Student Profile: Taylor Tugya

Our current Charleston School of Law students talk to you about their first-year experience in law school. Here’s our Q&A with Taylor Tugya, a rising 2L from Boise, Idaho.

When did you realize you wanted to puruse a law degree?

I’d always wanted to go to law school ever since I was a kid. I did the debate team through high school, and as I was doing that, I just really wanted to pursue a career that allowed me to help people.

You are a wife, a mom, a full-time student, and a daughter. How do you manage all those commitments?

 I feel time management is so important. I had never used a planner before coming here. Doing that, you realize you have a lot more time in the day than you think you do. And you might have to make concessions — waking up earlier, staying up later — but it’s possible. You just, you gotta plan ahead.

We talk a lot about the faculty-student relationship at Charleston School of Law. What has your experience been like?

My relationship with faculty, if I could sum it up in one word, it’s been personalized. I feel like every professor is genuinely interested in what I have to say, what my questions are.

They will ask about how my daughter’s doing. I had family in town and my professor invited my mother to come sit in on a class with me.

In that small classroom setting the teacher actually caress about what’s going on in my life … that connection has been really valuable when, especially when going through stressful times.

Were you surrounded by family and friends who also provided encouragement?

Yes, I couldn’t do it without them having somebody to tell me, ‘You’re doing a good job.’ I’ve been really lucky to have a husband that does that and my parents are both just so proud that I’m in law school. This is definitely a team effort. My husband or my parents watch my daughter while I study. When I eventually graduate and I get a job, it’s gonna be really rewarding to be able to give back to them in the same way that they’re giving to me right now.

What has law school taught you about you?

I am a lot better at stress and time management than I ever thought humanly possible. Now I look back and I’m like, wow, I can handle so much more than I ever thought I could. That’s been gratifying and humbling.

What’s your advice to incoming new students, or prospective students interested in practicing the law?

I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but it is so much harder than anything anybody else will tell you. And everyone told me it would be hard. But that being said, it’s been so rewarding. I feel so much better now that I’ve pushed through that difficulty.

It took a little bit at the beginning to learn how to study. That was the difficulty at the beginning, just learning how to learn. But once I kind of got that down, my work balance or life school balance got easier. I was able to actually take time for myself and just settle into a groove.

If you don’t take that leap, you’ll never know. Do you really wanna be 10 years down the line, stuck in a job and realizing you should have gone to law school … I just implore anybody thinking about it. Go on a tour, sit in a class, talk to admissions. That’s what sealed the deal for me.