UW Law’s Student Ambassadors are current law students who are dedicated to helping admitted students make a smooth and successful transition to law school.

As current second and third-year law students, all of our Student Ambassadors have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to thrive at UW Law. Their perspectives will help you feel more comfortable and confident as you begin your law school career.

Student Ambassadors answer questions, offer candid advice, and help new students navigate the challenges of their 1L year. If you have questions or concerns about entering law school, our ambassadors would be happy to speak with you.  You can also visit our Student Organizations page to learn more.

If you have additional questions about the admissions process or would like to be connected with a student organization, please contact the Admissions Office directly at admissions@law.wisc.edu or 608-262-5914.  

Our Student Ambassadors

Hannah Balder

Hannah Balder headshot

Hometown: Brookline, Massachusetts

Undergrad school and major: Rehabilitation Psychology

Interests: Labor and employment, disability rights and advocacy, legal and ethical compliance

Expected Graduation Date: May 2023

Contact: hbalder@wisc.edu

Q&A with Hannah

Why did you decide to come to UW Law School?

As an older student switching careers, I knew it was important that I pick a school that would make me feel like part of a community. I attended UW Madison as an undergraduate and wanted to return to a place that felt like home.

What did you do the summer before you started law school?

Prior to attending law school, I worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor in Michigan helping students with disabilities prepare for, obtain, and maintain competitive employment. I worked full-time until the very end of the summer.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?

I assumed that my note-taking strategies from undergrad and graduate school would also serve me well in law school, but that wasn't the case. I wish I had talked to other students about their study habits earlier in the school year to gather study strategies and come up with a plan that would work for me.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

Law Students with Disabilities Coalition, Labor and Employment Student Association

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.

During my 1L summer, I worked as a judicial intern for a magistrate judge in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Any other interesting facts about you?

I have a white lab puppy named BoJack at home.

Jodi Chung

Jodi Chung headshot

Hometown: New Berlin, WI

Undergrad school and major: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Bachelor's in Sociology

Interests: Labor & Employment Relations, Corporate law, and Adoption

Expected Graduation Date: May 2023

Contact: jchung72@wisc.edu

Q&A with Jodi

Why did you decide to come to UW Law School?

UW Law was my #1 choice. Wisconsin is my home and I was not ready to pursue a legal career anywhere else. Plus, what I gathered about Madison during my search for law schools is that the UW Law community is top-tier. What I found here is everything I hoped to and could not imagine completing this JD degree anywhere else.

What did you do the summer before you started law school?

I worked a small private family law firm in La Crosse, WI. I worked as a legal assistant and helped with administrative tasks, drafting documents, and filing pleadings for Family Law, Civil Litigation, Real Estate, and Personal Injury.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?

: I wish that I could go back in time and tell myself that I absolutely had what it took to get through the first year. Being a first-generation law student, who didn't even know I was "eligible" to apply to Law School after college graduation, I entered a completely unknown world when I moved to Madison. I was so anxious in the beginning and never felt like I was good enough to participate in class; network; apply to BigLaw jobs; run for executive positions in organization; and make friends in the law school community. I wish I could have told myself that I need to give myself grace where I can, and where I cannot, to be vulnerable with a select few in my class. More often than not, the students sitting next to me were in the exact same boat, hoping to relate to someone else.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I am a 2L Student Representative on the Student Bar Association; the Treasury of Asian Law Student Association; a UW Graduate Academic Lead for La Follette High School; and a Student Ambassador.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.

During my 1L summer, I had the privilege of participating in the Diversity Clerkship Program through the State Bar of Wisconsin. I was matched with the Department of Corrections in Madison. I helped review and approve agency contracts; assisted in employment discrimination cases; and conducted (and won) my first solo agency hearing. I even had the honor of meeting and speaking with the Secretary of the Department of Corrections, Kevin A. Carr!

Any other interesting facts about you?

I love to explore new places, go hiking and hammocking; meet new people; talk about/listen music; write spoken words; and drink LOTS of coffee. I am also deeply passionate about education, underserved children, and adoption.

Makaila Davenport

Makaila Davenport headshot

Hometown: Chesapeake, VA

Undergrad school and major: Hampton University, International Relations Major with a Minor in Military Science

Interests: Litigation - White Collar

Expected Graduation Date: May 2023

Contact: midavenport@wisc.edu

Q&A with Makaila

Why did you decide to come to UW Law School?

The commitment to diversity as well as talking to Dean Rebecca Scheller was what peaked my interest in UW, but I am also a legacy! Both my uncle and father attended UW Law and thoroughly enjoyed their time here.

What did you do the summer before you started law school?

I worked as a Legislative Fellow on Capitol Hill in D.C.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?

I wish I had known more about the importance of talking to students about their first hand experiences and visiting schools! Those first hand stories will help better prepare you for your 1L year.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I am the current President of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and I am also a member of the UW Moot Court Board and the Wisconsin International Law Journal.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.

During my 1L summer I worked for the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and next summer I will be working at a firm in New York City focusing on their White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice!

Any other interesting facts about you?

I love to play the piano and the violin. I am also unashamedly obsessed with Tik Tok!

