Bril­lian Bao, 2L

While study­ing pol­i­tics and jour­nal­ism for her under­grad­u­ate degree, Bril­lian Bao found her­self drawn to sto­ries about peo­ple who were dri­ving impact in their com­mu­ni­ties. A lot of the time, these sto­ries were about lawyers. Report­ing on their sto­ries made me real­ize that I want­ed to do that type of work, not just write about it, and that prompt­ed me to go to law school,” she says.

Bao found it inspir­ing to be sur­round­ed by peo­ple who care deeply about what they’re doing. First and fore­most, what stands out to me at Michi­gan Law is the com­mu­ni­ty — every­one has been warm and wel­com­ing, even dur­ing the recruit­ment process,” she says. The oth­er thing that brought her to Ann Arbor was the Law School’s clin­i­cal pro­gram and oth­er expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. I was in the 1L Advo­ca­cy Clin­ic, which was focused on unem­ploy­ment insur­ance issues at the time,” she says. I’m tak­ing the Child Wel­fare Appel­late Clin­ic this year, and it has been great to get expe­ri­ence work­ing with clients. 

The Law School has a lot to offer, and I have been able to push the bounds of what I’m comfortable with in a supportive environment, which is something I’ve really appreciated.”

Dur­ing her sum­mer job with Davis Polk after her 1L year, Bao was staffed on a few intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty and cap­i­tal mar­kets projects before switch­ing to lit­i­ga­tion, where she worked on a white-col­lar case. She also spent four weeks with NBC, a Davis Polk client, where she worked with their new and cor­po­rate legal teams. The expe­ri­ences were real­ly valu­able and helped me real­ize that I am more inter­est­ed in the process of lit­i­ga­tion than the trans­ac­tion­al work I’ve done,” she says.

Bao’s schol­ar­ship made com­ing to Michi­gan Law pos­si­ble and has allowed her to explore dif­fer­ent career paths with­out finan­cial stress. The Law School has a lot to offer, and I have been able to push the bounds of what I’m com­fort­able with in a sup­port­ive envi­ron­ment, which is some­thing I’ve real­ly appre­ci­at­ed,” she says.