I learned about PLEN at my college because Smith College is one of the member institutions for PLEN. I specifically attended PLEN’s Women, Law and Legal Advocacy. I really wanted to attend this seminar because ever since I was in high school, people would ask me what I wanted to study, and I would always say law. I only saw being a lawyer as one thing, which is to go into to court and to just litigate and that’s it. Coming to the conference changed my perspective that being a lawyer only meant you can do that one thing.
The seminar surpassed my expectations. I was in panel after panel with powerful women making a huge impact in their field. What really resonated with me was the panel with the Supreme Court clerks. For me it was a highlight because they are young and still trying to figure out what they want to do after their clerkship. Being in college, I am still trying to figure out what I should do in order to go down the most successful path. Something I realized while being at the conference was that I was so fixated on being perfect that I was not really concerned with actually growing as a person and even a scholar. Before going to the seminar, I was convinced I was going to be an Economics major. After the conference, I decided to change my major to Government and to minor in Film. My fears before the conference was that I was not going to be able to be able to make enough money to support my family, which is a reality a lot of first generation college students experience. I was trying to find a medium where I would be happy and lucrative.
At the seminar they really emphasize that you should not being doing anything that you are not passionate about. When you are doing something that you are passionate about, all the grades and opportunities will follow. This resonated with me, so I am now a Government major.
Daniela Martinez attended the Women, Law, and Legal Advocacy seminar during her junior year at Smith College. She received a scholarship from K&L Gates.