Third Year Law Student Caley Connolly Wants to Specialize in Water Law

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Caley Connolly
Personal Life

Caley Connolly is a third year law student at University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and anticipates a May 2015 graduation. Although she has several areas of interest, she wants to practice water law in California.



Caley was born and raised in Saugus, California. She grew up in an Irish Catholic family with three sisters and one brother. Caley stated:
"Now, they've all married so I have four sisters and four brothers. I also have three nieces, and three nephews. I have two very proud parents, Eileen and Tom Connolly, who I don't get to see often enough, but when I do we have the best times. It's been a privilege to grow up as their daughter and to have them as my role models. As for many people, the times when my whole family can get together make my favorite memories."
Caley earned her B.A. in Political Science, with a focus on Legal Studies from California State University Chico in May 2011. She also graduated with a Mediation Certificate, and a Paralegal Certificate from CSU Chico. From January 2010 to May 2010, Caley served as an intern at the CSU Chico, Community Legal Information Center. She was then chosen to be a Co-Director of the Family Law Department for the 2010-2011 academic year.
 
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Caley was accepted to University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law with honors, and she received a scholarship for her first year. Since May 2014, she has served as a third-year Day Student Representative for the Water Law Society. Caley is a founder of the Recreation Connection, which was established in June 2014. She is currently a certified law student working at the McGeorge Community Legal Services Elder and Health Law Clinic. Caley filed her first complaint for the clinic on September 24, 2014. She explained:
"At the clinic I act as a student attorney under the supervision of a practicing attorney and professor. I am therefore responsible for my clients' cases, including all correspondence, research, and legal action taken. I have worked with clients in a range of legal areas, including consumer issues, supplemental security income, social security, property law, estate planning, and housing issues. I conduct telephone interviews, preliminary consultations, and I have drafted and finalized many written correspondence with clients, opposing parties, and opposing parties' legal representation."
From 2013 to 2014, Caley served as a legal intern for the Landlord and Tenant Rights Division at the Legal Services of Northern California in Sacramento. She conducted interviews by telephone and in person, and researched the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords in different factual circumstances. Caley also drafted and finalized opinion letters for clients. She is currently interning at the Governor's Office of Planning and Research to help with legal research projects. Caley conducts research, and drafts and finalizes analyses, summaries, and reports.

What are her hobbies and personal interests? Caley replied:
"Aside from law, I love reading about history, religions, philosophies, modern literature and epic novels. I also enjoy learning more about new sustainable and environmental architecture, interior design, and decoration. A newer interest stemmed from the small garden built by the last renters of my rental house. I'm trying to become a gardener in my spare time. However with the drought, and with the house being empty for a short time in the summer, (and possibly my lack of gardening knowledge), many of the plants were too dry to bring back, so I really only have a couple of rosemary bushes at this point and I'm not sure that they constitute a 'garden.' I'll try again in the spring though!"
Caley's Academic Law Career and Future Aspirations

Why did Caley go into the law? She noted:
"I was originally interested in the law because I wanted to help people who are faced with difficult legal issues that they cannot solve on their own. As I studied the law I discovered that it evolves, and that attorneys have the opportunity to influence its evolution. Being in the legal field has exposed me to hundreds of different lives, through the clients I've helped, and through the cases I've read. I have learned their life lessons, and I have learned how to anticipate the legal rationale and outcome."
She shared her aims and aspirations. "I aspire to become a water law attorney. I'm still determining whether I plan to work in the private field, or in a regulatory agency."
 
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What are Caley's key accomplishments? She acknowledged:
"Falling in love, and building a life with the man I love is my greatest accomplishment. It is the part of my life that I am the most proud of. Also, traveling because it exposed me to a beautiful range of lifestyles and to a variety of cultures. It opened my mind to the value of the world around me in a way that I don't believe anything else can.

Then there is law school, which has been a surprisingly fast journey. While I embark on my third and final year, I am busier than I have ever been, and I absolutely love it. I'm working at a Clinic and in an Internship, and I am enrolled full time. In my daily conversations I find myself analyzing the law around me. The education I've received is priceless. It changed my outlook and it pushed me to develop into a critical, analytical, and rational thinker."
She discussed her key strengths and skills that she would like to use to advance her career goals. "I take pride it putting my best efforts into my assignments, so I'm passionate about the work I do. I prioritize, and use time-block methods to complete my tasks, which helps me accomplish more in less time. I prepare early so that I don't have to worry about deadlines later."

As for her weakness, Caley said, "My writing; I think it requires practice and though I have been in legal writing classes, and I've worked in clinics and legal centers, I believe I can still use more practice in this area."

