Meet our Students
Denera Pope-Ragoonanan '20
Becoming a lawyer was initially my way of self-determination, allowing me to stand up for both myself, rising above my circumstances, and those around me. Today, as a 3L at Seton Hall Law, a JD from Seton Hall has become a lot more. Seton Hall Law’s commitment to diversity allows people who both work hard and respect their cultures to have a place to share our cultures with others and learn new things. Its clinics, research opportunities, and externship/internship programs have given me the room and resources needed to grow as a legal professional with a story. Seton Hall has paved the path for me to become a proud and confident lawyer.
Ifedapo Benjamin '20
To determine whether an environment is diverse I believe you have to ask “Do I feel welcomed?” For me the answer has been yes. During my time at Seton Hall Law, I have been fortunate to have people at the law school who I can honestly call my family. Alumni, faculty, students, and others connected to the law school have been a great resource for me. They have not only provided me with advice and mentorship but they have helped me understand what it means to be a Seton Hall lawyer. Seton Hall Law has been more than I could have ever hoped for. I am grateful.
Ahmad Alfawair '20
I want to help immigrant families fight for a better future. As the son of immigrants, there were many points in my life when I thought to myself “I may not be good enough” because of my background. As a future Seton Hall lawyer, I want to inspire those who think they are not good enough because they have less. I yearn to provide disadvantaged people of all backgrounds the same opportunity that was afforded to me – a helping hand.
William Martinez '21
When I think about my Seton Hall Law experience, I can only find one word to describe it – love. Seton Hall Law is a community where everyone, regardless of where they come from, who they know, what they have experienced, will walk through those revolving doors on Raymond and know they are loved, they are appreciated, they are welcomed, they belong here. When challenges present themselves, it is comforting to know that I can talk to anyone in the building, from professors and school staff alike, and with a smile they always say, “You can do this.” That is Seton Hall Law.
Jia Zhang '21
As a result of witnessing injustice, I came to law school wishing to gain the ability to help the disadvantaged. Seton Hall Law has helped substantiate my belief that this is possible. In addition to an incredibly stimulating learning experience and a welcoming environment, Seton Hall provides a wide range of opportunities tailored to the interests of students from all backgrounds. As challenging as this journey has been, I feel that I have the support I need to continue sharpening my legal skills and turn a goal that once seemed idealistic into reality.
Aneri Shah '21
I chose to attend Seton Hall Law because of my participation in Seton Hall Law's Summer Institute for Pre-Legal Studies (Pre-Legal). My experience during Pre-Legal not only confirmed my interest in becoming a lawyer, but more importantly, it confirmed for me that Seton Hall Law was the right law school for me. I met amazing Seton Hall Law professors, judges, practicing attorneys and law students who shared their experiences at Seton Hall Law. After a full year at Seton Hall Law, I can now attest to the same because my first year was absolutely delightful.
Secilia Flores '21
As a first-generation and English as a Second Language law student, finding a welcoming and inclusive law school was a priority for me. At Seton Hall Law School I have found a safe and open-minded place to voice my ideas. Students are friendly, supportive, and encouraging. At the same time, students’ diverse backgrounds create an intellectually challenging environment. Furthermore, professors are always willing to help students whether it be reexplaining a subject or having a casual conversation to de-stress. Professors welcome students’ ideas and encourage constructive criticism to improve their teaching style. Overall, SHLS is a great place to be.
Mark Mikhaelh '21
I choose to attend Seton Hall Law because of its reputation. Since I have been here, I’ve found a community of people willing to work with me to achieve my goals. It’s the perfect environment for someone who already had a career both inside and outside of the classroom. In Newark we have access to the Courts, law firms, and a diverse community. Of course, the diversity within the school has given me so many opportunities to listen to perspectives that have shaped my own. Going to law school is a big decision for anyone but the SHU Law community makes the decision easier.
William Chalmers '20
Prosecutors have a unique opportunity to create a more positive relationship between the communities they serve and the justice system. I want to be a prosecutor because there needs to be more Black faces and Black experiences in that position. It is my belief that if you have the power to prosecute people then you have the responsibility to be able to identify with them. God willing, I will serve the people of Essex County as a prosecutor, which includes my hometown, Newark. Not only will I be able to identify with Newark’s citizens, they will be able to identify with me.
Melissa Walker '20
Diversity bridges the socioeconomic gap by connecting people of different backgrounds. Inclusion is meant to broaden the definition of “similarity”. Inclusion shifts the focus from acknowledging basic differences, to addressing inequities and making an effort to create a more just community. Seton Hall has given me the opportunity to create meaningful relationships with people around the globe, where we work together to create the community we want. I want to make my experience the norm at Seton Hall Law.
Tatiana Laing '20
Before law school, I participated in service projects on a both small and large scales. But I kept running into questions that I couldn’t answer and problems that I couldn’t solve. People whose circumstances I couldn’t change. But in the short time that I’ve been in law school, I’ve already felt empowered to make a difference in a new way. I hope to be the kind of lawyer that advocates for individuals, but who also can bring a community together to face injustice. I believe that this law school will help me do just that.
Stevie Haire '20
It bothers me when I see people go quiet in conversation where they may not agree with what's being said. Silently they nod along so as not to cause a conflict. For me, Seton Hall has been a very welcome change from this dynamic. Even though I do not agree with all the views I hear other students voice, every one of them seems perpetually willing to engage in a discussion. This kind of communication is, I believe, the first step in working toward a more equitable and inclusive environment in the legal profession.
Hafsa Mansoor '20
I chose to attend law school because I believe the law is both the ultimate tool and the ultimate obstacle of social justice. I want to dedicate myself to using the law to dismantle structural violence, empower the silenced, and restore dignity to the marginalized. Seton Hall’s profound commitment to public interest law immediately felt like home to me. Being a Seton Hall lawyer will arm me with the knowledge, experience, and connections to fight to make the justice system just.
Elianni De La Cruz '20
The best part about attending Seton Hall law is knowing that the school is truly dedicated to serving "one student at a time." The faculty is committed to your success from your first day of class. Professors are more than willing to encourage your academic growth and everyone is dedicated to becoming familiar with who you are and your involvement in the Seton Hall community. It's a great place to grow as a professional when you know you can rely on dedicated faculty to support you.
Tamryn Valenzuela '21
I was apprehensive going back to school after almost 20 years, and being the first in my family to pursue an advanced degree I felt very alone with my fears. The culture at Seton Hall Law is so welcoming and supportive - you can feel the positive thoughts and energy buzzing around you, willing you to succeed. Within the first few weeks I was confident that I had everything I needed right here to get me through the challenges of law school and lay a solid foundation to build a career – including a new family of colleagues.
Mai Hamid '20
When weighing my options for law school I was impressed by Seton Hall Law’s well-connected alumni network, and the school's proximity to major legal players. On a personal level, I get a comforting feeling knowing that this school is deeply invested in its students’ success, and I truly see that each and every day. Every door is open to help you, and the overarching principle of being an honest and loyal professional, we are taught, crafts more than just lawyers, it crafts a Seton Hall Law family.