"Learning how to question, analyze and then articulate your thoughts gives you an edge. It's a question of perspective, of how you're trained to approach things -- whether it's a poem or a statute or the fact-pattern of a lawsuit."
-- Derek Johnson '04
Derek Johnson '04
Derek Johnson '04 graduated from the Boston College Law School in 2007 after majoring in English and philosophy at Cornell.
In 2005-06, Johnson was one of 10 Boston College Law School students chosen to participate in its London Program. He studied international and European Union law at King's College London for a semester and worked with JUSTICE, one of England's leading human rights organizations.
"Everything I did at Cornell prepared me in some way for law school," he said. "That I majored in English and philosophy was extremely beneficial. Learning how to question, analyze and then articulate your thoughts gives you an edge. It's a question of perspective, of how you're trained to approach things -- whether it's a poem or a statute or the fact-pattern of a lawsuit."
Johnson said he was also well prepared for the demands of law school by the fast-pace and intensity of the block plan. And he came to Boston College with a wide array of time management, communication, and leadership skills from roles beyond class such as co-editor-in-chief of The Cornellian, appropriations chair of the Student Senate, and more.
"I was able to really figure myself out [at Cornell], which I think is a critical prerequisite to law school," he said.
He advises students considering law to "take every advantage of Cornell's unique opportunities. It isn't everywhere you can take a full course load and still have time to be involved all across the spectrum of campus life," he said.
After law school, worked as a civil litigator for Casner and Edwards, LLP in Boston. In 2009, Johnson became a consultant for the Parliament of the World's Religions. He now splits his time between Chicago and Boston managing research and writing intensive projects related to international issues and interreligious cooperation.