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  • Paige Desjarlais

What it’s like to finish your degree - and not go to law school

It’s that time of year where some of us are graduating. I remember being in first and second year and feeling like graduation was miles away without any idea of what is next. And I can tell you, that feeling doesn’t always go away. Many criminology students go through their academic journey with the plan of attending law school. That is not the case for me. I didn’t have the desire to go to law school, and that can be a scary thought when you are surrounded by other students who beginning to prepare for the LSAT and law school applications. But I am here to say that just because you are a criminology major, it doesn’t mean your only choice is law, and even if you are not sure what your choice will be, that is okay. I am a believer in trying different things until you find what works for you, and that can start when you graduate, if that’s what works for you. My biggest advice is to make connections and volunteer during your undergrad, because it will help you to find those opportunities to try different jobs, professions, and skills. There are so many opportunities outside of law, so do not be discouraged if you feel that you are the only one who hasn’t chosen law. I am that person, and you are not the only one!

After my last exam, I thought I would feel free, but I actually felt sick. Walking through the halls reminded me of all of my memories at SFU and that I wouldn’t be attending school anymore after 16 years. But that soon faded when I realized how much opportunity and choice there was in the world, and that I could be the person to go out and choose it!

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