Increasingly, Columbia students arrive at the Law School with more under their belts than a B.A. Why did a former opera star come to law school? What kind of lawyer will be created when he possesses a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and a J.D.? What inspired a woman who grew up in prosperous Dubai to earn a law degree to fight for women’s rights?
By Barbara Kancelbaum, Contributing Editor
Camille CalmanAnswer: This television producer reinvented herself in 2003 as a Columbia Law student. Question: Who is Camille Calman?
Dev KalyanAs a student of economics, Dev Kalyan noticed that the health care system was different from any other business model. In particular, he found troubling the fact that major decisions shaping the field – from issues of privacy to intellectual property to drug development– were not being made by physicians, the group most directly charged with improving patient outcomes. Now, as he pursues medical and law degrees simultaneously, his plan is to enter the medical profession equipped to change the status quo.
Evan RudallEvan Rudall’s accomplishments grow directly from the hurdles he faced in his youth. He grew up on Chicago’s South Side and attended a large high school that he describes as neither rigorous nor safe. He was acutely aware that low-income students in his school and others were not getting a quality education. In fact, more than half of his classmates dropped out. A mile down the road, the University of Chicago’s private high school was sending students to top colleges.
Kevin BurdetteWhile some people harbor secret ambitions to be artists, Kevin Burdette, an accomplished opera singer, has always wanted to be a lawyer. Although his passion and talent for music run deep, he has resisted becoming completely immersed in a field he sees as receiving so little public support.
Laila AfridiGrowing up in Dubai, a prosperous, modern city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Laila Afridi developed a truly international perspective. The daughter of a Pakistani lawyer who was a founding partner in a UAE law firm, she crossed paths with people of many nationalities.
Ralph BuncheFor Ralph Bunche, starting law school in New York elicited not only the usual jitters and excitement, but a degree of celebrity he had not previously known, despite his famous name. He is the grandson of the Nobel Peace Prize- winning scientist and civil rights leader, but had grown up in London, where the accomplishments of his namesake are less well known.
Robert James BickelRob Bickel is one of a number of incoming Law School students who exceled in very divergent fields before opting to pursue law as a career. A native Hoosier, Mr. Bickel was more interested in math and science than the humanities. Indeed, when he was 10 and his mother – a single parent of three – went to law school, she warned him that he wouldn’t like the profession.
Sara GalvanLower Manhattan is a long way from the Lower Rio Grande Valley, but Sara Galvan has immersed herself in both places, attempting to understand the many ways – good and bad – that laws shape urban environments.