Student Spotlight: Emily Hansen, Class of 2023, Admitted to Harvard Law School

a female with blonde hair, wearing a white blouse and a black blazer.

Major you studied
    • International Relations, Global Business
How did USC and your major prepare you for your next steps?
    • I think what stands out about USC and the POIR department in particular is really the quality of professors. My professors were instrumental in helping me with letters of recommendation, putting me in contact with their former students who went on to law school, and offering advice and support.
    • Being an IR major also helped me in applying to law school in a multitude of ways. My reading and writing skills improved immensely, and I had a multitude of research passions and writing samples to draw on from class research papers. Studying international relations even helped me explore what types of law I was interested in, as my classes consistently highlighted different legal issues in human rights, international law, and corporate law. Law schools often also ask in applications how the applicant handles hearing different perspectives, a key part of studying the law. I feel that being a participant in IR class discussions exposes one to many different viewpoints and really prepares a student for such discourse as may take place in a law classroom.
Any advice you would like to give to current students?
    • Form relationships with your professors; they are all brilliant. Take the classes you are truly interested in. Passion is really the best motivator to succeed in your classes and retain the valuable knowledge that you will learn. Also, attend every event, lecture series, webinar, etc that you can. You never know what you will learn and draw upon in future conversations.
What do you look forward to as you transition into law school?
    • I am honestly most excited to see how I may be able to relate my previous studies to my legal ones. I always love when my areas of interest dovetail with one another and I hope that I will be able to bring a unique perspective to my new classes with my background in international relations. I also am really just excited to study law, which has been at the forefront of my academic interests since before even starting undergrad.
Include anything else that you think is relevant and great to share about your experience.
    • I find that international relations and the law are inextricably related and both fields are at play in today’s most pressing challenges. A background in international relations is certainly important to understanding the multi-faceted geopolitical and economic systems that interplay with laws around the world.