MODG 2010 graduate Annie McCarthy is doing her Pepperdine Law School classes at home this week, online in ZOOM, because of the Coronavirus.
“It’s been surprisingly normal. We picked up where we left off in class last week. Everyone is making the best of the situation,” Annie said.
This is Annie’s first year in law school.
After graduating from the Great Books program at the University of Notre Dame, Annie worked as a grade school teacher and then an insurance underwriter.
In Fall 2018, Annie decided to apply to law school.
As a soon-to-be graduating high school student myself, I naturally had a few questions, and she was nice enough to answer them and not to mark the e-mail as spam.
What made you study law?
A few years after I graduated from college, I was working for an insurance company and studying to pass a series of exams to earn a professional designation. One of the exams was on contract law. I realized that I was interested in the material, and I looked forward to studying. I knew from talking to my co-workers that this wasn’t the typical reaction!
I started looking into law school: what the classes would be like, how much it would cost, and what I could do afterwards.
At first, I didn’t think that I could afford to go to law school, but when I looked into it more, I found that many of the schools I was interested in, particularly the Catholic law schools, offered generous merit scholarships.
What branch of law are you studying?
For the most part, first-year law students all take the same classes.
So far, I’ve had criminal law, civil procedure, legal research and writing, and torts (wrongs which lead to civil liability, but aren’t necessarily crimes).
Torts was my favorite class, because the cases we read were so interesting! A lot of the cases were stranger than anything I could make up.
How do you balance work, study, and prayer?
It’s a challenge! I learned pretty quickly that I would need to schedule my days to help me stay on top of my reading, studying, and writing assignments.
I also schedule other parts of my life, like running, talking to my family, and prayer.
Making time for prayer helped me stay healthy and focused during the high-pressure time before finals. (In most of our classes, the final exam counts for our entire grade.)
What was it like going to school, work, and back to school again?
Adjusting to being back in school hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be! I try to treat law school like a job, setting hours when I work and sticking to that schedule.
My experience at MODG helped me learn how to organize my time and set my own schedule; it also taught me discipline.
What do you plan on doing once you get your degree?
I’m trying to keep an open mind this year, because I’m learning so much about the different paths that I can take once I get my degree.