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.
Lindsey Harris laughs when she talks about her motivations for going to law school: “I’ve always wanted to have a job where I could be a stay-at-home mom and then also work. I thought law was that – it seemed flexible from the outside, because you can do almost anything with it. Now I don’t think it’s all that reasonable to have a ‘real’ law job and be a stay-at-home mom, too.”
Lindsey has known her whole life that she wanted to have a big family. After starting at Harvard University in 2008, taking a year-and-a-half mission trip to Sweden, and graduating from Harvard in 2014 with a degree in Economics, she got married and started law school at Hastings College. Her first child – a son named Nelson, was born in the middle of the Spring Semester finals of her first semester. Because the school needed to enter final grades, she ended up taking three finals in the week after Nelson was born.
“You do what you have to do, right?” she laughs.
After her second year of law school, her husband graduated from dental school and started a residency program in Denver, so Lindsey became a visiting student at DU.
Meanwhile, Lindsey has learned to balance being a mom and being a law student.
“Law school is my extra-curricular; [Nelson] is my mainstay. His sleep time is my study time,” she said. “I’ve had to sacrifice a lot of things I would’ve done in law school, but I’d rather be with him.”
Lindsey further explains that the work load can be challenging to manage while also raising a soon-to-be two-year-old.
“When you have a full-time job, you do your work at your job and come home and you’re done with work for the most part,” she explained. “You don’t go to law school to do work. You go to law school to get more work.”
Still, Lindsey says Nelson makes her excel in law school.
“He’s made me a better student, because I’m not living and breathing the stress of law school,” she said. “He’s a great break, and he also gives me perspective. I come home and realize there are way more important things than how I did on a test. I mean, there’s another human depending on me for survival.”
However, Lindsey says that having a “mom-first” mentality in law school can be very difficult for some to understand. She gives the example of going to Career Services at Hastings and asking for help with finding a flexible, part time job for after she graduated.
“They just could not comprehend that idea!” she said. “I wish there was a society of women who want to be moms first and then dabble in the law.”
“Dabbling in the law” is exactly what Lindsey hopes to do someday. Meanwhile, however, she’ll be focusing her efforts on graduating this spring and taking the bar in July. Then, she’s expecting to welcome her second child shortly thereafter. She plans to focus on being a mom for a while, but keep an eye out for opportunities that would let her work flexibly in law.
“I would love to use my law degree – that’s why I got it!” she said. “Being a mom is my first priority, but if I felt like there was a perfect opportunity, I’d jump on it.”