Calli SchroederPlease tell us about you and what motivated you to come to law school?

I am a Peace Studies major from Whitefish, Montana.  I decided to apply for law school while my husband was recovering from an illness he contracted when we were teaching English in China.  I had always been interested in law school, but took some time to decide it was really what I wanted to do.  CU offered me a scholarship and I loved the area, so I decided to go.

You have all been involved in public service work since you have been here at CU Law. What motivated you to become involved in public service work at CU Law?

I got involved in public service work because I knew that, regardless of what type of work I ultimately end up doing, it was important to do some work that directly helped people who needed help.  My internship in undergrad was with an organization that offered legal help to many people who could not otherwise afford it and I saw how important it was that legal services not be restricted to the wealthy.

Since you have been at law school, what are the most valuable things you have been involved with and how do you think these have shaped your public service career goals?

I got involved with the Colorado Innocence Project the summer before beginning my 1L year.  Though I have come to the realization during law school that I do not have the disposition to work in criminal law as a career, the ability to do something tangible during law school that helps real people has been invaluable.  It is easy to become too wrapped up in theory and lectures and to forget that we are working towards being in a position to make real change in people’s lives.  Public service experience reminds us of why we came here and what truly matters.

What advice to you have for incoming law students who are interested in public service?

Public service is some of the most valuable work you can do in law school.  The opportunity as a student to do something selfless that allows us to use the knowledge we are developing is truly invaluable.  Public service will be a part of whatever career you choose as more and more law firms are requiring pro bono work from all employees.  The mindset of making public service a priority will serve you throughout your legal career.