This post is part of a series of short posts to introduce you to some of the amazing women I go to school with at DU Law.
If you go to DU Law, chances are you’ve come across second-year student Kristin Arthur. She is a current Staff Editor of the Denver Law Review and will rise to the Managing Editor position next year; she was an AAP (Academic Achievement Program) leader this year for a first year course in civil procedure last semester; she is a board member of the National Women’s Law Student Organization and a DU representative to the Colorado Women’s Bar Association; and she is also a research assistant for a DU professor. During her first year in law school, she participated in DU’s annual trial competition, the Advocate’s Cup, and earned her Certificate in Basic Legal Research. As if all of that weren’t enough to keep her busy, Kristin has also interned for three different judges, including a stint interning for Justice Brian D. Boatright at the Colorado Supreme Court.
Kristin graduated from high school in Colorado, but went to New York University for college, where she received her degree in Theater Directing in 2006. After graduation, she took a job with a major tech company to pay her bills, and ended up staying with the company for nearly 10 years. She transferred back to Colorado within the company because of family health issues, and while she still enjoyed working for the company, her opportunities for growth were much more limited in Colorado. After several months of not feeling challenged in her job and wanting a more academic experience, she decided to take the February LSAT just to “see how it goes.” Six months later, she started law classes at DU.
Kristin says she feels that her experience in the “real world” has helped her immensely in law school.
“Being an adult in law school – understanding what it takes to work a full-time, ‘big girl’ job is incredibly helpful,” she said, citing her ability to work in a group and be accountable as outcomes of that understanding. “Actually, when I started law school, I treated it like a full-time job and I would stay at school from 8am to 6pm every day.”
Kristin also points to her job experience in describing what she calls the “soft skills” she believes people need to succeed in the legal community.
“When you handle clients, you have to help them not only file suit, but also address the underlying emotion of their situation,” she said. “Having the ability to talk to people, and understand what people want – not just logistically, but emotionally as well – is so important.”
Although both of Kristin’s parents were lawyers (“I guess that makes me genetically well-suited for this,” she laughed), Kristin largely credits her work experience for her success in law school.
“There’s a level of humility you gain by being in the real world that allows you to take away some of the arrogance of the ‘I know everything’ mindset that you accumulate by the time you graduate college,” she explained. “Coming into law school, you have to assume you don’t know everything, and I think it’s easier for older people to do that.”
As might be expected from her plethora of extracurriculars, Kristin has big plans for after she graduates law school. She is currently applying for a clerkship with the Colorado Supreme Court, and hopes to clerk with the Tenth Circuit as well. Then she hopes to return to Davis Graham & Stubbs, the firm where she will intern this summer, before eventually becoming an appellate judge.
Meanwhile, Kristin is focused on enjoying and excelling in what’s left of law school.
“I really like law school; it’s such a unique educational experience. I just find everything interesting,” she said. “I just try to abide by my own standards, and not get distracted by other people’s. It turns out my standards tend to be pretty high.”