Okay, we're recording now. So, um, before I get into the questions, I'm just going to ask if you could possibly give me your first and last name and spell it please.
Sure. Nicole has the first name and I see Oh, Ali. And the last name is Val can be like Victor a. H. I like Larry. Hey a and like Mary P like Paul.
And what's your occupation?
I'm a second year law student at the University of Miami School of Law.
Okay. And what are your preferred pronouns?
I, I just don't do that.
Okay. Um, so you went undergrad at the University of Maryland, right? Yes. Um, what did you study while you were at Maryland?
I studied government. I was a double major in government and politics and economics.
And why did you choose to study that? Did you know that you wanted to go to law school or No,
I had an idea that I might go to law school I had done Model United Nations in high school where we do a lot of research and debate different issues. And so I thought maybe I would want to go to law school. I also chose University of Maryland because it was close to Washington DC and I was able to take advantage of a lot of great internships. But actually, I didn't go to law school straight out of undergrad. I had another career in business before this. So as a government politics major, you're required to take an economics class to fulfill the major requirements and I took that class and really fun public economics. So then I had an economics as a second major. And I took I sort of veered off of the Law School Route Manager, the Business Route. And so I had a career in finance and marketing before deciding ultimately that I wanted to go to law school, but I've always been interested in the law and the intersection between the law and societal issues.
And are you originally from Maryland?
I'm actually from Chicago originally and I came to University of Maryland because I was offered a Bannockburn Scholarship, which was a very generous scholarship from the University and an incredible opportunity in the laundry right now. But that was a great opportunity. And that's really what made my decision to come to the University of Maryland.
And so you kind of like, got into this a little bit, but could you describe the process that led to you eventually, like applying and attending Miami law?
Sure. Yeah. I decided after a few years of working in business, I decided that I wanted to go to law school and I I was already living in Florida actually at the time. So I I knew that I wanted to stay in Florida for my career. And so I applied to the University of Miami School of Law after visiting and forth the campus and meeting some students and had a really good experience with the law school. And when I was accepted and offered, also another very generous scholarship from the University of Miami School of Law. I made my decision to come here.
Okay. Um, so did you move to Florida right after college for a job?
No, I had my I like I said, I was working and finance and marketing. I had started my own marketing consulting firm. And I was working remotely actually, even much before the COVID pandemic I've been working remotely for. Gosh, I've been already working remotely for at least five years. And so I moved to Florida, just because I really liked it. And I liked Miami. And I wanted to change from the weather of where I'm originally from Chicago. And so I was running my business from down here.
And what types of like, summer studies or even like during the year or internships have you done while you're at Miami?
Sure. I so you're one all year it's very difficult to do anything other than school so I did not have any other internships. I went to Europe this past summer I worked at the US Attorney's Office and the appellate division. And that was a great experience. I got to watch oral arguments and sign up on circuit and I got to work on an appellate brief that was filed a few months ago on behalf of the government. And then this semester I'm interning with Judge Altman. He's a federal judge in the Southern District of Florida. And next semester, I will be interning with judges across whose federal republic she's a bankruptcy judge in the southern She's the Chief actually the chief bankruptcy judge in the Southern District of Florida.
And what are your aspirations like for your career in the future?
I think that's a hard question to ask the two hour lawyer. I mean, a two hour law student but I will I will continue to I really found the Miami legal community to be incredibly tight knit and supportive. And I am so glad that I'm a part of the Miami legal community. And so I definitely plan to stay here in Miami. And I think that I will begin my practice and litigation I would love to eventually be a prosecutor with the US Attorney's office here in the Southern District. And beyond that, I can't really say but I will be participating in this community for for the near and long term future.
Is there like a specific type of law that you want to go into or no?
Well, to be a prosecutor with the US Attorney's Office means that I would be prosecuting criminal offences and I don't know if in the long run, I will only be practicing criminal law. I think I would really only want to do that as a prosecutor and then in litigation, it's generally general litigation that they have you started on so it's hard for me to say without much experience, what type of litigation I might want to specialize in. I am going to be taking classes and sec and investigations. So investigating things like fraud and Ponzi schemes. I'll take classes on that and the spring semester since I do have the business and the finance background. I think that's an interesting way to to use that background. I'm also going to be taking a class on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and I'm actually writing my law review for the Inter American law review article on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. So another kind of intersection between fraud and abuses of business power abuses by managers and corporations when they pay bribes to foreign officials. So I'll take a class on that and I'll write my law review article on that. And I'm hopefully also going to participate in an international business seminar. So I'm trying to find ways to leverage my business and finance background as a relates to the law.
