Originally from Ford Heights, Ill. Lavarr Barnett earned his bachelor of arts in business and commerce from Holy Cross College in 2014.
I asked Barnett to reflect on his experiences at NDLS.
Why did you chose NDLS?
“I chose NDLS for a variety of reasons, the most important being that I would get a great legal education without having to relocate my family from South Bend. Having gone to undergraduate school here in South Bend —and throughout my travels —I could tell how far reaching Notre Dame’s influence was. Having the ability to access such a committed and effective alumni base was very attractive to me.”
How would you describe the community at NDLS?
“The community is much more close-knit than I would have expected coming into law school. Everyone knows everyone and many of us build relationships with people from different backgrounds. Through our many different clubs and student organizations, there is no shortage of opportunity to connect with your colleagues.”
What type of law do you want to practice? Where do you want to practice?
“I have a business background, and strong love of sports, so my ideal job would be practicing business law in a sports context. I’d love to either practice here in South Bend or back home in Chicago.”
What extracurricular activities do you/have you participated in at NDLS? What clinics, externships, and/or internships have you completed?
“I’ve worked throughout my time here at ND, including an internship with the General Counsel’s office at Teachers Credit Union, the largest credit union in the state. I also participated in the Street Law Program, which gives law students the opportunity to teach a Government/Civics course at one of the local high schools. I have served as a research assistant and am the outgoing president of the Black Law Students Association. Finally, I am an ICLEO Fellow. I completed the ICLEO Summer Institute the summer before I entered law school and served as a teaching assistant for the ICLEO Summer Institute legal writing class this past summer.”
How would you describe the faculty at NDLS? What has been your favorite class?
“The faculty here is excellent. The professors here are very helpful and approachable. They care about their students succeeding and becoming outstanding lawyers. My favorite class here so far has been International Business Transactions with Prof. Kalanges.”
What advice would you give an incoming student?
“The most important thing you can do is be prepared. The first year of law school is about teaching 1Ls how to think, learn and speak in an entirely new way. The best way to grasp all of the information you’ll see is to be diligent with your studies.”
What did you find the most surprising during your 1L year?
“The most surprising thing during my 1L year was how fast it went. There’s so much going on and you don’t even realize how fast it’s going until finals are right around the corner.”
What are your summer internship plans?
“I will be working at a small firm in South Bend for part of the summer, as well as continuing my role as a legal intern with the local credit union.”