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Kristi Wagley Richard

Class of 2009

LSU Law Student

“I am still amazed that I am taught by the people who actually had a hand in making the laws of the state or wrote the treatises that we all rely upon for help. Sometimes I feel as though I have a backstage pass to know what is going on and what the true intent of laws are by listening to their stories.”

Background: Graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree from LSU in management; in fourth year of law school because she is enrolled in the joint JD/MBA program; member of LSU Law Ambassadors and Student Bar Association Ethics Committee; treasurer of Legal Association of Women; supervising coordinator of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA; one of seven children.

Why Law School: Everything in the world, in some way or another, revolves around the law. Particularly as a woman, I feel that getting a law degree gives me a step up and opens doors for me that wouldn't have been opened otherwise. It somewhat allows me to be seen on a more even playing field with my male counterparts.

Why LSU Law: I've always known that my roots are here in Louisiana and this is where my husband and I will stay. As far as I'm concerned, if you are going to practice law in Louisiana, there is only one place to go to law school and that's at LSU. It really is the best bang for your buck. Not only is it a lot more affordable than other schools, but it consistently has the highest bar passage rate in the state.

The Faculty: I am still amazed that I am taught by the people who actually had a hand in making the laws of the state or wrote the treatises that we all rely upon for help. Sometimes I feel as though I have  a backstage pass to know what was going on and what the true intent of laws, etc. were by listening to their stories.

The faculty are very approachable. They demand a lot out of you in class, but some, like Susan Kalinka, will also open her home to you on Friday afternoons to make sure that you understand all the material. Others, like Bill Corbett, will offer career advice and offer to work with you after law school if you need additional education in an area because a class didn't fit into your schedule. Teachers like Andrea Carroll and Darlene Goring take time out of their busy schedules to meet with first-year students to explain how to outline and how to take tests. They go above and beyond and are truly concerned about their students' well being, not just the grade that they will get in the class.

The Curriculum: LSU's bijural curriculum provides students with the opportunity to learn both Louisiana's civil law roots, as well as feel comfortable spreading their wings and pursing careers in other states. Receiving a degree in civil law also opens doors to other civil law jurisdictions around the world. The Law Center provides an excellent experience to travel abroad to France during the summer to study how the French civil law works. It offers the students an interesting perspective.

Although there are no specializations, there are many classes in a variety of subject areas, such as common law, tax, labor, and employment, so students receive a broad spectrum of education in many subject areas. I believe the clinical program does wonders for Law Center students by offering hands-on experience.

Future Goals: I've accepted an associate position after graduation at McGlinchey Stafford in its business/tax section. I would like to work my way through the ranks there. I want to intertwine my knowledge base of both my law degree and my business degree to become one of the most well respected business attorneys in the area.

Just for Fun: I like travelling to new and exciting places. I want to visit all seven continents, and I already have four under my belt. I used to like reading for pleasure. I hope that is still the case when I actually have time to read something besides a homework assignment. I like attending all kinds of sporting events, especially LSU, and anything related to the arts-plays, recitals, concerts, and gallery openings.

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jbgoode@law.lsu.edu