Where are they now? Alumna applies valuable lessons from ASU to her work as an attorney
Carolina Lopez, a triple-alumna of Arizona State University, said she learned valuable lessons as a student that inform her work as an attorney.
Lopez currently is an assistant attorney general for the state of Arizona Attorney General's Office in the Child and Family Protection Division.
She graduated from ASU three times, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in mass communication in 2015, both from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Her bachelor’s degree came with honors from Barrett, The Honors College at ASU. In 2019, Lopez graduated with a juris doctorate from the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law.
“While I was at ASU and Barrett, I was building great soft skills, and these ultimately helped me succeed in law school. These skills still serve me today as an attorney,” Lopez said.
“I learned the importance of engaging in your passions, getting involved with your community and building great relationships,” Lopez saod. “I learned to take an active role in my education by asking questions, meeting with professors, meeting with counselors and seeking out opportunities, not just for myself, but for others, too.”
While an undergraduate, Lopez worked for Barrett Honors College and completed a variety of internships, including with Arizona Public Service and Allstate insurance company. Prior to attending law school, she worked for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. While a law student, she was a teaching assistant and research assistant, a legal extern for the American Civil Liberties Union and an intern for a judge in the United States Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuit and a judge in the U.S. District Court of Arizona.
Before joining the state Attorney General’s Office, Lopez worked as an associate attorney at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP and as a Maricopa County deputy public defender.
She serves as a board member for the Pipeline Committee of Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association and as the District 4 representative of the State Bar of Arizona Young Lawyers Division. She previously served as a member of the city of Phoenix Youth and Education Commission.
“It was my Barrett supervisor that connected me to people in the legal community and wrote my letter of recommendation for law school,” Lopez said. “While in law school, I remained involved with student and community organizations, and this helped me on my career path.”
We asked Lopez to reflect on her time at ASU. Here is what she had to say.
Question: What drew you to ASU and Barrett, The Honors College?
Answer: What drew me to Barrett was the smaller community support it provided. When you're part of such a large university like ASU, it can be difficult to navigate and understand all the available resources. The Barrett staff was always so helpful and supportive of students, and that drew me in.
Q: Looking back on your time at ASU and in Barrett, what is your favorite memory?
A: My favorite memory from Barrett was living on campus with my Barrett cohort in the ASU downtown (campus) dorms, and attending all the community events. Specifically, the downtown Barrett staff organized a trolley ride tour to all the local businesses and art galleries downtown. The staff organized other events throughout the years, and it was so valuable getting to know everyone and immersing myself in the community, especially as a first-generation college student. Within our Barrett cohort, we were supportive of one another, and that made a big difference in my experience.
Q: If you were to give one piece of advice to current and future ASU students, what would that advice be?
A: Remember that you are here to make friends, and it's so important to build community. In one of my freshman year classes, I overheard a student say, "I'm not here to make friends." I don't think things worked out as brilliantly as they could have for that person. And don't be afraid to reach out to people. More often than not, people are willing to help.
Story written by Alex Marie Solomon, a Barrett, The Honors College student majoring in communication.