For this edition of Texas Law’s Student Spotlight series, meet 1L Veda Tsai!
Q: How has your undergraduate mock trial experience at UT Dallas helped you in law school so far?
A: I gained both logical thinking and substantive knowledge from mock trial. Our mock trial program gave us the opportunity to analyze the information and create arguments for both sides. We were able to review a case (that was very similar to something from an actual trial) and learn the meaning of legal terms, procedures in a courtroom, and portions of the federal rules of evidence. I find this helpful when following along with professors and reading cases.
What’s been the best surprise about your law school experience?
It wasn’t necessarily a complete surprise for me, but I was very grateful for how quickly I was able to find faculty mentors. All of my professors genuinely care about each of the faces in their classrooms and go out of their way to make sure our learning experience is inclusive and world-class. They have been an incredible source of support and mentorship academically, professionally, and personally. Our faculty have helped open new doors for me. I am touched by their generosity and couldn’t begin to count the number of hours I’ve spent in their offices. I cannot wait to see what the next two years will bring.
What do you like about going to school in Austin?
I’ve really enjoyed being in such a vibrant and fun city. Austin is full of interesting food, events, and some of the best people. I’ve loved the modern architecture, such as the Austin Public Library. Breakfast burritos have become a staple food in my diet – especially as a busy law student. It’s also amazing to be in a place where so much happens at the capitol!
What is your biggest motivator that led you to law school (and helps keep you going)?
Coming from a family without regular access to legal help made me realize the importance of advocacy. I previously wanted to enroll in medical school, and it has been such an honor to be able to connect with people and make so many friends. My brilliant classmates and kind faculty have been a daily inspiration. I truly enjoy coming to class each day.
What is your favorite law-related movie, and why?
Hmmm, there are so many good ones. I think one of the classics has to be “My Cousin Vinny.” It was my first legal movie and an “assigned reading” for my mock trial class. My mock trial coach referenced it frequently to show us what a trial looks like, procedure, and an expert witness. It has been such a watershed moment for me when I was trying to find my career path, so it holds a special place in my heart. ( ”’Cause Chevy didn’t make a 327 in ’55, the 327 didn’t come out till ’62!”)
What made you choose Texas Law?
As a native Texan, Texas Law was on my radar as soon as I was considering law school. I was working in D.C. during applications, but I flew 1,100 miles to visit and knew when I had found home. I was embraced by the warm, welcoming culture and believe there is truly no better place to be a law student. I could go on and on from the esteemed faculty to the nationally ranked programs, but it is also where you will find some of the kindest students who are lifelong friends.