You might think that if you want to be a lawyer, you should major in prelaw. But in fact, there are many valid paths to law school, and law schools don’t expect or require any particular major. For Hannah Wason, a 2007 Mount Holyoke graduate who’s now earning a law degree at Franklin Pierce Law Center, the journey to law school began with undergraduate studies in education.
“I wanted to go to law school because I am very interested in pursuing public interest law,” she says. “I am especially interested in working with adolescents.” At Pierce Law, Wason says, her dreams are becoming a reality. She is currently a cochair of the public interest coalition and the recipient of a Schweitzer Fellowship, which has allowed her to research special education in New Hampshire. “I’ve had the opportunity to intern at New Hampshire Legal Assistance’s Youth Law Project and at the office of the New Hampshire Public Defender,” she says. “I was also admitted to the Daniel Webster’s Scholar Honors Program. As a result, I will receive my New Hampshire bar license upon graduation without having to take the bar examination.”
For Wason, a degree in education was just the right path to law school. She researched multicultural education with Professor of Psychology and Education Patricia Ramsey and childcare workers with Francine Deutsch, also a professor in the Department of Psychology and Education. She also received her licensure in early childhood education with the support of Assistant Professor of Education Lenore Carlisle. These experiences, Wason says, gave her “the skills to effectively work with youth in the public interest field and the work habits that are necessary to be a successful law student.”