Andrew Boyer (J.D. ’21) always knew he wanted to use his talents to make an impact on other people’s lives. First getting a degree in criminal justice with a minor in theatre, Boyer dreamed of one day running a non-profit theatre program for kids involved in the juvenile justice system.
Boyer did get his start there, spending two years at the Douglas County Juvenile Court as a delinquent case manager before deciding to pursue a law degree to maximize his impact. Boyer is graduating this spring and has secured a clerkship with Judge Vineyard in the Northern District of Georgia. Once that is completed, Boyer is set to join the environmental group at Alston & Bird. Here, Boyer discusses his experiences at Georgia State Law and how they have prepared him for the future.
Why did you want to go to law school?
When I was working at the Douglas County Juvenile Court, what I saw in the courtroom was most of my clients looking like me and most of the families I was working with looking like me. Nearly everybody else working in the courtroom was a completely different age and race. I would always push the kids that I was working with to do something different and to push themselves beyond their present circumstances. I wanted to help be that inspiration by pushing myself to attend law school.
What experiences stick out to you during your time at GSU Law?
I participated in the HeLP Clinic for two semesters. I wanted to do something that would help families and give me the practical legal skills training instead of just classroom work. In the clinic, I was able to work on different social security appeals, and thankfully, each semester my team was able to get a favorable outcome in our hearings.
It’s been a place where I can get the practical legal experience while learning more about health law. It’s taught me how to navigate managing a case that’s live from the perspective of a lawyer. The client is not looking to someone else, they’re looking to you. Not just to be a helping hand, but to be the person that practices law in the case, and that has the answers and to be available for other questions. So, it’s required a lot of growth on my part, but I’ve really enjoyed my work in the clinic. We often encourage each other in the clinic with the phrase “Happy HeLPing,” and gratefully, I’ve been able to do just that: enjoy helping others.
What was your most memorable class?
I have to give a shout out to Professor Stevens for contracts. It’s not necessarily fun when you’re staring him down in class, but let’s just say I still remember contracts, so I think he’s a great teacher. Although his methods sometimes are terrifying, afterwards you realize he’s not scary, it’s just kind of his class persona. So, he’s a really intelligent, funny, inspiring man. I have enjoyed learning from him.
Overall, most of my professors have been very encouraging and engaging. From what I hear from other people at different schools, that’s not always the case. I think that is one of Georgia State Law’s strongest suits, that the professors really care, which makes all the difference.
Interview by Mara Thompson