Student Spotlight: Katelyn Healy

Senior Katelyn Healy, a former member of the AMU Volleyball team turned Women's Golf player, has set her sights on law school after graduation. Hailing from Chicago, IL, she is a double major in Economics and Global Affairs & International Business. Katelyn's sharp wit, academic excellence, and determination to succeed has made her even more resolute in her career goals post-graduation. She describes herself as someone who invests her whole heart in relationships with other people, and a person who is dedicated to make the most of every opportunity presented to her. We got a chance to sit Katelyn down and pick her brain about the in's and out's of law school applications, her majors, and the impact she wishes to make on the world.

Hey, Katelyn! What inspired you to double major in Economics and Global Affairs & International Business?

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I've always been interested in how economics plays a role in our daily lives and society, as we are constantly being affected by the variations of economics on a micro and macro level. 

I also sought out the Global Affairs & International Business major because I want to possibly pursue a career in international law. I thought that the two majors combined would provide a solid foundation of knowledge from which I can build upon in law school.

Tell us all about your law school applications. 

I have applied to twelve law schools so far, and right now I'm in the process of weighing out financial options. Most of the schools I applied to are located in or around Chicago because it is a fantastic atmosphere (it's my home!) and I have experience working in the field there as well. 

I applied to University of Chicago, Northwestern University, DePaul University, Loyola University, John Marshall University, Chicago-Kent College of Law, and University of Illinois at Chicago. I'm also applying to schools here in Florida, such as University of Miami, Stetson University, and Ave Maria School of Law.

What do you hope to do once you graduate law school?

My long term goal is to become a judge. I find it to be more in line with what I want to do in the legal field and it will enable me to have a better work/life balance. As a judge, you have standard hours of work and you work in the same location, which is appealing considering its stability. However, I want to begin my career in law by being a practicing attorney. 

How was studying for and taking the LSAT? Do you have any advice for those preparing for law school?

Start studying as early as possible. Make it a priority, and incorporate it into your every day life so that it becomes a habit. I would fit studying in between my classes and work schedule so that way, if I had any free time, I dedicated it to LSAT preparation and used my time more productively.

I know how difficult it was trying to study for it while in school full time, on top of working a full time job in the summer, but you have to make it work for the sake of your score. I am thankful that I been studying as early as I did, because the test was hard. It was mentally exhausting, draining, and incredibly challenging. 

However, it was totally worth it and an experience that tested my will and patience.

What first made you interested in a career in law?

In eighth grade, my class had a few local attorneys and judges visit our classroom to help us with our school's Mock Trial team, and talk to us about their experiences in the legal field. Their help and influence really got the bug in my brain, so to speak, to look into a career in law.

I really wanted to pursue law, and I was fortunate enough to attend a high school with a very competitive Mock Trial team. I had to work hard to be one of the starting attorneys on the team, so it really motivated me from the beginning to be excellent in my career pursuits. I was able to become experienced in a trial-like atmosphere in a courtroom setting through that experience, which was invaluable to my pre-professional journey.

So, do you have any experiences in the legal field?

I've been working with in a law firm for the past two summers - and I'm going back this summer! - that specializes on medical malpractice and wrongful death, as well as personal injury cases. Essentially, the firm is a plaintiff's attorney. We represent individuals or families that have had these tragedies happen, so my experience there has been rewarding since the focus is on helping people.

Every case the firm takes on is reviewed by experts, which is helpful because it means that the cases all have legitimate or valid reasons for the suits the client is filing. It also helps the plaintiff discover what exactly they can do to obtain justice for medical malpractice or a wrongful death. I work full-time with the law firms during the summer, because I wanted to get as much experience as possible during my undergraduate career.

Additionally, I worked with a family law firm in Naples my sophomore and junior year. 

What was the most difficult thing that has ever happened to you, and how did you deal with it?

My freshman year, I injured my ankle playing volleyball. I had a severe fracture that needed surgery to correct, however I didn't recover well at all. Due to the failure of my initial surgery, the fall semester of my sophomore year was spent in and out of surgeries on my ankle - three total! I couldn't play the sport I loved (and what brought me to Ave in the first place), and I had to miss a lot of school for my multiple recoveries. I was on total bedrest because I was at a high risk for developing a hematoma, which caused me to miss five weeks worth of classes. Since I've always made academics a high priority, it was difficult to take a step back and take care of my health. 

It was especially difficult because I felt secluded in my dorm room, I was far from home recovering from major surgeries, and I felt like I was falling drastically behind in my school work. Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to have fantastic professors who helped me with my classes and assignments. They were incredibly flexible with assignments, tests, and due dates so that my health was taken care of while I still managed to complete the work needed to be done. It only made me appreciate the relationships I had with my professors more because I made sure to communicate with them openly and consistently about what I was going through, and what I needed help with. It's truly one of the advantages of attending a smaller university!

What is most important to you now, and why?

I'd have to say that what is important to me now is maintaining the wonderful relationships I have with other people. As we approach the end of our senior year, we are all going in many different directions and beginning a new chapter in our lives away from one another. I want to make it a priority to keep the bonds of friendship I've made and cultivate them in a new way. Fortunately, technology these days help facilitate distant connections, but I feel like it's so easy to lose contact in the midst of our busy lives and schedules. I think that making a consistent effort to keep and grow my relationships with others is one of the most important and vital aspects of life.