Life Before Law School

Lets take a look at my life Before Law School:

Way Back

I grew up in Lawsonville North Carolina on a 100ac farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. My family was highly invested in the National Barrel Horse Association, and spent our weekends traveling around the state and sometimes the Southern US for shows. Basically we were a rodeo family, wranglers, belt buckles and all. We grew potatoes, corn, squash, tomatoes and more! Now that I’ve moved off, I’ve come to realize how amazing it was to grow up so close to nature mostly outside the reach of technology and such.

Views Of My Home Town From Hanging Rock State Park!

Middle school was the worst! Bullies, horrible teachers/faculty, and all the other perils of the teenage world made middle school essentially the worst three years ever. All of that angst fueled a giant F-you to the haters by “graduating” top of my class and giving the most ironically moving speech of my life thus far.

In high school I started my journey into track and field. Due mostly to good genetics, school came pretty easily and allowed me to put most of my latent energy into learning to pole vault. Surrounded by an amazing high school coach (Shout out to Rodney King), club coaches (Eric Morrell, Spencer Frame, Van Hall), supportive parents and dedicated team members, track and field truly changed my life! This sport taught me to cherish my body for its strength, power through defeat, win graciously and compete with no one but myself (See: My Law School Application Packet). Four state championships (NCHSAA 1A) later and I was off to Radford University on an athletic scholarship.


College Years

Radford, allegedly the “party school of Virginia,” was an absolute culture shock. Despite offering the most challenging science curriculum I would face in undergrad, the level of alcohol exposure, amplified by athletic traditions, was atrocious. Of course this only lasted through the “off season.” Being an athlete on scholarship, under the direction of a military Esc coach was a brutal wake up. 20+ hours of practice and weightlifting a week tore us all down, and built us back up as true athletes. Sadly I faced an injury that year resulting in a painful retirement. To avoid out of state tuition and get a new start away from broken athletic dreams, I transferred to the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Competing for Radford University

At UNCW I (on a whim) went through sorority recruitment that lead to more life lessons than I could have ever imagined. Yes being a member of Alpha Gamma Delta was loads of fun, but serving on the leadership from Athletic Chair to Vice President Campus Relations taught me more than most of my undergraduate courses.   Ultimately I earned a B.S. in Environmental Science in a total of 3.5 years and graduated Cum Laude.
Bonus fact: I met/ fell in love with my amazing boyfriend Josh during senior year Ecology

My Amazing Little and Grand Little

My summers during college were spent completing laboratory internships with NASA Ames Research Center, and one with RTI International. In both settings I was fortunate enough to work with some amazing scientists and engineers on developing world sanitation technologies. These projects sparked my interest in international affairs and ironically proved to me that scientific research is not the way I want to pursue those affairs.

Celebrating a Second Summer at NASA Ames

In the end I went out on a limb my senior year and applied to the University of Arizona. With no time to study for the LSAT while completing senior year requirements and over coming a severe concussion (More on that in a future post), U of A’s acceptance of the GRE was basically a sign from heaven. This allowed me to safely take a chance on my law future while still being able to apply to scientific graduate programs (for which I was far more logically qualified).

So I put all my JD eggs in the U of A basket and it worked!

Now you’re basically caught up on the outline of my life from peewee rodeo to law school!

In Short:

Hometown: Lawsonville, NC
Past Activities: Track and field, soccer, cheerleading, gymnastics, barrel racing
Past Jobs: Diner waitress, gymnastics coach, Republican Party rep, nanny
Internships: NASA Ames, GOP, and RTI International
Education: B.S. Environmental Science, UNC- Wilmington
First Big Girl Job: Environmental Consultant for NASA Ames under TRI-EHI

Town: Tucson, AZ
Activities: distance running, cycling, rock climbing, yoga, ballet, and hiking
Job: Full time student
Law School: University of Arizona, James E Rogers College of Law 

Click here to learn more about the global sanitation crisis.

3 thoughts on “Life Before Law School”

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