Cool and do you have what would be your advice for students applying to law school, and students in law school right now even though you are in law school?
My advice for students applying to law school in what respect is there are certain areas and there's a lot of different
just generally like how to handle it or maybe if they don't get into the law school they want or like how to even choose law schools.
Okay, how to, how to handle the application process? I would say work work hard to do well on the LSAT because that will obviously open the most doors for you as possible and it will also help you with getting a scholarship. So it is worth it to properly prepare, do a lot of practice. Tests. Take a course you know do whatever you can to do really well on the LSAT because that's the key to good opportunities. I will say that it is good to apply to schools that are stretch schools when you're applying, but also apply to schools that aren't stretch schools because those schools will give you scholarships and you can leverage the scholarship offers from other schools when you're negotiating with the school that you might want to go to so I personally was able to negotiate my salary based on I mean not salary, my my scholarship based on all their scholarships that I had offered. So you can you can look in the rankings and see kind of what schools are maybe a little below or above whatever your dream school might be and apply there as well just to open off scholarship opportunities for yourself. Even if you're never going to go there. Just apply because they might offer you a scholarship and you can leverage that that's something that I think it's really important that people don't talk about it. I think that in making your decision. There's two factors that get glossed over that are really important. One is to go where they give you money, the debt that's associated with paying full tuition at law schools, especially at a private school can be enormous. It's not just the tuition, it's also your living expenses that you have to be prepared to pay for three years. So definitely leverage scholarships go where they give you money. There's also really good public universities that you know have lower scholarships. I don't know if you're writing this from Maryland or for you on law, so you might not want to talk about the universities but there are public universities that offer that offer lower tuitions and NASA big deal. The other thing is to go. You can really consider going to law school in the state where you eventually want to live in practice. That's what made a large part of my decision to go to the University of Miami School of Law. I wanted to be in Miami. I wanted to start networking right away as a law student, which is something I've done and I've been able to leverage that network in order to get so great opportunities that I've had it was through networking that I was able to get an opportunity with Judge Altman and also an opportunity with Judge so cloth to be an intern this year. Those networking opportunities that you know three years of school is an opportunity where if you are smart and you network Well, when you graduate law school, you can have a huge network in the city that you live in if you if you've done that well. And that will help you you know, that will just open doors in terms of where you want to have your first job but not only where you want to have your first job but also just knowing people you know, knowing the council sitting across to the table, if you're in court or you're assisting on something. You'll have internships with judges and you'll learn how judges think and how judges right so going to school in the state that you want to practice in can be enormously helpful. It has been for me at least.
I'm great. I think that's it for my questions. But is there anything that I haven't asked that you wanted to talk about?
Please, who is where is this being published just so that I can know who the audience is?
It's, it's in the University of Maryland, student newspaper at the time and back.
Oh, okay, great. That's wonderful. What else do I want to say to people for Maryland? I would just say something that was great about the University of Maryland. In my experience, I don't know how this fits into your article, but being close to DC gave me a lot of opportunities to take that Metro down and turn and get some professional experience. And I think one of the things that's really helped me law schools the fact that I have had professional experience, I would really encourage students to take a year off rather than going straight through from undergrad to law school. In my experience, that's the students who have a little bit of life experience and work experience seem to handle the stress of law school better and perform better at law school. So I think it's really worthwhile to have jobs and internships and I loved that about University of Maryland. I also had really fantastic professors of the University of Maryland who are able to help guide me with career choices and just who I could run ideas by. So for an undergraduate student who might be thinking about going to law schools undecided you know, I didn't go I actually took the LSAT in college and decided not to go right away. But you talk to professors, you know, they have different experiences and you may not you know, take all of their advice but the professors that diverse in Ireland I found to be incredibly open and welcoming and making my choices. Okay, great.