Tell us about yourself.
My name is Cristina Mauldin, and I am a 1L at SMU Dedman School of Law. I graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2020 with majors in Spanish and Education and minors in Philosophy and Religious Studies. I spent the past two years teaching middle and high school Spanish in Duncanville ISD and Dallas ISD, respectively. While I have been interested in law since I was a kid, teaching Spanish influenced my interest in practicing education law specifically. My teaching career was extremely challenging and impactful, and my goal is to use my legal education to help future teachers to shape their work environment in a way that helps them to best serve their students. When I am not reading or studying, my favorite things to do are reformer Pilates, AMP cycle, lifting weights, shopping and visiting with my family.
Why did you decide to come to SMU Law?
I decided to come to SMU Law because I had an incredible experience at SMU in undergrad, and I love being in the Dallas area. I was also honored to be selected as a Sumners Scholar, which further incentivized me to choose SMU.
What has been your favorite thing about SMU Law and why?
My favorite thing about SMU Law so far has been the student experience. I have loved getting a chance to be on the other side of the classroom by being a student again. I have been what I think will be lifelong friends in some of my classmates, and I have found that every 1L class has been unique and interesting. Just the other day, I attended my first office hours of law school with Professor Offit. She was very helpful and kind, and it set a positive tone for what I think will be an incredible semester in her Criminal Law class.
When you are not in school or studying, what do you do for fun?
I absolutely love to exercise because it has been extremely beneficial for my physical and mental wellness these past few years. My favorite form of exercise is reformer Pilates, which is a low-impact form of strength, core, and flexibility training that involves a fun piece of equipment called a reformer. It’s my favorite because there are endless possibilities for exercises. Other than that, I love visiting my family, shopping, and eating at Malai Kitchen.
What extracurricular activities did you enjoy most in college and why?
My favorite extracurricular activities in college were singing Soprano 2 in the SMU Belle Tones and playing intramural sand volleyball for Armstrong Commons. As a Belle Tone, I got to be a soloist in both Carrie Underwood’s Before He Cheats and Tina Turner’s Proud Mary, and I was a small part of an incredibly talented group of women. We never won the commons championship for intramural sand volleyball, but we did win runner-up my senior year!
How do you think law school will challenge you?
I think that law school will challenge me to be more intentional about how I plan to spend my time. Before, I would have a simple to-do list of things I wanted to accomplish on a given day that dealt with work, school, and social activities. I would usually get everything done in one day, but I would push things to the next day if I did not. Now, I am working hard to be more detail oriented when I make my schedule so that I can complete my daily lists and still get enough sleep and exercise.
What has been your most memorable law school moment so far?
My most memorable law school moment thus far has been attending Professor Offit’s office hours. I went to her with a question about jury nullification, and we ended up having an hour-long conversation about jury nullification plus law school in general and my career goals. It made me feel more comfortable sharing my ideas in class, and I am excited to continue learning from Professor Offit about criminal law.
What do you plan to do post-graduation?
Post-graduation, I plan to work in labor and employment law. I hope to find a big firm to work for here in Dallas that will help to shape me into an effective attorney and provide me with the skills to do the best I can for any clients I have the privilege to help.
Where do you see yourself in 5 and 10 years?
In 5 years, I see myself working in labor and employment law at a big firm here in Dallas. In 10 years, I see myself starting a non-profit that provides Texas public school teachers with free assistance with signing their contracts, enrolling in their benefits programs, and handling any student, parents, or administrative concerns they have at their schools. Somewhere in between 5 and 10 years, I hope to save up enough money to build and move into my dream home either in Dallas or a suburb close by.