BETHANY, W.Va. – Several Bethany College alumni attending law school recently shared their experiences and some advice with current Bethany students who are considering legal careers.

The participating alumni were: Michael Springer-Ingram ’18, University of Chicago Law; Sierra Mortimer ’20, New England School of Law; A.J. Wahlie ’18, Ohio Northern University, Pettit School of Law; Matt Jones ’18, Duquesne School of Law; Zachary Lowe ’18, Marquette University Law School; and Danielle Vealey ’18, University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

The participating alumni plan to use their legal degrees in a variety of ways, including sports and advocacy.

“Once you get the J.D., you can pretty much do anything you want,” Jones said. “It’s a really versatile degree.”
Added Vealey: “There is so much you can do. There are a lot of options for you. I do think this is a degree – and I will be in a lot of debt – that pays for itself.”

The discussion primarily focused on how law school differed from undergraduate education.

“It is the only thing that I’ve ever done that raw effort will not result in good grades,” Jones said, emphasizing the importance of knowing how to study.

Every alumnus stressed the importance of being prepared and learning time management.

“For me what’s most effective, in transitioning to law school, is learning to effectually manage your time,” Wahlie said. “Scheduling yourself and knowing what you have to do every day is super helpful.”

Several of the alumni encouraged Bethany students to become “over-involved” while completing their undergraduate study as a way to successfully learn time management.

They also stressed the importance of, as a first-year law student, connecting with the upperclassmen and the professor.

The lone first-year law student on the panel encouraged prospective law students to figure what is most important to them when looking at schools.

“Do your homework about the law school you look at – the students are going to be a lot more open with you if you go on a tour,” Mortimer said.

Once you’re there, she added, “I found that most of the professors want to help you out. They want to see you learn. Do what works for you. By the end of the first semester, you will know.”


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.