By: Jeana Quinlan
Coe alumnae Samantha Toman ‘21 and Laura Niday ‘20 teamed up with Coe’s Center for Creativity, Careers, and Community (C3) to host a question and answer session for students who are interested in pursuing law school.
Toman and Niday are both in their first year of law school. Toman is a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, while Niday attends the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.
The Zoom session included questions about how their Coe experience helped prepare them for law school, the law school admissions process, and their experience as first-year law students.
“I have probably an unconventional story of how I decided to go to law school,” said Niday.
Niday decided to pursue law school during a road trip she took when her summer job was canceled due to COVID-19.
“I got an email from one of the philosophy professors at Coe saying, ‘Hey, have you ever considered law school?’”
“Right then and there, I was like, I can do it,” said Niday, “I could try law school.”
Niday would like to one day work on Capitol Hill. While attending Coe, Niday took part in the D.C. Term and interned for a U.S. Senator.
Toman decided to go to law school in the spring of her sophomore year. As a first-generation college student and the first in her family to go to law school, she asked Coe professor Josh Christensen for help navigating the law school admissions process.
Toman gave advice to students in choosing which law school they would like to attend.
“Not only look at schools that have areas of practice that you’re interested in, but also think about the location,” said Toman. “It’s easier to find internships where there’s more community connections, you might want to consider that factor when you’re searching for a law school.”
Both Niday and Toman said that their experiences at Coe helped prepare them to ask questions and communicate with professors at law school.
“People always talk about how cold calls are so scary and yeah, they are,” said Niday.
“But if you’re prepared, even if you’re nervous, the professor’s gonna help you out. It’s important to be confident in yourself and be prepared for class.”
Toman said that having smaller, more discussion-based classes at Coe helped prepare her for the type of discussion that is required in law school.
“My [first-year] classes are 70 people per section,” said Toman.
“That was an adjustment from Coe, but I feel like it transferred over well,”“I was comfortable talking, I was comfortable being prepared, I was comfortable asking questions,”
“My peers that came from big universities were in more of a shell-shocked situation,” said Toman, of the amount of discussion expected at law school.A recording of the session is available to students in an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Students with questions can contact email@example.com