true-crime podcast! I also run a fashion Instagram blog in my spare time.

What do you do to relax outside of school?

Watch The Office and attend The Office trivia nights! I have placed first at Office trivia five times. If I ever need to relax outside of my apartment, I almost always take a trip to Target. Thankfully, Chicago has a Target in almost every neighborhood!

What neighborhood do you live in? What do you like about it? 

I live in the Theatre District, near River North! It is one of the busiest neighborhoods in Chicago, and I love how convenient and walkable the area is. Living in the Loop can definitely be pricey as a 1L, but you do save a lot of money when it comes to gas and public transportation! I walk to school every day and have several grocery stores within walking distance of my apartment. Plus, when friends and family come to visit, it’s great to be right in the heart of Chicago!

What is your favorite way to enjoy Chicago? 

Walking Chicago in the rain, when there are fewer people and better sights. I also love to explore the residential neighborhoods around Lincoln Park and Lakeview, or take the Metra train to the suburbs and go explore a new neighborhood outside of the city. I am an avid outlet mall shopper, and Chicago’s suburbs have some of the best for a weekend of retail therapy!

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