December 4, 2023


Future Depends on What You Do

University student Spotlight: Erin McKissick ’23 on Management, Legislation, and Justice

While pursuing a diploma in psychology and gender and women’s reports at Bowdoin College, Erin McKissick ’23 invested a semester at Smith Faculty, where by she took a gender and law course it left the thought of a legislation career lingering in her intellect. “I began to fully grasp the variation concerning a vocation centered on analysis and producing about legal challenges compared to what I perceived as the extra immediate challenge-solving position of a law firm. I also saw how matters I cared about and felt intuitively drawn to, like gender studies, are implicated in our authorized process in a way that fascinated and, at times, annoyed me,” she claims.

McKissick’s Columbia Legislation School journey didn’t begin as expected—she invested most of her 1L year on Zoom because of to the COVID-19 pandemic—but she took full benefit of the Law School’s coursework and courses. Now, she is in her closing yr following serving as president of OutLaws throughout the 2021–2022 academic 12 months, successful the 2021 Manne Prize at the 8th Yearly Stanley M. Grossman Innovators Invitational at the Heart for Urban Business Entrepreneurship at Brooklyn Legislation Faculty, and externing for the New York Attorney General’s Labor Bureau. She also created an desire in gender justice and LGBTQ+ legal rights, Title VII and Title IX discrimination perform, and work law—an region in which she designs to apply adhering to graduation.

Understand additional about McKissick’s Law College journey and what she hopes to do upcoming.

Why did you opt for Columbia Regulation University?

I was psyched about opportunities to choose classes from the great faculty at the Law School’s Heart for Gender and Sexuality Regulation and participate in clinics or externships that would make it possible for me to interface with companies and clientele. I definitely wanted exposure to lots of distinctive varieties of men and women and strategies of imagining, so remaining section of a larger sized university student entire body was captivating. I also required to test residing in New York for a period of time, and the Legislation University appeared like a amazing justification to get some time in the city. 

What are your extended-time period job plans? 

I’ll be beginning my job at a corporate law company in New York City, where I hope to observe in the govt payment and personnel positive aspects team as a indicates of gaining publicity to employment regulation. I’d also like to incorporate training into my career in some manner, potentially even serving as a Authorized Apply Workshop teacher at the Regulation University a handful of yrs soon after graduating. In the very long time period, I’d like my career to center on the difficulties that I care about—equity and justice for marginalized individuals, specially at operate and at college. It feels thrilling to acknowledge that I really don’t know particularly what that will search like, but I am self-confident that a diploma from Columbia will established me on a path to figure this out. In the a lot more distant long term, I picture that I may attempt to get the job done in better instruction administration, either in a college or university dean’s office environment or as a Title IX coordinator.

How have your initial two a long time at Columbia Law influenced all those objectives?

Initial, my coursework: Work Regulation with Professor Mark Barenberg and Gender Justice with Professor Katherine Franke the two reminded me of the problems I care about and the rationale I arrived to regulation faculty. Next, experiential discovering: Collaborating on the Gender and Sexuality Moot Courtroom group and working as an extern for the New York Attorney General’s Labor Bureau aided me figure out what type of lawyer I want to be—not just what subject subject I want to get the job done in, but what true tasks of currently being a lawyer are most pleasant to me. And 3rd, serving as an academic mentor and educating assistant—I definitely treasure the opportunity to assist 1st-calendar year legislation learners unpack and recognize a legal notion or situation. 

What part has OutLaws performed in your Columbia Regulation Faculty encounter, and what did you focus on as president of the organization?

Becoming a member of and foremost OutLaws has been one particular of the highlights of my practical experience at Columbia Legislation. As a 1L getting all of my lessons on Zoom, it served to have a local community outdoors of my classmates to really feel linked and to have friendly faces to clearly show me all over a new city. OutLaws provided so many resources—social, educational, professional—and aided me experience welcome in what was at situations a daunting and nerve-racking ecosystem. 

People occur to Columbia Law with this kind of diverse activities of becoming queer—for some, it is a newer blossoming identification and for many others a lifelong supply of pride. Some have been far more closeted in their hometowns, although other people have never ever had to think twice about presenting as their total selves in public. As president of OutLaws, I tried out my ideal to retain all of these people in thoughts and to aim on programming that would attraction to a extensive variety of members. Given that the team hadn’t earlier been ready to hold any in-particular person situations through my time at the Legislation School, I also focused on group making and generating options for folks to occur alongside one another and get to know their classmates.

You received 1st location and the 2021 Manne Prize at the 8th Annual Stanley M. Grossman Innovators Invitational at the Middle for City Company Entrepreneurship—can you explain to us a lot more about your winning challenge?

The challenge was an idea for a website that will enable tenants to price their ordeals living in a property and to provide anonymous comments on their landlords. The site, known as Roost [still in development], was influenced by hearing about aggravating encounters with landlords and by a lack of transparency about what you’re finding yourself into when you sign a lease. A person who is [finding a tenant for a] sublet, for illustration, is much more incentivized to get someone to speedily acquire around the lease than to be fully genuine about their struggles with the living problem. The landlord-tenant romantic relationship is a dynamic ripe for exploitation, and through Roost, I sought to make a system to try to rectify this energy imbalance. 

What are your pursuits outside of the regulation?

The 1st factor that will come to intellect is fitness—it’s just one of the most reliable elements of my lifestyle outside the house of regulation university. It’s been quite essential to me to get self-esteem and self esteem from anything outdoors of an tutorial setting, and I enjoy what work out teaches me about environment ambitions, doing the job difficult, and exceeding my very own expectations of myself.

I also cherish any opportunity to obtain a patch of nature amid the concrete jungle! I like the spot of the Legislation Faculty, located suitable involving 3 parks—Riverside is my favored. 

This interview has been edited and condensed.