BA 2013, Classics (Latin) with a Biology minor
Epps Prize 2012
Law Student, Columbia University Law School
I graduated from UNC in 2013, worked in Bangkok, Thailand as a Luce Scholar in 2013-2014, and am now a third-year law student at Columbia Law School. I am primarily interested in international and criminal law. After graduating, I hope to clerk for a federal judge before pursuing a career in government or private practice.
Apart from being an engaging and rewarding way to spend four years, my study of Classics at UNC has been valuable to me in two primary ways: as a ground for world-class academic training and as a source of mentorship.
My Classics courses at UNC asked me to do much more than memorize and recite. Professor Jim O’Hara, who advised my thesis on Georgics, repeatedly pushed me to be a more careful reader and writer as I explored Vergil’s rich text. Along with many others in the department, Dr. O’Hara helped me develop skills that have served me well as an oral and written advocate in law school.
One of my dearest teachers and mentors, Professor Sharon James, once told me that she had considered a career in law, but abandoned the idea for fear that it would entail too much time spent with other lawyers. On the other hand, one can never be surrounded by too many classicists! In the three years since I graduated, I have tried to approach my legal studies with the eloquence, creativity, humility, attentiveness to detail, and sense of humor that Dr. James and her colleagues in the department exemplify.
I would advise all students considering the study of Classics to take the plunge! Or, at least, take a class as a first-year and get to know one or two professors in the department. It is not too late to pick up Latin or Ancient Greek–I started Greek as a sophomore. And for those who slept through high school Latin, I hope the foregoing has demonstrated that UNC offers Classics on an entirely different level.