Mercer Law student wants to help others prepare for difficult times

813
A man in a suit stands holding a book in a library
Walker Lee, third-year student at Mercer Law. Photo by Maggie Reimer

Doing legal research for his master’s thesis in criminal justice led third-year law student Walker Lee to seek a career in the legal field.

What led you to want to attend law school and have a career in the legal field?

I was not the person who, for their entire life, planned to attend law school. Rather, the calling came to me over time. I became interested in going to law school while taking a legal issues in criminal justice course for my master’s degree in criminal justice at Valdosta State University. While working on my thesis on perceptions of immigrations, my advisor recommended that I research immigrant laws and tie in legal issues into my thesis. I took an independent research course on federal Indian law, which essentially confirmed my interest in the law and to seek a career in the legal field. (Walker also holds a master’s degree in sociology from Valdosta State.)

What kind of law are you interested in practicing?

I am very interested in practicing estate planning. I enjoy helping others prepare for the difficult times in life. In the future, I could see myself working in federal Indian law.

What are your extracurricular activities?

As a second-year law student, I served as the American Bar Association (ABA) vice chair and the academic committee chair. As a third-year law student, I am the ABA chair. Part of my role is working as a voting member of the executive board of the Student Bar Association and working on impactful policy recommendations for our students. In addition, I act as a student liaison on the Faculty Academic Committee and as class representative coordinator on the executive board of the Rural Law Student Association, serve as justice on the executive board of the legal fraternity Phi Alpha Delta, and as a student ambassador for the Mercer Law admissions office. Additionally, I am a member of the Mercer Advocacy Council mock trial (executive board) and arbitration (board chair) teams. I have enjoyed several competitions and look forward to more competitions in my third year.

Why did you choose Mercer Law?

I chose Mercer Law for a few reasons. First, during the admission process, Mercer made a point to know me. Second, Mercer Law is known for its legal writing program, and I wanted to learn from the best. Lastly, I chose Mercer for its valued, close-knit community. I knew that because the school offered smaller class sizes, I would have the opportunity to develop closer relationships with other students and professors.

How would you characterize your experience at Mercer?

Like none other. I am a first-generation college student, thus a first-generation law student. The faculty at Mercer is beyond what I have ever seen. So many professors are always in their offices and are ready to help students. Same for the administration. They are always there to help anyone in need. Thanks to Mercer Law, I have gotten jobs at different law firms, have traveled around the country competing in advocacy tournaments, and I have made friends for life. At the end of this year, I will be able to say that Mercer has shaped me into the best attorney I can be.

You’re a teacher yourself, aren’t you?

In 2017, I started graduate school at Valdosta State and was approached to be a teaching assistant. The more classes I taught, the more I enjoyed teaching. Over time, I continued teaching courses in sociology and criminal justice at different schools, in-person and online. I took a break from teaching my first semester of law school, then in the spring of my first year, I started teaching again at Montana State University-Billings. I have continued teaching throughout law school and have loved it. I have taught at three different universities and colleges across the United States. A lot of people ask me how I manage teaching a class or two per semester with the rigors of law school. The answer is simple: time management.

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the Fall 2023 edition of the Mercer Lawyer magazine.

 

Do you have a story idea or viewpoint you'd like to share with The Den?
Get in touch with us by emailing den@mercer.edu or submitting this online form.