Law Student Confidential: A Big Dream Fifteen Years in the Making
The tenth chapter in a project witnessing and learning more about fellow law students and their motivation behind moving their life & family all the way to Missoula, Montana to pursue their legal education. Meet Angie Miller.
"Since the age of about 15 I knew I wanted to go to law school. I remember sitting down with my mom and discussing what I wanted to do when I was older. My mom was a strong advocate of pursuing education to obtain stability in life. I thought about what I liked in life and in school. What interested me. I had always loved science and gave serious thought to becoming a doctor or a marine biologist. But I also had this idea of becoming a lawyer, even though I wasn’t sure what type of law I would even be interested in. I ultimately decided that I liked colder weather way more than warm weather and I looked into more aspects of science beyond marine biology. At this point I think my fascination with the human brain had really taken off. I remember doing research at home about the human brain. This eventually led me to articles about criminal justice and the human brain. I remember talking to my mom about this and she said, “well maybe you can find a way to combine both biology and law.” I thought that was a great idea and from that point on my mind was pretty much made up, I would go to school and get a degree in biology and then go to law school. If I changed my mind I’d go to medical school and become a doctor. Either one honestly intrigued me.
The older I got the more dedicated I became to the idea of being a lawyer. It seemed as those my possibilities in that field would be endless. I could be any type of lawyer. As I went through my undergrad at Montana Tech my commitment to go to law school was solidified and any chance I had to join the law and my studies in biology together, I did.
It’s a common question people ask. Why did you decide to go to law school? This answer has changed and morphed in the almost ten years since I first decided it was what I wanted to do. However, there are three core aspects that I have always found myself coming back to when I think about this question. Stability, challenge, and helping others. I wanted a career that I knew people relied on and needed. One that could help me provide for my family one day. I wanted a career that would continue to challenge me during my life and never “get boring.” I wanted a career that allowed me to do more than just go to work. A career that allowed me to meet and help others. Gave me power to make change and advocate for others in need.
When deciding where to go to law school I really only ever considered two places, Montana and Colorado. I grew up in Colorado and most of my family still lives there. However, during my time in Montana I truly fell in love with the state and seriously considered staying here. During my undergrad I met Tyler Miller. We bonded instantly and within a year I knew that I wanted to stay in Montana and create a life here with him. After visiting the law school in Missoula for informational student day I fell in love with Missoula and the law school. Talking to professors and students they mentioned that if you want to practice in Montana it is ideal to go to school in Montana and start making connections. I knew this is where I wanted, and needed, to be. That same day Tyler was offered the management position of the Missoula Universal Athletic store and I knew that was a sign that Missoula is where we were meant to be.
Law school has been an intriguing ride. It has allowed me the opportunity to meet new friends, to grow and change, and learn not only about the law, but about myself. Some days have been easier than others. Some days were great and some days, well not so much. Law school hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it. I have grown into a person who is willing to question and challenge others. A person who knows it is often best to stop, ask questions, and truly listen. A person who learned more from their fellow classmates and professors than any book could have tried to teach. This experience has been a longtime dream in the making. A dream built off a gut feeling of a 15-year-old who thought a career as a lawyer would suit her well. I am happy that 15-year-old dreamed as big as she did. It has been a long road, but it has been worth it all."