Personal connection, public service commitment drew rising 3L to Brandeis Law

Bethany Beal
Bethany Beal

When rising 3L Bethany Beal got an email from Brandeis School of Law Dean Colin Crawford summoning her to his office, she had no idea what he wanted to discuss with her. 

Although the dean had alerted Beal that he had good news to share with her, she never dreamed that he'd be telling her that she'd been awarded a scholarship.

"I was completely at a loss for words," says Beal, who is the recipient of the Murray J. and Elayne B. Klein Scholarship in Honor of Professor William Read, awarded to a high-achieving third-year student.

Beal, who majored in sociology at Georgetown College, says she always knew that law school was her goal.

"The law is a way you can make a difference," she says. "Whatever area I go in to, the law is a way I can make a difference."

Beal has already put her desire for community service into acton. As a 2L, she taught Street Law with the Central High School Partnershipan effort between Louisville’s Central High School and the law school to promote diversity in the legal profession.

She has also served on the law school's Honor Council, on the board for the University of Louisville Law Review and as vice president of the Christian Law Society. 

As a 1L, Beal completed a week-long public service project with the Paducah office of Kentucky Legal Aid. The summer after her 1L year, she worked in Nashville at the Tennessee Office of the Post-Conviction Defender. This summer, she is getting a taste of corporate law as a litigation summer associate at Louisville firm Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs.

Beal was introduced to the Brandeis School of Law through a diversity event at her college and was drawn to the school's commitment to public service and its close-knit atmosphere.

"I immediately fell in love and didn't look back," she says. "You're able to build relationships versus at larger schools where you're passers-by."

She encourages prospective law students to not let practicing attorneys scare them away from law school.

"Don't let other people make that decision for you," she says. "Go on a visit. Speak to people who are currently in law school versus an established practitioner because the perspectives are going to be different."

Read more about 1970 alumnus Murray Klein and his inspiration for establishing the scholarship.