Behavioral Sciences Alumni Moves onto Law School

By: Kaitlyn Schwers

After studying pre-law at Drury, Daniel Clay will continue his education. Clay is a recent graduate who is leaving Springfield with major studies in criminology, as well as politics and government. Clay plans on continuing his education at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, MA and has been awarded with a full tuition scholarship.

Q: Why did you choose to go to Drury?
A: "I realized that an education is a long term investment that would shape the rest of my life and my individual identity. I did not want to be a number or just another face in the crowd so I sought a college where I was thought of as a person and a partner in learning. Drury promised small class sizes, personal attention, real world experience, and opportunities that would ensure return on my investment for not only myself but my community as well."

Q: What organizations were you involved with at Drury?
A: "Phi Alpha Delta (Law Fraternity)  - President
Criminology Society – President
Lambda Chi Alpha – Secretary & Alumni Chairman
Interfraternity Council – Vice President of Public Relations
Mortarboard
2 Semesters in Students in Free Enterprise"

Q: What was your favorite class you took at Drury?
A: "Choosing just one class is nearly impossible because Drury offers so many diverse classes that spoke to my individual interests and passions. However, one class stands out as having impacted me the most – Justice and Punishment with Dr. Marstellar. The course challenged the way I thought about our criminal justice system as well as my personal values and beliefs. Every class was a new challenge and new opportunity to develop myself and grow as an individual."

Q: What experience have you had with law?
A: "I have worked in various law firms in the Springfield area and the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association like most Drury Pre-Law Students.  I also was able to intern at Wal-Mart's corporate headquarters where I gained significant experience in corporate litigation and labor law."

Q: How many law schools did you apply to? Which law schools were you considering?
A: "I applied to and was accepted by approximately 20 different law schools across the country, including: Michigan State University, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska, Phoenix School of Law, Suffolk University, Drake University, Hofstra School of Law, St. Louis University, Florida Costal University, University of Albany, University of the Pacific, Penn State University, Valparaiso University, University of Richmond, George Washington University, Washington University (St. Louis), William & Mary, Northeastern University, American University."

Q: Why did you choose Suffolk in Boston?
A: "I choose Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts for a variety of reasons:

  1. Nationally ranked litigation program
  2. Largest course selection of any law school in the country
  3. Urban Boston location provides a great launching pad for a legal career
  4. A Full tuition scholarship for a Masters in Criminal Justice and Juris Doctor Degrees"

Q: What inspired you to work with law and criminal justice?
A: "I have been interested in the law since my high school mock trial competitions. However, my education at Drury, specifically in criminology, refined my interests and allowed the law to become my greatest passion."

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: "I will be 5 years out of law school and, ideally, specializing in criminal law at a large Boston firm or working for the government reforming policy and the criminal justice system in general. While this is my plan right now, my Drury education has prepared me to take on any challenge and allows me to be open to a new world of possibilities."

Q: What advice would you give to incoming students at Drury that are interested in studying law, criminology, or politics?
A: "Follow and develop your passions while you are at Drury by taking as many diverse classes and opening yourself up to as many new experiences as you can. You can go into law with any major and each offers its own benefits later in life, but the most important part of a Drury education is discovering yourself, your values, and your passions. Be open to new experiences and do not be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone."

Q: Besides criminology and politics, what are some other interests you have?
A: "I enjoy golf, theatre, white water rafting, college football, SCUBA diving, and volunteering in my community."