Valerie Balch

Class of 2013

B.A., Law, Societies, and Justice
University of Washington

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

My path to law school began with my participation in the YMCA’s Youth and Government program. The program gave me the opportunity to consider how laws impact the everyday lives of the people in my South Seattle community. While debating bills with other high school students, I began to understand how the values, policies, and worldviews of individuals create the legal framework within which we all must live. It was this understanding that inspired me to study Law, Societies, and Justice, and Human Rights as an undergraduate.

How has Seattle University School of Law benefited you? What have you found most valuable during your law school experience?

Seattle University School of Law has benefitted me in more ways than I could ever express. If I had to choose the single most valuable experience I have had at SU, it would have to be the quality of the Legal Writing Department. The small classes, the willingness of the professors to meet one-on-one as much as a student needs, and the quality of in-class instruction are unparalleled. I will be a better advocate because of the tireless help I have received from professors who truly want to help every student succeed.

The School of Law has also benefitted me by providing endless opportunities to connect to a community of like-minded legal professionals. From Social Justice Mondays, to mentoring programs, to the numerous workshops, symposia, and student organizations, there are so many ways SU makes law school feel like a community of critical thinkers, rather than means to a graduate degree.

What are your goals after law school?

I hope to work as a prosecutor or public defender, or within a non-profit organization, doing impact litigation.

Read more student stories