Ali Harris

Ali HarrisClass of 2022

BA in Spanish
Pacific Lutheran University

What did you do before law school, and what led to you pursue a law degree?

After college, I wanted to use my Spanish skills to assist migrants from South America who were beginning a new life in the United States. In that pursuit, I found myself working at an immigration law firm, helping Spanish speakers apply for DACA and U Visas. I knew nothing about the law, but I quickly discovered that I enjoyed learning about it. After a couple of years, I chose to expand my legal experience by taking a job as a paralegal in the criminal division at the U.S. Attorney's Office. I have been there for five years and have loved every moment. Working with a team of lawyers who are passionate and driven by social justice is what made me want to pursue a law degree myself.

Why did you choose Seattle U?

I chose Seattle University because it offers an evening program that allows me to pursue a law degree while continuing to work full-time at a job that I love. I had made the decision that I wanted to go to law school, but at this point in my life, it did not make sense for me to quit my job and go to school full-time. The evening program made Seattle U an easy choice for me because I did not have to give up my financial independence or the work I enjoy in order to study law. It was the best decision I have ever made.

What activities are you involved in at the law school or in the community?

I joined the Moot Court Board in the fall of my 1L year. I have really enjoyed being a part of this organization, which runs mock trial events and gives law students an opportunity to practice their trial and advocacy skills. As a 2L, I will be serving on the Executive Board of the Moot Court Board, organizing national and regional competitions for our students. I also competed in the 1L Mock Trial this spring, which was an incredibly fun and rewarding experience. Aside from Moot Court Board, I am the president of Future Prosecutors for Social Justice, which hosts guest speakers on campus to talk about the important role that prosecutors play in social justice. Once I have enough credits to be eligible, I also hope to join Law Review.

What have you found most valuable during your law school education?

For me, the community has been the most valuable part of law school. Law school is a unique experience that can feel both exciting and overwhelming at the same time. It is comforting to be a part of a community where everyone is working to toward a common goal and wants to see each other succeed. In my experience, the students at Seattle U are genuinely interested in the success of their peers and future colleagues, and I really value the culture here for that reason.

What do you do outside of law school? What do you love about Seattle?

When I am not in school or studying, I am spending time with my boyfriend, friends, and family. I love how scenic Seattle is. I was born and raised in the area, and I still never tire of seeing the mountains and the water. When the sun comes out, I love to go for walks along the water, or go to one of the outdoor markets. This summer you will find me camping and paddle boarding every chance I get!

What advice would you offer a prospective law student?

I would tell prospective law students to go for it. Many people tried to discourage me from going to law school because it is costly, intensive, and there are no guarantees of landing your dream job. I am so glad I did not listen! While there is some truth to those precautions, I will never regret furthering my education or expanding my career options. If law school is something that you really want to do, then do it. Things will work out. And, once you are in law school, take time to enjoy it because it flies by. It can feel overwhelming at times, but it is important to stop in the busiest of moments, realize how far you have it made and be proud of yourself for that.

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