How has this internship influenced your (near) future school, career, or life plans?
Leaving school in April and going into the summer, my plan was to complete this internship and study for the LSAT. Then in the fall, I was going to take the LSAT and apply to law schools. Then, I would hopefully get my acceptance letter and plan on attending there Fall 2019 to study international law. However, as this summer progressed and I talked to many different people in the Executive Office, my supervisor, staff in the Political and ECOSOC sections, I found out that a law degree is not 100% necessary to secure a position in the government where you are making a difference in the world.
Many people, including myself, think, or thought, that a law degree is the only way to achieve their career aspirations, or be appointed to a position such as Secretary of State or be elected president. In the past, attaining a law degree was critical to the success of your career in politics. However, the current administration proves otherwise. Yes, Secretary Pompeo does have a law degree, but Ambassador Nikki R. Haley does not, and she is making strides every day in the United Nations. She is negotiating, making sure people all over the world are safe and secure, and using her experience as former governor and small business owner to create relationships with foreign dignitaries and influential politicians. She is unbelievably inspiring, hard-working, and determined to make a difference in this world. Many successful career politicians do not have a law degree, but they have earned the respect and have worked extremely hard to get where they are today.
Additionally, if you look back, there weren’t many option for women career-wise. Now, there are an abundance of options, and we are empowered to make a change and take on the world. If you are willing to put in the work, create a positive reputation for yourself, and learn how to accelerate your career in a way that puts you in a position to get those government positions, then you will have gotten yourself there, not your law degree.
Those in the executive office here at USUN, both with and without law degrees, have spoken positively on their graduate school experiences and have noted how their law degree has either helped them, or how having it did not actually get them the position they are in currently. I have questioned time and time again how having a law degree could possibly not help you get a job, even if you don’t directly apply what you learned in law school to your position. This is the question that brings a lot of uncertainty to my future, but I do feel a lot more comfortable not going to law school, at least right now, and pursuing a degree in public policy instead.
It is unbelievably important to have some sort of graduate degree, but I have come to the realization that unless you are actually going to practice law in the court room, that it is just financial, emotional, and mental stress that you might not actually need to get where your career aspirations take you. Well, the moral of the story is: My “plans” have changed a lot, but I know wherever I end up is where I am meant to be, with or without a law degree.