Name: Lindsay Matheos (she/her)
Hometown: New Boston, New Hampshire and Queens, New York
Law School: City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law
Graduation Year: 2024
What inspired you to go to law school?
I moved to New York after college to work as a freelance stage manager, and I never thought I would go to law school. However, living in a city for the first time in my life (and living in a low-income, underserved neighborhood) motivated me to become involved in politics and build a career fighting for low-income New Yorkers like me.
What area of the law interests you and why?
I am studying environmental and land use law. I’m particularly interested in the intersection of city planning and the environment, and how the law influences our physical surroundings. Growing up in the rich natural environment of rural New Hampshire, I was privileged enough to not often have to think about environmental issues. Once I moved to an environmental justice community in the City, though, I realized just how important something as mundane-sounding and land use law is, as well as how urgent the fight for environmental justice is.
What extracurriculars are you involved in and how have they impacted your experience?
I am involved in Indigenous Americans and the Law Student Advocates (IALSA), a small collective of CUNY Law students advocating for more courses and other educational opportunities relating to Indigenous Peoples Law, as well as supporting Indigenous rights and tribal sovereignty more broadly. Indigenous Peoples Law is a unique area of law in that it touches every single other area of law; it is highly multidisciplinary (and not to mention vitally important!), and I think every law student should be required to take a class on it.
In the more traditional vein, I am also deeply involved with CUNY Law Review. It has been extremely rewarding to contribute to the rather conservative field of legal academia through working on a progressive, social-justice focused journal.
What do you hope to achieve after you graduate?
I hope to work in environmental law with either a nonprofit or government agency in a position that allows me to see concrete progress, beyond policymaking.
What advice would you give to your fellow law students?
Make time for something in your life that is entirely unrelated to law and professional development. I’ve been rock climbing indoors and outdoors for two and a half years, and climbing and training have been fantastic outlets for me throughout the stress of law school.
Why should other law students join NYSBA?
NYSBA’s programming has been a fantastic way for me to learn more about different career paths and areas within the law. I’m a low-income, first-generation student, so being able to join NYSBA for free and immediately have access to this network and set of resources has been invaluable!