Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.
Undergraduate: University of Wisconsin, Madison
Major: Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Certificate
Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu has inspired generations with the famous line: "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." For Theresa Schriever, her journey began with a sense that she was destined for more — all she needed to do was to move on from her small Midwest town and overcome her childhood shyness to realize her dream of advocating for others.
Born and raised in St. Paul to a Chinese mother and Caucasian father, growing up biracial in Minnesota "was different." She first thought of law in college, when she participated in the Innocence Project NY, involving inmates being released based on DNA evidence. In 2007, she attended a "Life After Exoneration" program and, completely captivated by the pursuit of justice, found her passion and nerve to go to law school. Her first big step was moving out of the Midwest and landing in Foster City, CA, where she worked at a law firm as an office manager. She also waitressed for a time to "force myself out of my shell." While her path to law school took a few twists and turns, "the many steps it took to get to her destination" helped her to be sure she was ready. Pacific McGeorge was the first responder to her application, and Legal Scholars Day sold her on the experience — "by far the best event" she'd attended.
Teresa also applied to Santa Clara, UC Hastings, UC Davis and USF. Of those, she almost chose UC Hastings, but asserts that she would have made a "huge mistake." People are the biggest factor in her success here at Pacific McGeorge. From "the accessibility of the professors, the sense of community, the focus on working together instead of competing against each other — Pacific McGeorge is 'very unique.'" No doubt Theresa will make a very unique addition to either of her dream roles: working in the public defender's office or for Legal Aid.