Meet the Inaugural Class - Susan Lewis
Editor's note: This is part of a year-long series of features profiling the individual members of the UC Irvine School of Law Inaugural Class. We hope you enjoy getting to know a little bit about each student in this dynamic first class.
Hometown: Southern California (Pasadena, Los Alamitos)
Undergrad major: English
Iconic symbol: Her passport
Susan Lewis knew back in high school that she wanted to go to law school.
The realization came to her as she was helping with the production of a choir competition. "I was doing a lot of backstage work, and I realized that it made me feel real good to be part of that, to be part of something not necessarily in the spotlight but on the backstage. And I thought about entertainment law for that, because you can assist the performers but not necessarily have the pressure of being a performer yourself."
She majored in English at UC Irvine, and was an intern at the District Attorney's office in Bellflower, where she observed case proceedings and confirmed that her interest in law extended beyond the entertainment industry. "Right now, I'm more interested in international law, and I'm throwing different things around for ideas about what I want to do," she says.
While the type of law she will pursue is still unclear, one noteworthy experience during her internship crystalized what type of lawyer Lewis wants to be. While sitting in on a trial, she watched a female public defender forcefully stand up for her client. "Objection, Your Honor - this is wrong!" Lewis remembers her saying.
"And then, during the recess, she comes over and says, 'Excuse me, could you tell me where the bathroom is?' in this quiet, sweet little voice, and I thought, 'That is amazing - how she can just turn it on and off like that?' and I wanted to be like her, to be able to be really aggressive, but still be a nice person.
"The idea that lawyers can be good, but be nice people, is something that maybe is not so much a stereotype of law, but which I think is really inspiring to me."
More about Susan, in her own words:
If I weren't in law school I'd be ...
Probably studying abroad or working abroad, doing something abroad. I've been to the U.K. a couple of times and I really love it there. It's just so beautiful, and I love the culture, I love the people there. I would probably look into writing more. I might go to grad school for English ... teach, maybe? I don't know if I'd try to be a professional writer - it's too unstable for me.
While waiting for the jury to reach a verdict, I would ...
I would probably have a really good meal and take a nap. I tend to sleep when I'm stressed because I like to sleep, so it's where I go to whenever I feel bad. I would probably watch my favorite TV show or my favorite movie, something like that, and just try to enjoy my time and forget what's going on.
"Law & Order" or "Boston Legal"?
I haven't really watched either of them. I think probably "Law & Order," because I know it's a lot more investigation-based ... you have the mystery, you try to solve it before they do and figure out what's going on.
The Story Behind the Symbol (pictured in her portrait photo):
Watch the video about to see and hear Susan tell the story.
Favorite song to study to:
I like really upbeat things. I've been listening to Mika lately, like "Love Today" and "Lollipop" ... completely lifts your mood just listening to it because it's so upbeat and so happy. That gives me energy and makes me want to keep going.
Last non-legal book read:
I read Fahrenheit 451. I just took this sci-fi class my last quarter at UCI, so I was like, "I'm going to look into more sci-fi, Fahrenheit 451 is classic, I'm going to look at that," and it was pretty interesting - really kind of dark in some places.
I'm reading Harry Potter, Book 7 now - I guess that's still kind of dark, but a little bit of a pick-me-up at least.
Fahrenheit 451's writing style was really plain and concise, so it doesn't intrude itself that much, which could be good for law - concise writing. And then Harry Potter is, of course, a little more storybook ... a little more descriptive.
I like that (Fahrenheit 451) writing style; I think that usually when I write, I try to be more concise, and not intrude too much in what I'm talking about.
Last meal request:
I would go with Southwestern Egg Rolls from Chili's. Believe it or not, I've actually thought about that - and I've thought, "Yeah, this would be my last meal; I love them so much, I can't get away from them."