I am originally from California and did my undergraduate work in philosophy and economics at the University of Puget Sound in Washington state. I made my way to Boston for law school, earning a degree from Boston College and practicing civil litigation briefly in Boston before turning back toward academia. My reason for doing this was based largely on my two highlights from law school. The first was serving as managing editor for a law review and publishing a couple papers, an early sign that I wanted to be involved in a career of research and writing. The second was an advanced seminar in appellate advocacy, where I helped draft a brief on the Commonwealth’s behalf in a criminal appeal. Although I did not practice criminal law after law school, this area fascinated me. Criminology represented an interesting academic discipline that, despite its roots in sociology, combined many of my interests ranging from philosophy to economics, psychology, political science, and of course law.
My interest in pursuing a PhD. at Northeastern was largely the people, specifically the opportunity to work with Professor Brandon Welsh. I cannot think of a more important lesson for aspiring PhD. students than figuring out with whom you want to work, to serve as your mentor for your studies and as a future collaborator on research. The best way to become a great researcher is to work with great researchers. There is really nothing as important as that. Second, I fell in love with Boston when I moved out here about a decade ago and Northeastern represented an opportunity to stick around for a while longer. After living in San Francisco and Seattle, I feel that Boston is unique in that it is a small, walk-able city with a cosmopolitan presence, including a great restaurant scene (not NYC, but nothing is…). It is also the greatest sports city in the country!