Since law school can be hectic at times, Caley pointed out how she relieves stress. She admitted:
"I have a lot of activities that manage my stress, and as a result I feel stress, but I'm not overwhelmed by stress. I do yoga, I play with my dogs Hamish and Jack, I plan out lists and calendars (time-blocking) of what I need to accomplish and what I have accomplished, and I stay active with outdoorsy adventure or sports with my boyfriend, such as going to the Sacramento River, Folsom Lake, Frisbee-golf, tennis, or racquetball."
Many readers are probably wondering how she handles new assignments. The third year law student shared her process: "I'll usually do some quick research to figure out the broader aspects of the subject I'm working on, and then I start to narrow my research to the issues at hand. It's the, 'cast a broad net,' approach."

Where does Caley derive her confidence? "From my Mom. She always made me her priority and she spent hours with me learning spelling words, vocabulary, and working on math, as well as coaching my soccer teams. I remember being somewhat shy as a child, but I outgrew that quickly with support from my Mom."

Goals to Live By, Coping with Fear, Community Service, Study Abroad Program and Caley's Traveling Experience

What are Caley's goals? She candidly said:
"I believe in goals and achievements. One of my main long-term goals in life is to join the Peace Corps. I am deeply interested in achieving this later in my life, and I look forward to this nearly every day. A second goal I plan to achieve in the near future is to embark on a career in a field that is dedicated to balancing and harmonizing environmental conservation with economic development. This field would have a heavy focus in science and in planning. I believe that the economy and human health can benefit from practices that focus on merging environmental sustainability with the capitalist economy. My third and most important lifelong goal is to maintain and strengthen the relationships I have with the people I love. I grew up with a wonderful, large, and loving family, and over the past several years we have had many additions to our family through weddings and births. I currently have three nephews and three nieces ranging from one month to two years and a month! While my family has become larger and has spread its roots from Los Angeles, California, to Edmonton, Alberta, I am confident that our connections will remain as strong as ever."
In regards to handling fear, she revealed, "I don't typically worry about many things, and I'm definitely not a fearful person. However, if I do feel fear, I embrace it. Fear makes me alert, and it makes me work hard, and fear of failure is one of the strongest motivators."

Has Caley been involved in community service? "I served the American Youth Soccer Organization. I coached 3 teams; Girls Under (GU) 10 in 2005, GU12 2006; and GU12 2007. I also served the Community Action Volunteers in Education. I worked in a third grade classroom as an aid in the spring of 2009."

Has she been part of any study abroad program? Caley stated:
"Yes! I attended the McGeorge summer program at the University of Salzburg in Austria in the summer of 2013, where I studied Fundamental Rights in Europe and the United States under the direction of United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and Justice Elena Kagan. I also studied International Dispute Resolution."
Does Caley have a most influential traveling experience? She replied:
"Yes! In the U.S. I've been to many places in California through soccer tournament teams, Arizona, Hawaii, New York, Oregon, and Nevada. In Mexico, I visited Ixtapa, Cancun, and Encinitas. In Europe I've backpacked into Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, and I traveled in Ireland. The most influential is a very difficult question to answer! All of these experiences were so different from each other, except in that they each changed my life. In Germany and Italy I was fortunate enough to stay with a friend's family, so I was more immersed in the lifestyle and community. Visiting ancient Rome, the Trevi Fountain at night, and the Vatican were also very influential. In Salzburg, Austria I stayed in dorms with friends from law school, which was fantastic because we made many excursions to the surrounding areas. In Ireland I rented cars (which were manual and inverse) with a group of 6 college friends. In Cancun we visited the ancient Mayan ruins, and they were magnificent! I can't choose just one event as the most influential. They were all instrumental."
Legal Role Models, Personal Philosophy, People You Want to Surround Yourself With, and Favorite Quote

Does Caley have any legal role models? "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., because he perfected protesting through civil disobedience, and his writings are some of the most moving literature I've read."

What is her personal philosophy? "You get out what you put in. For me, this proves to be true in most circumstances."

The future attorney discussed what she believes holds more truth in light of her personal philosophy. Was it fate or choice? "Choice because I believe that every person has control over their own life, and they can exercise that power through the decisions they make"

What kind of situations and people is Caley attracted to? What kind of situations and people does the law student avoid? She said:
"I welcome new situations and people. I am most attracted to the outdoors and to people who are adventurous. My favorite settings are among bodies of water and parks. My favorite people are humorous, opinionated, and intelligent. I will happily speak to anyone about science, medicine, philosophy, religion, sports, art, recreation, traveling, or law."
As for situations and people to avoid, she claimed, "I avoid pessimists. I won't say that I don't have my moments of weariness, but for the most part I try to keep a positive attitude, and I appreciate others who do the same. I love speaking to people who are passionate about what they do, whatever it is."
 
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Caley's favorite quote is by Tolkien: "Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love." She said the quote resonates with her because it's very hopeful and it reiterates that the choices that people make matter. Caley added, "To me the quote means that you are not powerless."



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