How My Experience at Davidson College Helped Get Me Through Law School

By Emily Palmer ’17

Davidson provided me with the opportunity to take law-related classes as an undergraduate, which confirmed my desire to go to law school. At Davidson, I took classes like Criminology, Legal Research and Writing, Constitutional Law, and Constitutional Police Procedure. These classes mirrored some of the most important classes I would take in law school, and my early experience with reading court cases put me well ahead of my peers during my first year at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.

As a political science major, I was also able to study some of the greatest leaders in American political history. From studying politicians to civil rights leaders, my classes at Davidson always emphasized the importance of leadership and service. Helping others is a constant theme at Davidson—whether through philanthropic fundraisers or volunteer opportunities—and I believe that my time at Davidson is what sparked my interest in a career in public service and criminal prosecution.

Clerking in the Family Violence and Major Crimes Divisions of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, I have witnessed firsthand the suffering of domestic violence victims, and the deep, unfathomable pain of families of murder victims. I have watched victims find the incredible strength to testify against their abusers in pursuit of justice, and I have seen the overwhelming relief of victim’s families when justice has been served. These experiences with the LADA’s office have allowed me to grow as an individual and have made me deeply appreciate how public service benefits local communities. Davidson is responsible for instilling within me the values needed for prosecution: ethics, honor, and empathy, and for that I will always be grateful.

Davidson also provided me with an incredible mentor and advisor—Dr. Susan Roberts. Dr. Roberts supported me in every possible way during my years at Davidson. She was always a sounding board for my career aspirations and internship searches, a supporter of my extra-curricular activities, and is someone that even now I can go to for advice. My relationship with Dr. Roberts taught me the importance of having mentors in your life, and the value of surrounding yourself with people you can go to for guidance. I have been lucky enough to find mentors every step of the way through law school and working at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. Without them, I know that I would not have made it through college or law school.

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