Smooth Sailing from the Navy to Law School

Tell us about yourself, Kristen!

Hometown: San Diego

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love all things Disney! I am now a JD Ambassador with S2S, and I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to pay it forward! I’m so appreciative of what S2S does that I convinced my husband, a fellow Navy veteran, to become an Ambassador as well :).

What did you do in the military: Industrial Hygiene Officer (aka OSHA, medical, environmental safety); and lots of collaterals 🙂

What was your proudest accomplishment in the military? Earning my OOD Underway qual while stationed on an aircraft carrier and earning the respect of those I supervised.

School and Anticipated graduation year: University of St. Thomas School of Law, 2022

Why did you decide to pursue law school? I wanted a career change and a legal career can provide an avenue for helping veterans.

What are your goals post-graduation? Pass the bar!

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’m currently a 2L, so I’m glad 1L year is done :). I’m excited to start looking for jobs and officially enter the legal profession. I enjoy the small community at St. Thomas.

How has the transition been from the military to civilian life? Challenging! Re-learning how to speak with much less “sirs” “ma’ams” and swearing has been hard. It is also a challenge going from a steady income to being a student with limited means. Despite officially transitioning over a year ago, I’m not sure I will ever fully transition.

What was the biggest benefit to using Service to School throughout the application process? My mentor taught me how to “de-militarize” my resume and translate the amazing skills we learn in the military into something civilians will understand.

Kristen’s advice for veterans who are applying to law school:

You are way more marketable to civilians than you think! I thought 7 years in the military would not matter to employers in the legal world, but it really does. The leadership, management, and general life experience we have is a huge advantage – don’t forget that.

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Service to School (S2S) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides free college and grad school application counseling to military veterans and servicemembers.

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