Every year, hundreds of law school grads emerge bleary eyed and discombobulated, but with J.D.s in hand and the immeasurable feeling of accomplishment having passed the bar. Yet they might have spent those three years not knowing what programs and services the Washington State Bar Association offers for law students or getting familiar with the bar and its programs for members.
This year, as in previous years, we are thrilled to introduce a new batch of ambitious WSBA law school representatives who will serve as liaisons between our Washington law schools and the bar. Say hello to the new crew.
Gurpreet K. Dhatt, representative from Gonzaga School of Law
Gurpreet chose to pursue a career in law to help others in her community and to show that “the law is not something to be afraid of and can be a useful tool.”
As a 1L, she volunteered at high schools in the Spokane area through Gonzaga’s Street Law club, teaching students about their rights and how the law affects them. She spent the summer interning at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, taking international law classes with the Gonzaga in Florence program, attending the ABA conference in Chicago, and working as an intern for the Kootenai County District Courthouse in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
She plans to keep her Gonzaga classmates informed about WSBA and ABA events that will help them establish connections with other legal professionals, as well as helping her fellow students deal with the stress and pressure of law school.
“Mental health, addiction, and student debt are some of the most critical issues for law students today,” she said. “Students know that these are potential issues that they face as they graduate from school; however, many feel enough is not being done to address these issues.”
“As a future lawyer, I look forward to helping people from all different types of backgrounds,” Gurpreet added.
Gurpreet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kayvon Behroozian, representative from University of Washington School of Law
Kayvon got the idea to pursue his J.D. after serving as a policy advisor to the White House under President Barack Obama, where he contributed to criminal justice policy through the Domestic Policy Council and Office of National Drug Control Policy. As a law school representative, he hopes to gain a better understanding of WSBA and how it contributes to the legal community in Washington, then explore the ways that the UW School of Law can help carry on the WSBA mission.
Law students today must grapple with mental health issues brought on by “enormous pressure to succeed by traditional measures in truly unsustainable ways,” he said.
“Law schools have a role in helping mitigate the negative forces the profession places onto us and they need to step up and lead the way,” Kayvon added.
He spent the first part of the summer as a summer associate with Lane Powell before beginning an externship with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. He believes a career as a lawyer will provide him “the chance to improve somebody’s life in a meaningful way.
“As cliché as it sounds, upcoming lawyers are looking to change the world. I’ve never been in a classroom setting where so many students are so politically aware and energized.”
Kayvon can be reached at email@example.com.
Joan Wyant, representative from Seattle University School of Law
Joan got a taste for the law at the junior varsity level when she participated in the paralegal certificate program. She enjoyed those classes and decided to “give the big league version a shot.”
Now, as the WSBA representative for Seattle University School of Law, Joan plans to explore professional organizations for attorneys available outside of King County and provide resources for herself and others in Snohomish County.
She sees school debt as the most critical issue facing students today, both the amount of debt students take on and interest rates that “are going to make it difficult/impossible to pay down anytime in the near future.”
This is particularly difficult for students who attend evening classes, like herself, who have difficulty squeezing unpaid internships—which many employers still expect—into an already packed schedule of work, commute, and class. However, she wants to communicate to her classmates that “many of the evening program classmates are willing to help send you notes and let you join their study group if you just ask.”
Joan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions about our Law Student Representatives please email us at email@example.com.