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Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD)

Kristen Cameron, JD'11
Hometown:
Dyer, Indiana
Previous Education:
BA’08, Ball State University

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I had a choice to make: quit or fight.
Kristen Cameron, JD’11

Pressing on: I always knew I wanted to be an attorney, but my interest in the law grew exponentially when I served as editor-in-chief of my high school’s newspaper during a censorship battle with school authorities. When a news package about birth control, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections went to press, the school principal pulled the plug. What the principal later called a “ stalled” issue, I called censorship, and I had a choice to make: quit or fight. I chose the latter and contacted the Student Press Law Center for guidance.

Over the next few weeks, I got a crash course in the First Amendment, used the words Tinker and Hazelwood more than I ever hope to again, and made my first discovery request. After making waves, I learned the art of negotiation and the paper finally went to press with very minor changes. We ended up rearranging a few paragraphs and cutting one line. The attorneys at the Student Press Law Center provided our staff with the necessary resources and encouragement to make it through a very daunting time, and the positive impact they made on my life strengthened my resolve to become an attorney – I was going to law school.

Networking success: All of my summer positions have come about as a result of networking. My first summer was ideal for a 1L without much direction; I networked my way into two extraordinary organizations and split my time between a law firm and a museum. As for the firm, I inquired about an opportunity to hang around the Schererville office of Krieg DeVault in order to test drive the “ firm life” that everyone was so excited about. Instead, I was able to work as a legal clerk for the first part of my summer, putting the skills I had learned in Legal Research & Writing to good use.

I approached Brian Williams, vice president of development at The Children’ s Museum of Indianapolis, about possible summer employment after he spoke at "Legal Careers in Publishing, Communications, Consulting and Development," a panel discussion presented by the Office of Career and Professional Development’s “Career Choices” series. As an aside, I highly recommend attending these talks, if not for the valuable speaker insights and
networking opportunities, for the free food. While working at the museum I was able to marry my communications background with my newfound legal skills, splitting my time between legal and development work.

Last summer I had the opportunity to work with a great intellectual property mind, Mark Roesler, at CMG Worldwide. I could not have asked for a better, more immersive experience, as I was again able to use my communications background without leaving my legal skills behind. I developed potential new clients, drafted complaints and presentations, pursued unauthorized uses of CMG clients’ intellectual property rights, and the list goes on. In taking on such a wide array of assignments I learned about myself as a soon-to-be-attorney, identifying the tasks at which I excelled and the ones I simply enjoyed.

In 10 years: I hope to work in the development arena, structuring planned gifts for a large nonprofit organization. Right now it’ s important for me to develop and hone the legal skills necessary to be a successful attorney, and there are so many places that could happen. Museums and universities seem to be intriguing options, but who knows! My experiences have taught me to be adaptable; I have changed paths before, and I'm not afraid for it to happen again.

If I could go back and tell myself one thing, I'd say... Relax! Sure, you’re surrounded by super smart people and first semester is pretty intense, but buckle down, try your hardest, and remember to have some fun.

In Bloomington, I can't live without... Food adventures. Bloomington is a veritable Mecca for the spastic palate. From The Trojan Horse to Japonee, Nick’s English Hut to Uptown Café, Bloomington has something for the pickiest and most adventurous appetites.