Another one! Meet graduate Shane Copelin. Congratulations Shane!
Name: Shane Copelin
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Alma Mater: Carnegie-Mellon University; Tulane University Law School
Major/ Field of Study: B.S. in Public Policy; Juris Doctor
Jen: Tell us a little about yourself?
Graduate: My name is Shane Copelin. I’m a 25 year old New Orleans native. I don’t get too much downtime these day. However, I normally spend my free time checking out new bars and restaurants with friends, playing basketball, going to sporting events (always Saints and Pelicans games), and traveling whenever possible.
Jen: What degree did you obtain?
Graduate: I obtained my Juris Doctor degree from Tulane University Law School.
Jen: What inspired you to get this degree?
Graduate: I’m often more quiet, introverted and a critical thinker, so I thought being a lawyer would naturally suit my personality. I’m also very detailed oriented and love solving people’s problems and having a law degree would enable me to do that at a very high level no matter what industry I ultimately decided to go to.
Jen: What do you plan to do with your degree? What are your next steps?
Graduate: I’m currently studying for the Texas Bar exam and will then join the firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, LLP in their Houston office where I’ll be a first-year associate practicing corporate law for oil & gas clients.
Jen: What was the most challenging aspect of obtaining your degree?
Graduate: Definitely the time management / time commitment. This was the most intensive studying I’ve ever done in my life, and although I found law school very do-able, it took a lot of focus for long periods of time and the discipline to pass up on certain parties and fun events with my friends to prioritize my studies.
Jen: What advice can you give others who wish to pursue this degree?
Graduate: Do not be intimated at all by the process of applying to law school, or the process of getting through exams in law school. Law school wasn’t as difficult as I expected it to be based on what other people told me going into it. Additionally, all of these tests and exams aren’t truly reflective of how well you will don in school or as a practicing attorney. I admittedly didn’t score very high on my LSAT exams, but was able to out-work others once in school who I know scored higher than me. Additionally, I’ve met amazing attorneys that make huge impacts on the lives of their clients and are able to shape their communities with their work despite not getting the best grades or most prestigious jobs coming out of school. Getting this degree wasn’t that hard, just a big time commitment, but the pay off is very high because it enables you do thrive in whatever area you want. There’s so many things you can do with the degree from the court room to the board room, or even from Capitol Hill and local government to the sports and the entertainment industry. It opens up so many doors for you.
Jen: What advice can you give to the family and friends of those who wish to take this path?
Graduate: Offer your friends or relatives in law school as much emotional support (and food haha) as possible. Also, be understanding of their limited time to hangout once school begins. Law school is pretty stressful in and of itself, so make sure to encourage your loved ones as much as you can to keep grinding because we all hit that point where we want to quit or slack off. At the same time, reach out to them and make sure that they take breaks and don’t completely abandon their social life. You can only study so much and isolating yourself from others will only make the process of getting through school that much harder. Lastly, don’t hold it against them once they start talking about law related stuff or school to often. It consumes so much of your time that it’s often the only topic they have on their mind even when away from the books — especially the first year. Try to let them vent their frustrations while keeping them in the loop with everything else and helping them maintain their hobbies or whatever they do to relax.
Jen:We all know we don’t do it by ourselves. Who was instrumental in helping you achieve your goals and dream?
Graduate: Definitely my parents because I was able to stay at home with them while going to school which not only saved me a lot of money, but also helped me keep a disciplined routine when it came time to go to 8 am classes or stay up late to finish assignments. Special shoutout to my mom for making sure I was always fed since students will typically forget to eat come finals time with all the binge studying haha. Also, my close friends also were instrumental by giving me the emotional support and room to vent whatever my frustrations were in a safe space while going through the process.
Jen: Any last remarks?
Graduate: None I can think of at the moment.