Lebanon Valley College graduate Rachel Hadrick “learned a lot about the legal issues in the educational system” while working in multicultural affairs and residence life as part of the student affairs department of a private liberal arts college. Those experiences contributed to her decision to go to law school.
“I wanted to be challenged intellectually. Also, I wanted to develop a professional identity and find new career opportunities,” she says of her decision to pursue law school.
“I think it can be difficult to go from working full-time to going to school full-time,” says Rachel of the transition, adding, “It requires a change of mentality – both in terms of your time management and finances.” She is quick to point out how helpful Widener Law has been in terms of that transition, however. “At Widener, there are many resources to make that adjustment. Students can go talk to a staff person or attend a workshop offered by a department to get help making that transition easier.”
Rachel places great value on the communication skills that she has developed at Widener, saying, “I find myself using the skills I’ve learned in Legal Methods to effectively communicate with other people, to have them understand what I’m attempting to convey in the clearest way possible.”
Her Widener Law experience has extended beyond the classroom as well. “There are so many opportunities for students to be active on campus and in the community,” says Rachel, who has served as the Secretary for the Black Law Students Association
and has also been involved with the Women’s Law Caucus
“I think it is critical for a law student and a lawyer to know not only how to communicate with different types of people, but also to understand what issues are important to different people’s lives based on their experiences.”
She particularly enjoyed the opportunity to engage with others following The Black Law Student Association’s showing of the third edition of Black in America by CNN. “The group discussed the documentary after the showing, and I enjoyed hearing the discussion with such a mixed group of people. It was very interesting to hear the intermingling discussion of both the practical and the legal implications of the documentary,” says Rachel.
For those looking to pursue a law school education, Rachel advises, “Learn to trust in your abilities.”