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.