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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 also love country music, nail polish, and the Chicago Cubs.
Previous Legal and/or Professional Experience: I spent the summer of 2012 working in the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office. I was assigned to their Child Advocacy Center, which deals with child sex abuse cases for children sixteen and under. I was able to sit in on the entire trial process, beginning with the grand jury indictment, ending with the sentencing hearing. In addition, I was able to see a number of different hearings that disputed what evidence could be introduced at trial. The attorneys were very busy, so I was assigned to a variety of different research projects while also drafting discovery motions. One of the most rewarding experiences over the summer was assisting in convicting a defendant of criminal sexual abuse and conducting the research for a hearing.
This year, I have become a teaching assistant with the Center for Non-Governmental Organization Leadership and Development (NGOLD). I assist in teaching a 300-level class in addition to researching and finding effective ways to use social media. I also give presentations about NGOLD and provide information to undergraduate students about why they should want to major in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE).
What do you like the most about being at 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 2012.
Graduation Year: 2014
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Undergraduate Major: English and Communication
St. Anne, Illinois