From music conservatories to Seton Hall Law School, two first year students graced
the stage as opera singers prior to being aspiring lawyers.
From Newark and Back Again
A Newark native, Caroline Braga is back home after an opera career that began at the
ripe age of nine. She went to grade school at Wilson Avenue School, just down the
street from where she now studies Contracts and Civil Procedure. Caroline attended
the Newark School of the Arts and later the Manhattan School of Music. During those
years, in addition to singing at City Hall or NJPAC, she took her vocal talents to
Italy, Spain, Brazil, and France. Other venues included Carnegie Hall and Lincoln
“Not many individuals around me had the opportunities I had,” recalls Caroline. “One
day I thought, ‘what now?’ On a whim after speaking to a friend, I applied to Columbia
and got in.”
Caroline majored in Political Science and was exposed not only to a more challenging
academic environment but also to multiple opportunities to have an impact on the world
“I found my voice -- literally -- at a young age,” says Caroline. “Now I wanted to
use my voice for my community in a different way. Many of the leaders around me when
I was growing up, like Senator Cory Booker who was Mayor when I was in high school,
had legal backgrounds that equipped them to drive change. I wanted to use my voice
to have a presence to do the same thing.”
Of Newark, Caroline says, “It’s important to come back and bring what I’ve learned
to where it all started.” And, she adds, “a lot of life lessons learned as an opera
singer will be useful in my legal career.”
Caroline is most excited to explore different sectors of corporate law while applying
the many languages she can speak.
And maybe the past is prologue. A picture Caroline drew in kindergarten shows her
singing – before a court bench in a black robe, gavel in hand! Perhaps The Honorable
Braga will be her title down the road.
From Opera to IT to Studying Law
Fellow classmate Alexander Corson took a different path to Seton Hall Law. His parents
met while performing in operas and raised him with a love of music. “When you are
17 and are not certain of what you want to do with the rest of your life, you do what
you know,” says Corson of his decision to attend Westminster Choir College to perfect
Upon graduating in 2010, he became a full-time opera singer and eventually began working
an IT “day job” while performing nights and weekends.
Not only was his IT experience invaluable in its own right in preparing him for law
school, but it led him to conversations with lawyer-clients, which in turn led to
thinking about law school. “I considered business degrees or another undergraduate
degree,” recalls Corson, “but when I took the LSAT and scored pretty high on the practice
exam, I decided studying law was a real possibility.”
Corson thinks the client-facing experience of his IT work coupled with problem-solving
talent and interpersonal skills made law a natural fit for him.
As a student who is not just continuing his education, but coming back to school after
working as a professional, Corson knew attending law school was a risk but one he
was willing to take.
“I had a different lifestyle, so, going back to school at 29 was a drastic departure
from my comfort zone,” states Corson. “But I thoroughly researched it, attended Road
to 1L, and have both feet firmly in the law ready to be the best lawyer I can be.”
And while he does not still perform professionally, Corson will occasionally sing
with a barber shop quartet.
Speaking of Seton Hall, Corson says that going to law school “is the best decision
I’ve made in my entire life.” He hopes to one day be a litigator.