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Carly Helman

Hometown: Newton, Massachusetts
Major: Juris Doctor
Expected date of graduation: 2020

In addition to being ranked second in her class of 192 students, Carly has had an active presence on campus. She has served as an academic tutor for two different first-year legal courses, while also working as a legal research assistant for Professor Richard Michael. She also served for two years as an editor of Children’s Legal Rights Journal, one of the school’s law journals.

Carly has dedicated her time outside of class to fostering an inclusive and equitable culture at the school. She has served on the Public Interest Law Society’s auction committee for the past two years, as well as the executive boards of our Cultural Impact Initiative (CII) and OUTLaw student groups. Carly was Loyola’s student representative for the Illinois Supreme Court’s Law Student Leaders Access to Justice Summit in February 2019. She is on the Loyola Academy Planning Committee (introducing middle and high school students to legal education), and is on the planning committee for the Amaker Retreat, which is focused on restorative justice.

Here, she discusses her work with CII and why it’s important to see yourself as a “learner.”

What was the most meaningful volunteer, service, or student organization activity you’ve been involved in? How has it influenced you or shaped you as a person?
The most meaningful student organization I’ve been a part of is the Cultural Impact Initiative (CII). CII is an advocacy group run by and for law students with the goal of addressing areas of cultural friction in the study of law. My work with the organization has allowed me to grapple with areas of injustice I see in the law and help other students confront those same issues. It has also increased my awareness of more subtle instances of prejudice and helped me find a way to have conversations around those issues.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from your Jesuit education?
The most important lesson I’ve taken away from my education at Loyola is that everyone has something to teach you if you’re open to learning. Especially in the practice of law, it can be tempting to see yourself as an expert, but I’ve learned at Loyola that it’s more important to see yourself as a learner. My professors at Loyola, all undoubtedly experts in their fields, have made it clear they learn from their students just as we learn from them. Loyola has reinforced for me that learning is a lifelong pursuit, especially in a profession that values expertise.

What do you hope to achieve after college, and how has Loyola prepared you?
After graduation I will be joining a law firm with a strong dedication to pro bono service. Loyola has given me the skills I need to succeed in that work. More importantly, Loyola’s mission reminds me that I have a responsibility as a lawyer to share the power my education has given me. For me, that means engaging in significant pro bono service to help bridge the justice gap and bring greater access to those who need the assistance or protection of the law.