Each person’s journey to law school is unique—there are as many reasons for going to law school as there are applicants. From family background to a passion for advocacy to winding career paths, there’s no wrong reason to decide that law school is for you.
We sat down with New York Law School students in our Day Division and NYLS Pro Evening Division to find out what drew them to apply for law school.
Q: Why did you choose to go to law school?
Caitlin McGuire ’25 Evening: My big reason for going to law school is to work for better schools and to improve schools throughout the community. Working with the clinical program and seeing the work that our students were doing in the legal clinics really showed me the big impact that lawyers can have in small ways or large ways. And working with the legal clinics and my passion for education made me really want to work towards advocating for better schools and making education policies and practices that are going to work for everyone, not just a small subset of people.
Elly Bergen ’23: I was really inspired to go to law school because of my upbringing. I am a fraternal twin, which has been a really exciting and interesting experience, and through that upbringing, I was able to observe the differences between equity and equality. And I was inspired to do my part to make the world a more equitable place. That’s why I decided to become an attorney and attend law school. And this summer, I hope to do my part. I will be pursuing corporate litigation in Big Law while balancing a very interesting amount of pro bono experiences.
Michael Lucatorto ’24: My big reason for coming to law school is simple: I didn’t grow up in a traditional family. I did have a mom and I did have a dad, but my parents got divorced when I was fairly young and my mom raised me for the most part with her same-sex partner. Throughout my entire life, the state and government refused to recognize my second mom as my actual mom. This confronted me every single day. I wasn’t able to get permission slips signed, my mom couldn’t go to parent-teacher conferences, and worst of all, when both of my moms separated, my other mom wasn’t able to get visitation rights over me. The state had essentially denied what I knew as my family. And that’s when I knew I needed to be an attorney, so I could work for all of the kids that lived in non-traditional families and nobody had to feel the otherness that I grew up with.
Darryl Bobb ’24 Evening: One of the reasons that I decided to go to law school happened a few months before I graduated undergrad. I was heading to work one day. I was a little bit late, and I was heading towards the bus, and I decided to jog to make up some time. Three plainclothes officers came out of an unmarked vehicle and approached me. I didn’t know they were police officers at the time. I was going to run back, but they stopped me and flashed the badge and announced themselves, so I stayed still. They asked me where I was going, who I was, and where I was coming from, and if I had ID on me. When I showed them my ID and my PBA card that I received from my high school basketball coach, that put them a little bit at ease, but one of the police officers in particular asked me, “Do you know anybody with guns in the area? There’s been a string of robberies. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that?”—kind of treating me like I was a suspect and everything, even after I told them I went to school and I was heading to work. That kind of unsettled me a lot. Even my family, they were worried about me because when I told them that nothing happened, they said, “but something could have happened, and you didn’t do anything.” And I was a little frustrated at that. It went one way because I knew my rights from school and learning that from all my professors, but I also realized that a lot of people in my neighborhood don’t know their rights and something as simple as running to school or running to work could potentially end them up in jail—or worse. So, that was one of my reasons for going to law school.
Sarah Raymond ’23: I went to law school because of my experience in undergrad. At Penn State, I studied supply chain and mathematics but couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do practically after graduation. And during my senior year, I took a business law class and fell in love with the way I could combine my analytical skills with a story that I was reading—a legal story. So, I think law school kind of checks all the boxes for me. I’m able to apply technical analysis to situations that really impact people, and I hope to make a difference in that way.