It is easy to get bogged down with each task and responsibility, but remembering what your ultimate purpose and goals are allows you to continue to work hard and achieve with perseverance.
For a number of reasons, Suzanne Taylor isn't your typical second-year law student. She didn't grow up aspiring to be an attorney, but instead she felt a calling to learn the law. Fostering an open-minded approach has served to enrich Taylor's experiences. Aside from her studies, she has taken part in the law school's advocacy programs as well as secured internships and employment in the public sector. She serves as a mentor for undergraduate women in the Sigma Phi Lamba sorority and, along with her husband, teaches Sunday school.
Learn more about Student of Integrated Scholarship Suzanne Taylor in this question-and-answer session.
What got you interested in your major?
Being involved in the Student Government Association my senior year of my undergraduate education opened my eyes to the possibility of law school. Through many doors opening and with very intentional conversations with mentors, I felt confident that law school is where I needed to be.
What courses are you taking this semester?
Business Entities, Evidence, Texas Trial and Appellate Procedure, and Family Law. Also, national teams (moot court), which requires extensive research, preparing an argument, and performing your argument in competition with other law schools in the country; this is a wonderful opportunity to practice an oral argument while still in school to develop those skills needed in the working world.
What is the most challenging course you've taken? How has it affected you?
Administrative Law has been my most challenging course. The class sought to challenge each of us to not just learn the law but really apply it to specific situations and connect each piece of precedence to analyze how the law applies today. This class challenged me to know the materials well enough to follow the lecture in class and to analyze the law on a different level.
Have you completed internships or had other work experience applicable to your field of study?
I have worked for the criminal district attorney in the appellate division since this past May. Being a briefing intern, I have been given the opportunity to research, write briefs, and learn how the process works in a real situation. This has been a great experience of putting the lessons learned in class to practice. I have also been working in the President's Office at Texas Tech in the external relations and strategic initiatives area. This experience has been very beneficial. I have gained insight in how a law degree can be used in many nontraditional ways. I have been challenged to really analyze my passions and to seek an area of law that serves those interests rather than just accepting a traditional route.
What service projects (volunteering, community service, etc.) have you been involved in?
My husband and I have been helping to lead a college Sunday school class this year. It has been a huge treat to get to know these students and share our experiences to help guide them through their college years. Yet this opportunity has also taught us and reminded us of many lessons and perspectives we need to continue to maintain. Also, I serve as an Alumni Council member to Sigma Phi Lambda, an undergraduate Christian sorority. I have had the privilege of working with the current officers and leaders to make sure that each task is taken care of but also that each one of them is being poured into with encouragement and the Lord's wisdom. I love this organization, and being able to continue to help and play a role has been wonderful. Further volunteering has included Buckner's Children's Home, South Plains Food Bank, and World Vision.
What advice would you give to other students who would like to be a Student of Integrated Scholarship? Students of Integrated Scholarship balance academics with additional activities, such as research, internships, service learning, and study abroad.
I have been truly blessed to be able to be a part of each of these areas. I think it is important to maintain a "big picture" perspective. It is easy to get bogged down with each task and responsibility, but remembering what your ultimate purpose and goals are allows you to continue to work hard and achieve with perseverance. Personally, remembering that I have been placed in each of these positions because of the Lord's will has given me confidence to keep going and provided encouragement each step of the way.
What are your plans after graduation?
My plans after graduation continue to change, and I am exploring different possibilities. I am interested in working for the state government, a state agency, federal agency, or university. I enjoy studying areas of law, including intellectual property, constitutional law, and contracts. As time progresses, I look forward to seeing where doors open and where I feel called to serve.
What experiences do you value most as a student at Texas Tech?
As a law student, I value the opportunity to compete in advocacy competitions. Each year of law school, each student can compete in one or all of three competitions, including: mock trial, negotiations, and moot court. These competitions are a great way to get to know your fellow students as well as learn the process of being an attorney. It is a unique way to apply lessons from the classroom to more real-world practices while still in school.