• Bereza Photography

Law Student Confidential: She Said She Would, So She Did

The sixth 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 Scotti and her sweet babes.


Growing up with two parents in and out of prison, multiple questionable boyfriend decisions, one questionable job choice, and failing out of college led me to embark on my own journey. I bought a one-way ticket to California. I was going to do this thing called life. But how? Growing up, I had very few role models to show me what something as simple as going to work every day--looked like. I had next to no life skills other than survival and sometimes even that was a challenge. So here I am getting off the plane in San Diego, California. My dad and Grandma Dottie lived in Sun City and my Uncle Sid and Aunt Ella owned condos in San Diego. I would figure it out. I stayed there in California for about three months. During those three months, I took zero steps to become a more successful adult.

My Grandmother—bless her heart bought a house in Havre, Montana. May 4, 2006, my dad and I helped my grandma load a Uhaul. We drove through Death Valley, over the Great Divide, and to what felt like Canada. At this point, I thought I would stay for a couple of months and then go back “home” to Iowa. That. Did. Not. Happen. Instead, I was notified that my forever person was in an accident and tragically, killed his best friend. It was almost as if I woke up from a dream, and I simply decided Iowa wasn’t “home” anymore, and I took root in Havre.

After a few more questionable boyfriend decisions; moving to Kansas City, Kansas; to Hillsboro, Oregon; then back to Havre; a middle-of-the-night move to Billings, lasting a few years; I moved back “home” (Havre). One day after thinking about life, I told myself that I was going to go to law school. Every job choice, move, and education choice thereafter was to prove to myself that I could get here. Now, I come to show myself and my two very beautiful and happy, devilish but kind, and loving yet sassy central, babes that I CAN do it.

I’m going to do it because every single person, my whole life (before the age of 25) told me I would amount to nothing; that I wasn’t going anywhere; that I just wasn’t capable… Oh and that it wasn’t my fault… blah blah blah… No, at this point in life I knew where I was, was indeed, my fault. I needed to grow up. But one day everything just kinda clicked and life got a lot easier.

I just keep showing up every day and good, bad, or awful, I come. The day after I almost died, the day after my baby was born, I show up. If I stop showing up, my life becomes unremarkable. I help no one, and regardless of letting everyone around me down, I let myself down. Anyone who really knows me, knows that is just not something I’m willing to do.


I made some terrible decisions when I was younger, but I have learned so much. Coming to law school has taught me discipline, how to advocate for myself and for others. It has taught me compassion, love, and kindness. Tying up my third year, I never thought in a million years that I would be a successful, law-abiding citizen, showing my kids what success looks like every day. I’m here because I’m terrified, the people from my childhood may be right. I keep showing up, because they cannot be right.



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