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About Amanda: I am from a small town of about 1300 people. I am the first person in my family to attend a graduate or professional school and am one of a handful to have a Bachelor’s degree. Before attending law school, I did not know any lawyers. However, I have known from an early age that I wanted to become an attorney. I will be graduating in May and taking the Illinois State Bar in July.
Previous Legal and/or Professional Experience: I spent the summer after my 1L year working in the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office in the Child Advocacy Center. Last year, I secured a position in the Non-Governmental Organization Leadership and Development department and I am currently a teaching assistant for two classes: Community Leadership and Civil Engagement. I am also helping out with 20 upper level honors students with the class NGO’s in the News. Among other things, I do administrative work and am the social guru for the department.
This summer I had an awesome experience working at Bennett Law Firm in Oakbrook. The firm handles family law, such as pre/post decree issues, child support and maintenance. I drafted petitions, responses, sorted through discovery, drafted joint custody judgments, and attended pretrial conferences.
What activities are you involved in? My partner Tony Gough and I won the NIU Internal Moot Court competition and will be representing NIU at the external national competition along with Lindsey Claeyssen.
Why did you choose NIU Law? One of the features that attracted me to NIU Law was the small class sizes. After attending a large institution, I was refreshed by going to a school with 100 students in my class and 300 students total. In addition, I was really able to get to know my professors during the first year, and a couple of professors really went out of their way to ensure that we met with them. For the first time, I never felt like talking to a professor was an impractical option, because the professors encouraged us to ask questions. In addition, I have found the Office of Career Opportunities to be hugely helpful. I did not know a whole lot about networking, building a resume, or writing cover letters. The Office of Career Opportunities has been helpful with all of my professional needs and has hosted numerous valuable networking events that I have found beneficial.
This interview was conducted in Fall 2013.
Graduation Year: 2014
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Undergraduate Major: English and Communication
St. Anne, Illinois