Three students describe why they changed their career paths to attend law school
Some people grow up dreaming of becoming lawyers. But sometimes, the path to legal work isn’t so clear-cut. For these three students—Joyce Mendoza Navarro, Carrick Meyers, and Ian Lindsay—law school came after working in other fields. Here, they discuss their lives before law school, and how their unique backgrounds transfer to their work at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
The Science of Law
After earning a degree in cellular and molecular biology, Joyce Mendoza Navarro began studying neuroscience as a predoctoral fellow at New York University, working at research labs in New York and Seoul, South Korea. Then Hurricane Maria changed everything.
Navarro grew up in Puerto Rico and was living on the island when the hurricane hit. After witnessing the destruction and its aftermath, she rethought her path. “I didn’t have enough power or influence with a degree [in science],” she says. “I wanted to have more of an impact in helping people from marginalized communities.”
Law school seemed like the right fit, and Loyola seemed like the right school. Navarro loved Loyola’s focus on public interest. Plus, her mom grew up in Chicago, and she knew the city had a thriving Puerto Rican population.
She enrolled at Loyola in 2020 and found law school’s intensity surprisingly familiar. Thanks to her biology background, she was no stranger to dense research, reading, and writing. She’s pursuing a career in environmental law with a focus on public health.
In 2021, she became a Corboy Fellow and began training to compete in mock trial, where her scientific brain gives her an advantage. “As I’m coming up with an argument, I can look at the facts and think of all the ways someone can try to disprove it,” she says. “That’s what science is, right? You’re trying to prove your thesis.”
in advocacy according to US News & World Report