Name: Josephine Whiteley
Hometown: Hyde Park, NY
Law School: New York Law School
Graduation Year: 2024
What inspired you to go to law school?
Spending an undergraduate semester in Washington, D.C., working for a non-profit legal services organization! This was my first time interacting with lawyers and clients—it made me realize how much change is necessary. I assisted indigent residents with expungement cases.
What area of the law interests you and why?
I am currently interested in criminal defense. I have always had a passion for public interest and fighting for the underserved. I feel that equal access to justice is extremely important, regardless of demographics and socioeconomic status. Our criminal justice system is seeing a lot of change recently and I am eager to be a part of that.
What extracurriculars are you involved in and how have they impacted your experience?
I am affiliated with the Wilf Impact Center for Public Interest Law at New York Law School. The Center allows me to develop connections around the area of public interest law, explore different courses, and participate in volunteer opportunities. I am also involved in Courtroom Advocates Project as a student advocate for victims seeking orders of protection. I am a member of the Legal Association for Women, Restorative Justice Law Student Association, and the Criminal Law Society. These activities inspire and motivate me to continue helping others in need
What do you hope to achieve after you graduate?
After graduating, I hope to work in public defense and at local office in New York City. In the future, I would love to open my own non-profit, focusing on criminal defense and impact litigation.
What advice would you give to your fellow law students?
Take time to explore all avenues of your passions. You never know where an open door can lead you to. Spend time developing meaningful connections within the legal community, focus on your studies and what motivates you, and never give up. Self-care is important. Living out your dream makes everything worth it!
Why should other law students join NYSBA?
Students should join NYSBA because of the array of opportunities and information provided. NYSBA offers career resources, professional and educational development tools and training, scholarships, and so much more. It really is a one-stop-shop for everything a law student needs to succeed!