Melanie Griffin, Class of 2022

Tell us about yourself (where you are from, your undergrad school, major, what you did prior to coming to SMU, anything interesting, etc.)?
I am from Little Rock, Arkansas. I went to the University of Central Arkansas where I attained my Bachelor of Art in History and African American Studies. I graduated in December of 2018 which allowed me to work and save prior to moving to Dallas. I decided I did not want to work for anyone, I wanted to be my own boss. I began promoting my photography, and to my surprised I gained tons of clients. I began making money by doing something I absolutely loved. Over the course of five months I was able to save enough money to fund my move to Dallas.

What is your favorite thing to do in Dallas?
My favorite thing about Dallas would definitely be the abundance of tacos!

Why did you decide to come to SMU Law?
Before I submitted my application to SMU Law I had a lot of self-doubt. I began to think “they’ll never accept me!” I spoke with alumni and current students and asked them about their experience at SMU. All of them assured me that SMU Law was one of THE schools to attend if I wanted to live in Texas. After I submitted my application and received my acceptance letter I got a call from Ms. Shunverie in the office of admissions. Her excitement through the phone immediately made me feel welcomed, and my anxiety began to disappear. Finally, I compared all of the schools I got accepted into, and determined SMU Law was the school for me.

What advice would you give anyone applying to Law School?
The advice I would give to anyone applying to Law School is get to know the people who are already attending that institution. Asking questions about the environment of the law school is very important because that environment is what you will be submerged in for the next three to four years. I would also advise taking advantage of waivers. Law school applications are expensive, and if you’re able to attain a waiver to offset the cost, do it!

What classes are you enrolled in this semester?
I am enrolled in Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Research, Writing, and Advocacy, and Legislation and Regulation.

When you are not in school or studying, what do you do for fun?
When I am not studying, I am usually thinking about cases. Now that I have started law school the law is all I think about! I suppose that can be a good thing or a bad thing.

What extracurricular activities are you interested in at SMU Law?
I would love to join the Black Law Students Association, Women in Law and Board of Advocates.

How do you think law school will challenge you most?
I think law school will help mold me into a more active and educated citizen. I believe every lawyer has the ability to give back in various ways, whether it is doing pro bono work or advising the president. Law is a powerful profession, and I believe SMU Law will help shape me to use my power for the betterment of my community. Although it is only my second week as a 1L, I am already learning the value of community and leadership within my 1L class. I plan to carry the traits I learn at SMU with me when I become a lawyer.

What do you think you would like to do after graduation?
Post-graduation I would like to take a long vacation. Following my vacation, I would like to go into litigation, however I am open-minded to other opportunities. Where ever this journey takes me, I have made a commitment to myself to always put my best foot forward. Pony-up!