One expects that a college education will be transformative. For alumni of the Law, Societies, and Justice Program, that certainly appears to be the norm.
“It completely changed how I looked at problems in the world, problems that I deal with professionally, issues, own personal values and beliefs,” said Doug McManaway, who graduated in 2010 and currently works as an Admissions Analyst for the Washington Bar Association.
McManaway is one of 16 alums featured in a video recorded at the 10th anniversary bash in October. In the video, the alums describe how LSJ has made them more well-rounded and how they have a better understanding of the world as a result of their education. They also shared their favorite memories of their time at the University of Washington along with the advice they would give to seniors.
Today, LSJ has about 150 majors, a dynamic faculty and a nationally-recognized reputation as an innovative socio-legal studies program. As the recent five-year review of the program explained: “LSJ remains one of the leading American interdisciplinary programs for the study of law and society at the undergraduate level. It has pioneered the study of comparative legal phenomena. The analysis of law beyond the American legal landscape is integrated into the curriculum here at a level that remains unparalleled.”
The alums spoke about how LSJ has prepared them for their current jobs, which range from job developer for people with disabilities to a high school speech and debate coach to a strategist and organizer for a campaign committee.
“My first class in LSJ was Crime, Politics and Justice with Steve Herbert, it’s the class that made me want to do LSJ as a major,” said Martina Kartman, who graduated in 2009 and now works for the Institutions Project at Columbia Legal Services. “It applies to what I’m doing now and I’ve even re-read the books I read my freshman year.”
Britni Miles, who graduated in 2009 and now works as a job developer for people with disabilities, said that she was most remembered the passion and drive that LSJ students have in common. “They just really want to learn, they have that hunger for knowledge, and I think that LSJ more than any other major on campus really brings that thirst for knowledge,” said Miles.
The alums said that the most important thing for students to do was to network. Nichelle Alderson, who graduated in 2006, and works as a forensic social worker for the Defender Association. “I would advise graduating students to get involve with the area that they are most interested and passionate about and to get involved in the community,” said Alderson. “Really get heavily enmeshed in that community.”
Mayli Hodak, who graduated in 2004, and works for Umqua Bank said that it was especially important for students to stay in touch after they graduate. “Keep in contact with everybody that you can, years after graduation, you’ll loose contact and those people that you’ve gone through school with can be valuable for getting you set up for your next adventure in life,” said Hodak.
Jonathan Lee who graduated in 2006 and is currently an attorney in the Seattle area said that students should never forget the reasons why they chose to be an LSJ major. “Never forget what you’ve learned. Never forget who you’ve worked with and never forget why you initially went into this major,” said Lee.
This article was composed by Charlotte Anthony.