Student Testimonials

Bethany Eldridge

Bethany EldridgeWhen I decided to come to Lipscomb University to major in Law, Justice, and Society, my only plan for the future was to have a career focused on helping others. As vague as this goal was, I was always on the search for opportunities to discover my cause. One day, I heard one of my teachers mention State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), and I was immediately intrigued. After researching SCORE, I discovered that it was founded by former Senator Bill Frist as an initiative for educational change in Tennessee that will ensure that every child graduates high school prepared for college or a career. I knew I had to be a part of this mission! When I discussed my idea with the LJS Institute, they helped me contact SCORE and obtain a summer internship there. This internship has developed into a serious relationship since I have continued my job throughout the school year and into another summer. More importantly, SCORE has provided me with great opportunities to expand my knowledge on education reform through researching, writing grants, and starting an annual report on Tennessee’s education status. Through my internship, I have also discovered my cause and have begun to transform my vague goals into a concrete, achievable plan for my future.

Jake Morgan

This semester I've been interning at Film House, a well known film company here in Nashville. As a Law, Justice & Society major, I'm very passionate about social change, and from my experience, film is an excellent tool to convey your message to a wide audience. Before this semester, I had some hands on experience with novice video editing software through Final Cut Express (FCE) and a bit of experience using camcorders. Now, after three months working with the more advanced Final Cut Pro (FCP) and professional Panasonic HD and DVX100b cameras, my technical skills have increased dramatically. Three months ago, FCE offered me everything I needed, but now, after months working with FCP, I see that I'm going to need a software upgrade in the very near future. The same goes for camera work. Last night I watch a piece I shot in 2008, and I could immediately critique problems in lighting and focus. The staff at Film House has taken time to show me how to properly use properties like manual focus and iris in a variety of ways, which goes a long way in the film world. I'll be graduating in one month, then I'll begin applying to graduate schools to study film. I'm not sure where I'll end up, but I can guarantee my time working as an intern for Film House will show itself as time well spent!

Cinthia Padilla

My name is Cinthia and I have been an intern at the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition for two consecutive semesters. Most of the work I do there focuses around advancing a piece of legislation called the DREAM Act. I have organized and led a nationwide march in D.C. for comprehensive immigration reform, hosted radio talk shows, participated in a variety of trainings and workshops, lobbied at the Tennessee legislature and Representative Cooper’s office, and founded a Dream Act Committee here at Lipscomb. I must say that this has been an enriching experience to be able to see the intricate path to socio-legal change. I have learned a lot about strategizing in terms of allies and opponents, discerning the underlying interests of the aforementioned, allocating valuable resources for optimum results, and most importantly defining my role in society. However, none of the learning I have gained in the last several months could have been possible without the LJS program and the encouragement I received from Dr. Long. The Law, Justice, & Society program is unique because it thrusts you into the real world. It is both hands-on and a magnificent way to gain the knowledge and experience that will help you discover perhaps your vocation to work in nonprofit organizations. Or perhaps working with these organizations will also redefine you as a person, a change agent in society. The immensity of the social-legal arena—I learned--- can only be grasped if one experiences it. It is truly the best way. No doubt.

Catherine Lynn

Catherine LynnWhen I enrolled at Lipscomb 4 years ago, I was full of ideals but had no idea how or where to begin. I became involved in the Institute for Law, Justice & Society my sophomore year of college, and my life is different as a result of this involvement. The faculty and staff always encouraged my passions, and no dream seemed too big. My academic advisor, Dr. Long, served me in a far greater capacity than simple class advising. She helped me network with people all over Nashville, Tennessee, and the United States, and she gave me articles to read about people whose works were along the same lines as my passions. She encouraged me while I applied to law schools, and I was always excited to share good news with her.

I have had some amazing opportunities as an LJS major. I have traveled to Washington D.C. and met with a variety of influential people. I toured Europe with my classmates and gained valuable insights into the European Union and International Governmental Organizations like the United Nations and NATO. I took a class that required me to serve with a group in the area that was working towards goals similar to my own. I chose to work with a Hispanic Family Services branch of Catholic Charities. After a semester serving there, I agreed to work the next semester as an intern for my internship credit. My specific passions lie in the Hispanic population. I double majored in Spanish, and I love being able to use my fluency to help those around me. As an intern at Catholic Charities, I have had many unique and fulfilling opportunities. I have helped teach preschool children how to speak English before they get to kindergarten, I have assisted homeless clients find housing, I have put together educational presentations on prenatal care that were successfully taught to pregnant women, and I have generally assisted the employees in their duties.

I am graduating in May, and I will be attending The George Washington University Law School in the fall. Thanks to the Institute for Law, Justice & Society, I learned valuable information about how the legal system interacts with social issues. I feel prepared and ready for my law classes and am looking forward to working and joining the efforts of all those who are working to make this world a better place.