Natalie deLatour never thought she’d be a lawyer. She’d considered being a doctor or a realtor, but a law class during her junior year at the University of Georgia changed everything. Along with encouragement from her political science professors, deLatour started looking into a legal career and did an internship with a real estate law firm in Athens, Ga. When the time came to apply for law school, she knew she wanted to be in Atlanta. The vibrancy and bustle of the city called to her, and Georgia State College of Law put her in the thick of things. Now, as a second-year law student, deLatour is preparing for a career where she can negotiate big deals.
What made you choose Georgia State College of Law?
I toured Georgia State, UGA and Emory. When I visited GSU, I immediately felt very welcomed, and felt an overwhelming sense of community that drew me in. Plus, I was impressed by the look and feel of the school. In law school, you need aesthetically pleasing, beautiful things around you while spending so much time in the building. More than anything, the location was an important factor in my decision, because I knew I would have so many more opportunities by being in the city.
What has been your favorite class thus far?
My favorite class has been Lawyering Foundations, which is the legal writing class. I enjoyed learning from Professor Jennifer Chiovaro, and I’m her graduate teaching assistant now. I came from a political science writing background where I wrote a lot of research papers, but I quickly learned that those skills are not quite the ones that you need to write legal documents. It was a challenging class, but I latched onto it and I flourished.
Now, as a GTA, I teach a class on citations, help grade assignments and hold office hours for students to ask questions. I get a chance to connect with the first-year law students; I’m usually talking to six or seven of them every week and continually building relationships. I feel like I fill a mentoring role.
What area of law most interests you?
I’m interested in big corporate law, as well as commercial real estate law. I’m currently doing an externship at the Georgia State-wide Business Court. Judge Walter W. Davis is a great person to work for and learn from because of his extensive experience in the legal field. I have been exposed to so much that will help me to thrive in my future legal career. Every week, the court looks at a different case and I conduct research to write memos and give recommendations. I’ve been able to sit in on status conferences and watch oral arguments, which has been a great experience because I get to see lawyering actually happening. It’s helped me improve my legal research and writing skills, while getting real-world experience. I am so grateful for this opportunity!
What experience have you had at the College of Law that you don’t believe you would have had anywhere else?
Georgia State has been an absolutely great experience for me. GSU stands out among other schools in that as students, we’re not in competition to be better than one another, but rather, we’re here to support each other. We’ve helped each other along the way, and I think that’s important in law school because everything is very challenging, and you need that support of knowing someone is going through it with you. I cannot emphasize more how great the people are at the College of Law.
Interview by Kelundra Smith