Vikrama ChandrashekarPlease tell us about you and what motivated you to come to law school?

I'd wanted to be a trial attorney since I was about 13 years old, so at an early age I made it my goal to get into law school. My inspiration was being able to participate in a Mock Trial program in my middle school, and that inspiration never died out. Through high school and undergrad, I made it a point to improve my writing (something I always enjoyed), and to delve into whatever subject(s) interested me, without worrying about whether it would be a 'marketable skill' at some point down the line. I think my wide range of experiences really helped once I got into law school and started becoming more involved in classes and extracurricular activities. 

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? 

Firstly, public service work is the most immediately rewarding. Not only are you helping people regardless of which side of the aisle you stand, your impact and involvement in their lives is present from day one. Particularly in criminal law, the processes move at lightning speed, and there is no time for waiting around or getting your feet set. Second, trial work almost never comes to those who wait, and in almost any other sector of the legal field, one is required to wait before getting into the courtroom. But in public service, you are given real responsibilities and an opportunity to prove yourself as a lawyer--even while you're still a student. That's an opportunity I couldn't pass up. 

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?

Fittingly, my favorite and most rewarding law school activity is and has been Mock Trial through Barristers' Council. My closest friends are part of Mock Trial, and it has taught me so much about trial work, the law, storytelling, and confidence that I get to bring to my current internship. Being Vice-President of the 2015 Class has developed my leadership and public speaking/outreach skills, and has further stoked my passion for service. Finally, Law Review has been a tough, but often valuable, means to improve my legal thinking and writing in a student-driven initiative. Being a public servant requires knowledge of the law as well as empathy; these activities allow me to develop both of these aspects of my professional character. 

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

If you're sure you want to be in public service, make sure to not limit yourself in your opportunities or believe that certain activities are just not the "right fit" for someone interested in public service. Truth is, all experience is good and valuable experience, and will help your clients in the future. The law is a fascinating, but broad subject, and the more you know, the more effective you can and will be.