LEARN MORE ABOUT MIAMI SCHOOL OF LAW
Jamie Dowd came to UNC as an undergraduate with one goal in mind – to prepare for law school.
“I always wanted to be an attorney since I was a little kid,” Dowd said.
At UNC, Dowd double majored in political science and English. She was a member of UNC’s Honor Court and interned at an attorney’s office in Chapel Hill.
“I was just kind of doing all the things I needed to do at UNC to go to law school,” she said.
After taking a year to work in politics in Washington, D.C., Dowd began applying to law schools. Growing up just 45 minutes from Chapel Hill, she thought it was time to venture further from home. She was interested in public interest work, so she applied for public interest law scholarships.
While visiting her roommate’s family in Miami, Dowd had a chance to explore the city and visited the University of Miami School of Law.
“It was very different from central North Carolina, which was what I wanted,” she said.
Dowd applied, and she was given a generous public interest law scholarship by the school upon her acceptance.
“That kind of sealed the deal for me,” she said.
Dowd admits her first year at Miami Law was difficult, but after making some friends and studying abroad in London during her second year, she became more comfortable in her new environment.
“Law school is a lot different than undergrad. Just the expectations, the work – everything is just a lot different,” Dowd said. “You just kind of have to get used to the flow and get used to how things go.”
Dowd says the support Miami Law gave her, both as a public interest law scholar and through the career development office, was key to her success.
“They had great resources,” she said. “Thousands of people graduate from law school every year, so having a great career services department is really important.”
The summer after her second year, Dowd’s career counselor encouraged her to apply to the Honors Program at the U.S. Department of Justice. She applied and received an internship in the Office of Immigration Litigation.
Following her graduation from law school the December after her internship, Dowd moved to D.C. and began her role as an appellate litigator – the start of her 15-year-long career at the DOJ.
Dowd was part of a management team that oversaw a team of litigators. She also traveled across the country arguing cases in front of the federal courts of appeal.
“We practice almost exclusively appellate litigation,” Dowd said. “I felt like I kind of found my niche in the legal world.”
She specifically credits her legal research and writing course at Miami for preparing her for her future career.
“That was probably the most practically helpful course that I took,”Dowd said. “My legal career ended up being almost exclusively legal research and writing.”
Dowd recommends the University of Miami School of Law for anyone considering pursuing law as a career.
“It was great,” she said. “I ended up getting a great job and having a great career.”
Dowd says she particularly recommends the school for students interested in international law.
“For somebody who’s interested in that sort of thing, it’s probably one of the places to go because it’s such an international community,” Dowd said. “If that’s your jam, then Miami should be at the top of your list.”
Ultimately, Dowd had one piece of advice for students considering law school:
“Find your passion. If law is your passion, go do it and do it well.”