Riley Nicholson – From Navy Intel to UVA Law!

Tell us about yourself, Riley!

Hometown:Long Island, New York

What is your anticipated school and intended major? JD at University of Virginia Law School 2025!

Fun Fact About Yourself: Completed 2019 Long Island Marathon

What did you do in the military: Intel

What was your proudest accomplishment in the military? I’m proud that I got to be part of the most expeditionary squadron in the Navy – VQ-2!

What was the biggest benefit to using Service to School throughout the application process?My S2S JD Ambassador went above and beyond for me. He was an invaluable resource throughout the entire process. He helped me study for the LSAT and prepare my applications. He made himself available to a degree that I could not believe.

How has the transition been from the military to civilian life? Mine has been quite a ride. After the Navy I spent a few years working on a garbage truck, and then a few more as a Local 580 NYC Ironworker. I further developed an already stellar work ethic, and learned a lot of things that you can’t find in a classroom. I made the decision to go back to school in my late twenties and haven’t looked back. S2S helped me transfer from my community college to UNC Chapel Hill, and were there for me again when it was time to apply to law school. I am very grateful.

What are you most excited about in regards to starting school? What’s your favorite part about the school you chose to matriculate at? I cannot wait to start at UVA Law! I love history, so the fact that the school was founded by Thomas Jefferson was quite a selling point. During a recent visit to the area my family and I visited Monticello, and were blown away. The community at the law school was so incredibly welcoming not just to me, but to my wife and young son. This turned out to be the most important thing for me. When I visited UVA I felt like that was where we belonged.

Why did you decide to pursue this education path? I’ve chosen law because it is an honorable profession that presents great opportunity for me to provide a good life for my family.

What are your goals post-graduation? I would love to work in sports and entertainment law. I am excited, however, to learn about and explore different opportunities.

Riley’s advice for veterans who are applying to college

Don’t get tunnel vision about one particular school or program. Keep your options open and believe in yourself. Work hard and keep the faith. In the end you will end up just where you belong. 

Having someone in your corner who has been where you are, and lived to tell about it, makes a heck of a difference.

Congrats again Riley on your acceptance to the University of Virginia Law School!


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