Marisa Ahlzadeh (J.D. ’21) says Georgia State Law was the clear choice for her since realizing her goal of practicing law in Atlanta. She was drawn to the College of Law’s location and involvement with the city, and she knew it would allow her great opportunities after she graduated.
In the first two years, Ahlzadeh has grown an interest in transactional law. This summer she’s working for Baker Hostetler and is hoping to continue after graduating. Outside of the classroom, she’s involved in several co-curriculars including Law Review, the Jewish Law Student Association and she serves on the board of Wellness in Law Society. Here, she shares her thoughts as she heads into her final year at Georgia State Law.
What have been your favorite classes?
One of my favorite classes I took last semester was The Reflective Lawyer. I really enjoyed learning from Professor Scott about the soft skills that are needed in being a law student and practicing as an attorney. I also loved Constitutional Law I with Professor Kinkopf & Constitutional Law II with Professor Segall. I find the subject matter so interesting and appreciate how Professor Segall emphasizes that he wants us to be critical thinkers. That class really did change the way I think and it taught me to be more curious in general and especially about the recent SCOTUS cases.
What is the goal of the Wellness in Law Society?
Law school is stressful and there’s always a million things to do, so we work to provide programming that touches on different aspects of wellness. We’ve done weekly yoga classes, we brought in a nutritionist, and we had someone come in before exams to talk about managing stress. Something that developed more this past semester was a community around the shared interest of wellness. We created a space for people to discuss their stresses and realize that everyone has similar stresses. We also promote practicing mindfulness, which allows you to take a step back and really appreciate each breath, each step, and each moment in life because if you’re not really paying attention to it, it goes unnoticed.
What other memorable experiences have you had during law school?
Being on Law Review, it’s been really nice to work with the different students and see how flexible and helpful everyone is. I’ve had great discussions with people I have different viewpoints from. It’s turned into a place where I’ve created friendships and learned from other people. Also, last year the Jewish Law Student Association hosted a Shabbat that was open to all law students. There were some Jewish students, but a lot of students were from different faiths. I loved how people were asking questions and were curious about our traditions. It was such a fun way to learn about other people’s religions or beliefs while also sharing about my own. As I head into my final year, I am looking forward continuing those discussions with classmates and learning from all the professors I haven’t yet taken class with.
Interview by Mara Thompson