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Law Students

Student Profile: Tia Thomas, 3L, Columbia Law School

By Ayo Shittu

Tia Thomas

In our Student Profile series, we talk to students about their journey to law school, law school activities and hacks, and career plans. In this edition of the Student Profile series, we chat with Columbia Law School 3L Tia Thomas.

What did you do before law school and what influenced your decision to go to law school?

I majored in neuroscience at Brigham Young University and then worked as an accounts payable clerk for two years. I was inspired to go to law school after learning that the honor code office at BYU was enforcing the honor code in inequitable, unjust, and extremely harmful ways. I knew that I wanted to fight for the rights of those who, for whatever reason, do not have a voice. In addition, while I am still a religious person, I want to fight to ensure that “religious freedom” doesn’t mean freedom to trample on the rights of others.

Favorite law school class so far?

Either evidence with Professor Paul Schechtman or property with Professor Jedediah Purdy. Schechtman made evidence interesting, and I still remember Purdy’s property exam with questions based on the Lord of the Rings.

Law School/Career Hack?

If you hate law school exams as much as I do (and are attending law school in NY), consider joining the Pro Bono Scholars Program – you get to take the bar exam early and then work at a public interest organization during your last semester of law school – which means one semester less of outlining (and a full summer to do whatever you want).

Which student activities are you involved in?

I’m the President of the Columbia Law Couples and Families Association, a notes editor and former articles editor for the Journal of Gender and Law. I have served as a student senator and chair of the student senate sustainability committee since the beginning of my 2L year (and as Orientation Committee co-chair this year), and am currently Managing Director of CLS’s Moot Court program.

What has been your favorite non-class experience in law school?

I’m a mom, so really any moment I get my son to laugh. But I also love running in Central Park, especially around the reservoir.

How do you use Hotshot?

I first learned about Hotshot as a summer associate at Latham Watkins; my firm provided access to a couple of courses. I took advantage of access to those courses over the summer, and I hope that my firm will increase access so I can continue to broaden my legal education after I start working this fall.

What are your post-grad plans?

I’ll be joining Latham & Watkins this fall.

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