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Colleen McCarthy

Colleen McCarthy

Class of 2018

Hometown: Chantilly, Virginia
Undergraduate: Virginia Commonwealth University
Major: Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc), Criminal Justice and Homeland Security


Colleen McCarthy grew up in Chantilly, Virginia, in the DC corridor to parents who worked as federal employees. Her dad is a government contractor and her mother works in counter-intelligence.

McCarthy always thought that she would follow in her parent's foot-steps and eventually work for Homeland Security. However, after taking criminal justice courses at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), McCarthy realized that she didn't want to work for a broken system. Instead, she dreamed of pursuing a legal career so that she could fix the United States' criminal justice system.

"I was not a straight A student in the first two years of college and I spoke to an advisor at VCU about going to law school and she said I didn't have the grades to go to law school and told me that I wasn't intelligent enough for law school. Instead of being deflated by that, I used it to fuel my fire. In my last two years at school, I got straight As."  

Also, McCarthy started working with the community and became passionate about how children are underserved by the legal system. In her first year at McGeorge, she interned at the Children's Law Center of California. The experience piqued her interest in working in family law.  

McCarthy decided to attend McGeorge because she had always wanted to explore the west coast. She enjoys McGeorge's location in Sacramento which is close to both Lake Tahoe and the San Francisco Bay Area. "I've always loved the idea of the west coast. I like to travel and move around and I felt like I had been on the east coast for too long."  

McCarthy was eager to attend a smaller school where she could feel a sense of a community. VCU has 30,000 students. "I work in the student admissions office and am also a student ambassador. I really feel connected to the school and its community."  

Ready to enter her third year at McGeorge, McCarthy has proven her advisor wrong.   "I came to law school not knowing if I could do it or if I was smart enough to be a lawyer and now I feel so capable of practicing law. The community at McGeorge has constantly supported me and helped me feel capable of taking on the challenge of being an attorney."

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