Alexandra Byrd JD ’14
Second-year law student Alexandra Byrd became interested in studying law while in high school. "I took a law class, working on cases and participating in mock trial. I liked the process of putting a case together and seeing it through," she says.
After studying psychology and sociology at George Washington University, Byrd moved to Round Lake, Ill. to work with under-resourced, high-potential high school students as part of AmeriCorps. Following her year of service work, she volunteered in an elementary school while applying to law school.
When Byrd began considering places to study, she was not sure what she wanted in a law school and ended up applying to 19 schools. Shortly before putting down a deposit at another school, Byrd came to the Quinnipiac campus for an interview weekend. She couldn't have been more impressed.
"I met Professor Jennifer Brown," she explains. "She was so passionate about teaching and I was impressed by her words of praise for her colleagues."
Byrd was also struck by the students at Quinnipiac School of Law. "I was impressed by the kinds of people who studied here. For instance, one student I met had earned her Master's and found her inspiration to study juvenile law while living abroad in Africa. I was inspired by the students I met and I knew these were the type of people I wanted to surround myself with in the classroom."
This past summer, Byrd wanted to gain a range of legal experience and took on three jobs. She experienced public interest law by volunteering for Connecticut Legal Services helping with disability appeals. She also worked for a private firm in Hamden doing criminal appellate work and conducted research with Professor Brown. After completing her degree, Byrd hopes to work for a Connecticut or New England firm doing complex litigation or white-collar criminal defense.
She explains that her legal education at Quinnipiac is helping her reach her goals. "The best parts about Quinnipiac are the small classroom sizes and the relationships with professors," Byrd says.
"Going to a large undergraduate university, I never felt overly confident to approach my professors. Professors here really encourage you to talk with them. I remember specifically that on the last day of class Professor Brown told students that she saw the student/teacher relationship as one that continues. She told us to feel comfortable calling her up 15 years from now with a professional question. I thought that was amazing."
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