Karen Suarez Jimenez

Karen Suarez Jimenez headshot

Hometown: Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico

Undergrad school and major: Saint Norbert College

Interests: Public Policy, Immigration, and Litigation

Expected Graduation Date: May 2023

Contact: suzjimz@wisc.edu

Q&A with Karen

Why did you decide to come to UW Law School?

When I was looking into law school, I had interest in the area of Immigration Law. UW Law has a phenomenal clinic dedicated to this practice area, the Immigrant Justice Clinic, and that really drew me in. However, as my 1L year progressed, I realized I wanted to explore different practice areas of the law. Luckily, I have an abundance of opportunities to do that here. I am grateful to have chosen UW Law, so many doors have opened and continue to open for me.

What did you do the summer before you started law school?

The summer before law school I worked for a firm in Green Bay, WI. I was able to work on cases ranging from medical malpractice to insurance law.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?

I wish I would have taken more seriously the importance of rest and sleep. I was used to pulling all-nighters during undergrad and made it through the next day with ease. That is not the case during law school. Sleep and rest are crucial to your mental and physical health and to your academic performance. While you are are in the role of a student here at UW Law, you are still human and should prioritize your needs as such.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

I am Co-President of the Indigenous Law Student Association (ILSA), VP of Academic Affairs for the La Alianza, and am active with the other Legal Education Opportunites (LEO) Orgs as well.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.

I spent this past summer working with the Economic Justice Institute of the University of Wisconsin, specifically within the Immigrant Justice Clinic. I've worked on cases ranging from employment authorization to federal tort claims. I will continue to serve in this position throughout the academic year.

Any other interesting facts about you?

When I moved to the U.S. I learned British English before American English!

Yuli Ruiz Márquez

Yuli Ruiz Márquez headshot

Hometown: Michoacán, México; Milwaukee, WI

Undergrad school and major: Marquette University, Social Welfare and Justice

Interests: Immigration, Public Interest

Expected Graduation Date: May 2023

Contact: ruizmuez@wisc.edu

Q&A with Yuli

Why did you decide to come to UW Law School?

I decided to come to UW Law School because of its Law-in-Action approach to learning. Hands-on learning serving communities I care about has a grounding effect on my education and motivates me. Diploma Privilege was also appealing since I plan to stay in Wisconsin to practice.

What did you do the summer before you started law school?

The summer before I started law school was the summer after the pandemic started, so I was unable to work or continue my legal internship. I was also virtual all of 1L year, so my experience has been very different from what I expected when I applied to law school.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?

I wish I had known the importance of self-advocating when I started law school. Every student comes in with different experiences and capabilities, and it is crucial to advocate for your own needs, and not be afraid to stand up and advocate for others as well.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.

I started working with the Immigrant Justice Clinic (IJC) over the summer, and I'll be working there for the entirety of the upcoming school year. It has been both devastating and incredibly rewarding to work with IJC, and it has been the best part of law school for me so far.

Any other interesting facts about you?

I am an immigrant and a first generation high school, college, and law student. ¡Y hablo español!

Annika Olson

Annika Olson headshot

Hometown: Green Bay, WI

Undergrad school and major: University of Kansas, Political Science and Communication Studies

Interests: Criminal Law, Family Law

Expected Graduation Date: May 2023

Contact: aolson39@wisc.edu

Q&A with Annika

Why did you decide to come to UW Law School?

I chose UW Law School for a number of reasons, starting with the reputation of the school. The faculty were very impressive, the law in action approach to learning (clinics), the legal and political landscape of being in the state capital, and the fact that it was in my home state of Wisconsin so I could be closer to family were all factors. However, attending the open house day and getting to meet current law students, sit in a class, and see firsthand the collegial culture of the school was the deciding factor for me in coming to UW Law.

What did you do the summer before you started law school?

I worked for a career consulting firm and was a bartender / server at a marina!

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?

Touring law schools is an extremely helpful way to get to know the culture of the school and its students. It's important to pick a school where you feel comfortable and can be yourself because you will make lifelong friends and colleagues there!

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

Wisconsin International Law Journal, Family Court Clinic, Student Bar Association, Women's Law Student Association

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.

I have been working at the Family Court Clinic since May 2021 and will continue throughout this academic school year.

Any other interesting facts about you?

My hobbies include photography, working out, and attending sporting events!

Jason-Ray Swaby

Jason-Ray Swaby headshot

Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL

Undergrad school and major: Florida State University, B.A. in International Affairs

Interests: Corporate Law

Expected Graduation Date: May 2023

Contact: swaby@wisc.edu

Q&A with Jason-Ray

Why did you decide to come to UW Law School?

UW Law School provided me with the resources I knew I needed, a great supportive environment, and a great city to spend three years. I visited Madison regularly before applying and knew what I was getting myself into. Diploma privilege in the state of Wisconsin was another driving factor for coming to UW Law School. That would permit me to work in a federal capacity without taking the bar in many cases.

What did you do the summer before you started law school?

I worked in marketing at an Am100 law firm.

What is one thing you wish you knew about law school or the admissions process ahead of time?

I wish I knew how much time it would take to perfect all my materials, get the required letters of recommendation, and plan for financial stability while in school.

What student organizations or activities are you involved in?

Moot Court, Black Law Student Association, and the Unemployment Appeals Clinic.

Discuss any exciting jobs or internships you’ve had while in law school.

So far, I have been able to work in-house at Northwestern Mutual and intern for a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice.

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