Class of 2016
Hometown: Pinole, California
Undergraduate: UC Davis
Major: Sociology with an emphasis in law and society
Aysha Pal is the eldest of 3 siblings, by 9 and 16 years, and grew up with many family responsibilities, she says, and now her experience taking care of others is finding a new outlet in her love of criminal defense law.
"I was always concerned with civil rights and violations of those rights," said Aysha. "In high school my interest in law was furthered when I did a student rights project at my school, and also when I did a mock trial with the Youth and Government Program."
When choosing a law school, Aysha was drawn to the McGeorge campus. "It's only a law school so there is a strong sense of community where everyone knows each other. The campus is close to my home, the library — where I spend a lot of my time — is easily accessible, beautiful, and quite comfortable, and the parking is free!"
Even the weather is ideal for Aysha. "I really enjoy the long hot summers, the short
cold winters, and the fact that there's always at least three different routes to
my destination due to Sacramento's geography," she said.
Two highlights of Aysha's law school experience are the law clerk positions she's done with the Victims of Crime Resource Center, and the Federal Defender's Office. "They were both truly amazing experiences, and they made me realize I want to focus my studies on criminal law - where I can really be a voice for the voiceless," said Aysha. "My heart belongs to public service!"
In her spare time, Aysha enjoys cooking-she got experience working for 9 years in her father's pizza restaurant-and working out. "I competed in three Crossfit competitions, Tough Mudder, and Survivor Mud Run. I really enjoy challenging myself to hard workouts with bar bells, mud, or whatever else I can find," she said.
Aysha credits the faculty and staff at McGeorge with her success and satisfaction
thus far in law school. "All the professors are very approachable. They want you to
succeed and are willing to work with you after hours to make sure that you understand
any concepts you are struggling with. They treat you like young professionals and
will talk to you about more than just academics."
Aysha says the Career Development Office is also very helpful with information about jobs and internships and tips for resumes and interviews. "Plus they give us free coffee and candy!" she said.
As she thinks ahead to her career after law school, Aysha's direction is clear: "I love everything about criminal law and everything about working in the public sector. When I came into law school, I wanted to work with civil rights; however, I realized that I could make the most difference in criminal defense, protecting peoples' constitutional rights."