Ethan hails from Mercer, WA and is in his second year at Duke University School of Law, where he recently won the school’s premier moot court competition, the Dean’s Cup.
How did you decide you wanted to pursue a law degree?
I decided I wanted to be a lawyer when I was in middle school. I knew I enjoyed solving problems with logic, reason, and research, and I liked problems that involved people. As I got older, my interest in law only grew. I came to see it not just as a set of rules, but a system for civilizing conflict.
How did Ursinus’ politics major and pre-law program help prepare you law school?
The prelaw program at Ursinus prepared me extremely well for law school. The opportunity to take law classes as an undergraduate student really prepared me to think like a lawyer. The moot court class in particular was a great help in readying me for this competition. Without it, I don’t think I would have ever discovered my passion for appellate law. My education as a politics major has also given me many useful skills in law school. I came to law school as an experienced writer and researcher. But I also have a deep appreciation of the principles that animate my legal studies. My training from Ursinus has given me a broader view of how the law is created, what it is, and why it matters. Legal education tends to be very focused and analytical, so this perspective has thus far made my experience at law school much richer.
Piece of Advice
For students looking to prepare for law school, I have a few pieces of advice. First, make sure you want to be a lawyer. It is an excellent profession, but it’s not for everyone. Make sure you spend plenty of time talking with practitioners before committing to law school. Ask a lot of questions, and get a concrete idea of why the law appeals to you. Second, have an idea of where you might want to practice law. Most law schools’ best connections are local, and attending school near where you would like to work can be a huge boon. Third, spend plenty of time talking to your prelaw advisor and take as many prelaw classes as you can. Coming into law school with even the slightest edge can help make the first year far less stressful. Last, study very hard for the LSAT.
What do you plan to do when you graduate?
After I graduate I will be going to New York City to work as a litigator at the firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel.