My College Story: From Studying Art History to Law School

Karly Peterson tells her college story about studying classics and art abroad during her undergrad, then studying law as a graduate student.

Mapics /

Karly Peterson attended the University of California–Berkeley where she studied both classics and art history. After graduating in 2010 and taking some time off, she returned to school, this time to study law. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015 and recently passed the bar exam. She moved back to California and now works in trusts, using her law degree every day.

Q. Did you study abroad? If so, what program? How did that enhance your college experience?

Yes. I studied abroad in Rome during the fall of 2008. It was definitely one of the highlights of my undergraduate career. As a classics major, I felt lucky to see many places and things that I had studied in person. I also made some lifelong friends.  

Q. What was the number one lesson you took away from your undergraduate experience?

There is always someone smarter than you. Try to study with them.

Q. Why did you want to study law?

I worked at a couple of law firms after college, so it seemed like a natural career progression.

Q. What were the requirements to get into law school? How did they differ from applying to your undergraduate institution?

I am no expert in graduate or undergraduate admissions processes. But from my experience, law schools focus on GPA and LSAT scores. They seem more concerned with the bottom line, and that equates to numbers. While GPA and SAT/ACT scores were very important components of undergrad applications, my experience was that colleges searched for candidates that were well rounded. So, extracurricular activities seemed much more important.  

Q. Do you have any advice for students who are planning to take the LSAT in the future?

Practice makes perfect!

Q. How did you decide which branch of law you wanted to pursue?

I knew that I wanted to work in something transactional (rather than litigation), and I was lucky enough to get a job in trusts right after law school.

Q. Law school is busy and stressful. How did you cope with the pressure?

A cycle of overeating and working out.

Q. Before passing the bar exam, did you get practical job experience in your field of study? Did any of your work experiences change your future path?

It's customary to get internships in the summer. I ended up working for the company that I interned for between 2L and 3L summer. I'm at a different company and on a similar career path.

Q. What do you hope to do in the future?

I hope to continue to be balanced and happy. Good luck!

Leave a comment