From internships to world travel, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law students spend their summers pursuing new and exciting adventures each year. One such student, Hope Forman (JD ’18), found herself in Tanzania for two life-changing months after graduating from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa last spring. Find out how her interest in pursuing humanitarian work and research into Tanzania’s economic and political environment changed her future plans below.
I have always been interested in humanitarian work and the time off in between undergrad and the start of law school seemed like the perfect opportunity to make that dream a reality. I became heavily interested in Tanzania and other parts of Africa throughout my undergraduate studies and the extensive research I conducted while at Morningside College, which pertained to Tanzania’s role in the larger global economy and the process that has been made in terms of poverty reduction.
Q: How long were you there and what was your experience like?
I was in Tanzania for two months. Without a doubt they were the most amazing and life-changing two months of my life. I worked in an orphanage for eight hours a day teaching English to a class of over 60 students ranging in age from 2 to 10 years old. I also conducted personal research in my free time through surveys and interviews. This allowed me to assess how individuals ranked their government in terms of providing education, fostering female empowerment, generating economic improvement, and curbing corruption. The experience was by far the best thing I have ever done and it is impossible not to fall in love with the people, culture and, of course, the children.
The experience definitely opened up my eyes to different possibilities for my career after law school. Prior to my trip, I was certain I wanted to work on international policy in some form or another; now I am considering advocacy work that would allow me to work directly with children, whether locally, throughout the U.S., or internationally. Through my experience with various orphanage directors in Tanzania, I realized their interests do not always align with what is truly best for the children. It was hard for me to come to terms with the fact that there are people willing to exploit orphans, but that also helped me realize how desperately these children need advocates who are willing to fight to give them a better life.
Q: Why did you choose Fowler School of Law?
I have spent my entire life in the Midwest and I thought this was the perfect time to really experience what it is like to live in a different part of the country. Fowler School of Law has many similarities to my undergraduate school, which was a small, private, liberal arts school. I really enjoyed my time in undergrad and the opportunity the small class sizes gave me to access one-on-one time with my professors, foster professional relationships, and undertake extensive research.
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