Students seeking hands-on work experience during their law school education have over 200 externship opportunities at Villanova Law. In choosing an externship, students are encouraged to align their personal and professional goals while developing and enhancing their legal skills. LaVelle King ’18 was able to do just that when she externed with Gift of Life, a nonprofit organization that coordinates life-saving and life-enhancing organ transplants.
Prior to law school, King worked as a hospital administrator and member of an Intensive Care Unit Committee.
“Our responsibility entailed ensuring optimal healthcare outcomes for our most critically ill patients, including our post-organ transplant recipients and living donors,” explained King. “I became intrigued with the organ and tissue donor process, and found myself volunteering at the Gift of Life’s Family House. After five years of working in healthcare, I decided to pursue a legal education in an effort to bridge the gap between marginalized populations and legal services.”
Once she began her legal education, King found herself wanting to learn about the inner workings of organ and tissue donation programs. From there, she learned just how much goes into organ donation as well as the legal ramifications which arise during the process.
“It was a great opportunity to work in-house, as I spent both of my law school summers working in a law firm. It exposed me to another area within the legal field, and most interestingly, allowed me to utilize my prior healthcare experience to work on legal issues,” said King.
Transitioning from a full-time career in health care to enroll in a legal education was a scary decision for King to make, but one she does not regret. She sought the counsel of professionals in the field who encouraged her to embrace the possibility of a second career, one that allowed her to explore the many facets of the industry.
“Their influence on me solidified my passion to become an attorney. I applied to law school, I enrolled, and I quit my job. It was a tough decision, but well worth it. I will never have to live with the thought of ‘what if.’ I did it, and I encourage others who have similar thoughts to do it, too.”