F. Chase Bonwell

Chase BonwellClass of 2021

BA in Political Science & Law, Societies, and Justice
University of Washington, Seattle

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

I always knew that I wanted to go to law school, so while an undergrad, I worked in two law firms and got involved in the largest prelaw student organization. As president of that organization I focused on making the legal sphere more accessible to students who were still determining if law school was right for them. The discussions I had with practicing attorneys and summer associates were eye-opening. I enjoyed hearing about what their day-to-day work entailed and I enjoyed hearing stories of success.

One of my jobs was in a firm that served the student body at UW, and seeing the look of relief on our clients' faces clinched it for me. Law school was a go.

Why did you choose Seattle U?

I'm from Seattle and I want to stay in Seattle, so Seattle U's location and huge network of alumni in town was a big draw. One of my degrees from UW was social justice, so Seattle U's commitment to champion social justice really sealed the deal for me. I really enjoy the small school feel, too. The faculty really care about the success of the students, and I'm thankful for that. I've developed close relationships with some of my professors, and they are immensely valuable.

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

I am the Academic Standards Representative on the Student Bar Association, and the vice president of Outlaws. I'm also a member of the Tax Law Society, the Business & Entrepreneurship Law Society, and the Intellectual Property Law Society. This summer I'll be working within the Washington Court of Appeals, too.

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

The people. The people at Seattle U are truly remarkable. The professors are in your corner and are more than willing to give advice, answer questions, and, most importantly, just listen. I think the fact that some professors are also alumni really speaks to how much of a family Seattle U is. The school is diverse and supports its affinity groups really well.

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

I spend a lot of my time studying and networking, and I'm often at the school on the weekends. But when I do take a break, I enjoy all the different coffee shops — Café Vivace is my favorite. I try to find any rooftop I can to see the city from different perspectives — the skyline is one of my favorite aspects of Seattle. A few friends and I also make regular trips to Nordstrom for some retail therapy.

What advice would you offer a prospective law student?

Take breaks. Pushing through for six hours after class will not help. Treat it like a job: 8 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. I’m trying to reteach myself not to come to school on the weekends.

Law school is hard, but it is fun. There are odd aspects of every class that make going every day worth it. I'm stressed, but I would do it all over again.

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