Reflections of a Nasty Woman

Law school has been a wonderful learning experience for me. UCI Law shaped my feminism from wanting to be more like men to wanting to be more like whatever the hell I want. It made me more independent, a better listener, and more understanding. It has certainly made me more liberal—and defined what my liberalism is to me. It made me recognize my and others’ privileges.

This school—and the students and professors I have met here—have helped me grow and gain knowledge I didn’t even know was out there. This is the school where I found my passions (criminal justice and reproductive justice if that’s not obvious from my Facebook posts and class contributions). This is the school where I found my career path. Being a public defender allows me to practice criminal justice and reproductive justice on a daily basis. It allows me fight a system that creates steep, downhill pathways for poor people and people of color to end up incarcerated. It allows me to stand up to the injustices of our “justice” system.

My time at UCI Law was also a time of firsts for me. It was the first time my partner and I lived together, and it has brought us so much closer. It’s where we got our first puppy, the famous Learned Paw, who is the best and cutest dog of all time in my unbiased opinion. It was the first time I cried over a presidential election (not tears of joy). And it was the first time in my life I truly got politically involved: I went to the Women’s March in Santa Ana, I started calling and writing my representatives about issues I care about, I (obviously) read court cases, and I watch the news regularly. Because of my privilege and my ignorance, these very simple things have shed light on issues that I don’t experience in my daily life.

UCI Law has changed me in a lot of ways. The professors and students here have taught me to speak up and question everything. The friends I have made are some of the smartest, funniest, and most passionate people I have ever met in my life—and I know you all will make great attorneys. I’ll miss being a part of this campus community, but I rest easy knowing that we’re all still a part of this #soUCI community for the rest of our lives.