Kristin Bateman

Kristin BatemanClass of 2018

Bachelor of Music, Flute Performance
Bachelor of Arts, English
St. Olaf College

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

My path has not been a traditional one — before coming to law school, I enjoyed an active career as a flutist, orchestral musician, and teacher, which took me all over the U.S. as well as Europe. While a doctoral music student at Arizona State University, however, I became interested in arts advocacy and administration and decided to pursue a legal career.

I am drawn to the rigor of legal studies and the tremendous civic as well as professional education law school provides. A career in the law can also be tailored to individual interests and passions. I look forward to using my studies and eventual legal career to enrich and benefit my hometown Seattle arts community.

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

My focus in law school thus far has been achieving excellent grades, networking with the Seattle legal community, and excelling on the Law Review. My proudest contribution to the SU Law community has been my continued work for the Law Review. An English major in college, I love language, grammar, and editing. My enthusiasm makes my work for the Law Review truly enjoyable to me, and I am very proud to be an incoming Lead Article Editor for the upcoming Issue 41. Academically, I have enjoyed exploring my interests in intellectual property, arts law, nonprofit management, and international issues. Last summer, I was fortunate to study EU business regulation in Spain with SU’s fantastic Madrid Program.

As an admissions fellow at SU Law, I serve as a student representative of the law school (sometimes the first point of contact) to prospective students. I love answering questions about the admissions process, giving tours of the law school, and offering advice to future colleagues at the very beginning of their legal careers. I take this position very seriously and am proud to represent SU Law in this capacity.

Outside school, I have maintained a very active and fulfilling life as a professional musician. I play flute and piccolo with a number of ensembles in the greater Seattle area, including Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, Saratoga Orchestra, Seattle Rock Orchestra, Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra, Everett Philharmonic Orchestra, and Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra. I also teach flute privately and give masterclasses to students of all ages and levels of proficiency. This fall I look forward to joining the board of the Seattle Flute Society, a wonderful organization that presents world-class recitals, masterclasses, lectures, and workshops for Seattle area flutists. I’m also an enthusiastic proponent of Seattle’s new music scene, both as a player and an audience member.

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

Practical experience is the single most important aspect of legal education. This experience starts with SU’s top-ranked legal writing program, which teaches crucial legal research and writing skills, in addition to oral advocacy. I have already put my legal writing chops to good use with a criminal defense law blogging job, which requires me to research current Washington state cases and legal news to report on for the blog.

After getting their feet wet in legal writing, SU students have a number of great opportunities both in the Seattle legal community and beyond to do legal work in real-world settings before graduation. Last summer, I had an amazing externship with the in-house legal department at Seattle Symphony. In that position, I was able to do real legal work for an arts organization I love while learning on the job from an incredible mentor, Bernel Goldberg, SSO’s general counsel. This summer, I’ll have another in-house experience with the legal department at DocuSign, an international electronic signature company. After that experience concludes in August, I’ll move on to a full-time fall externship with the Federal Trade Commission’s Seattle office.

All these great opportunities were realized through SU connections and the wonderful work of SU’s externship office and the Center for Professional Development!

What advice would you offer a prospective law student?

Don’t take yourself so seriously! Relax, be curious, and take advantage of the tremendous privilege it is to be a law student. Work hard, but don’t fret so much about your grades, or whether your classmates are studying more or doing better than you are. Get some exercise, stay hydrated (coffee and wine don’t count), sleep (seriously, sleep!), do things that take you away from school, and don’t spread yourself too thin (which is very easily done in a place with so many wonderful programs as SU).

I myself have broken all these “rules,” but I try every day to get a little better at work-life balance. You will be a better law student (and a better lawyer) if you get out every now and then to smell the roses.

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