Born and raised in Colorado, Brittany Anderson (’18) dreamed of one day studying the law. Her undergraduate education at Colorado State University included a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies, with a concentration in intervention and prevention science and a minor in political science. She married her high school sweetheart while pursuing her degree, and they welcomed their first daughter this past September.
After earning her undergraduate degree, Anderson embarked immediately toward her next milestone: a law degree. In May 2022, she exceeded this goal by graduating cum laude from Northern Illinois University College of Law with her Doctor of Jurisprudence. Today, she’s putting her CSU education and legal training to good use. Read about how Anderson decided to correct the injustice she saw in the world in the Q&A below!
Describe your current position and some of the responsibilities that come with it.
I work as a staff attorney in the Family Division in the 16th Judicial Circuit Court. Some of my responsibilities thus far are to help pro se (attorney less) individuals fill out No Contact Stalking Orders and Orders of Protection for themselves or on behalf of their children. I also attend Court for Plenary hearings and receive research assignments from judges to help guide them in their overall decisions.
Why did you decide to pursue your current career path?
That is a long story. Growing up I wanted to be a forensics scientist until I took a Constitutional class as a freshman in high school. The summer of my freshman year I was invited to attend a two-week “legal camp” in Washington D.C. where you in essence lived the life of an attorney. I fell in love with the profession at this camp. Over the course of the years, I began to develop a passion for family law, in particular child advocacy, because I watched a lot of my friends’ families go through different legal cases, and somehow the effects on the children were always an afterthought, if they were even considered. While I was attending Colorado State University my cousins were born and that was when I realized how broken the court system truly had become. My cousins have been in foster care their entire lives, although my parents have been trying to adopt them, and this is solely because the system that is supposed to act in the best interest of the children fails to do so all the time. During this same time frame, I also interned at Campus Connections and was able to see the value that having a positive relationship can have on youth who don’t come from the best circumstances. All these experiences have led me to develop a passion for child advocacy because I am tired of seeing the children become invisible when the implications of court proceedings can impact them in so many more ways than people tend to realize.
How have your education and experiences at CSU helped you in your career?
My education and experiences at CSU have helped me a lot in my career. My degree in human development and family studies has given me background knowledge of how families and children may be impacted by societal and environmental factors. I also have a different way of looking at familial situations because I tend to look at the bigger picture than most attorneys and consider all the surrounding circumstances. My experience at Campus Connections helped me get my first internship in law school and they were very curious about the program. My first internship was at a Public Guardianship office, and one of the services they provide is to be a positive relationship to help the child through their situation, which is primarily what Campus Connections is about. This internship also has been one of my favorite positions thus far. I also was in the judicial branch at ASCSU for a few years. This experience taught me leadership, compassion, professionalism, patience, and how to work in a variety of different situations. This has helped me in my career because law school, as well as the legal profession, is challenging and will test you in ways you didn’t imagine. I definitely felt more prepared going into law school and the legal profession with some of these experiences under my belt.
What advice do you have for students looking to join your field?
The first piece of advice I’d give students looking to join my field: don’t let having a non-political science degree stop you from going to law school. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to have a political science major, or minor, to succeed in law school. Diverse backgrounds are incredibly helpful to being an attorney and my undergraduate degree has helped me get certain jobs and internships. The main piece of advice I want to give is that if you are truly passionate about something don’t let anyone or anything stop you from achieving your goal. You’ll always meet opposition to your goals but don’t let that dissuade you. I know it’s a cliché but be the positive change you want to see in the world because what you do can change someone’s life for the better.
Campus Connections still has mentor position openings for the Fall 2022 semester and will continue to accept applications through August 1.
Campus Connections is a program within the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, which is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.