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Kira O’Connor, 26, will earn her degree from the University of Oregon School of Law on May 19, 2012. O’Connor was born in Anchorage, Alaska, but moved to Kailua, Hawaii, before coming to Oregon Law. She will graduate with an area of focus in sports and entertainment law, and will earn a statement of completion in Intellectual Property.

O’Connor chose Oregon Law for many reasons. She knew she would get individual attention from the faculty and staff, and she was impressed by the school’s nationally ranked programs. Her sister, having been at University of Oregon for her undergraduate degree, loved the UO and convinced O’Connor that it was the right choice.

“While pursuing my degree at Oregon Law, I was most inspired by my classmates. I have met some of the most amazing people while here at Oregon Law. Everyone is so driven and motivated. I had a friend who was in D.C. working at an environmental law firm, and another friend who was working at the U.N. in Vienna. The students here are motivated, hard working and compassionate. And that is inspiring to me.”

O’Connor used this inspiration and motivation to push through the hardest times of law school. She said the most challenging experience was during her first year.

“It was a struggle to find my footing in the first year of law school. I was following the beaten path, I was doing what everyone else was doing – sitting in the library until midnight, crying because I was so stressed. But what all of that taught me was that I needed to be true to who I was. I wasn’t the person who sits in the library until midnight. I liked working at coffee shops or at home.”

O’Connor said the most challenging and yet the most rewarding experiences of law school were the same: Oregon Law allowed her to find herself, and what was most important to her.

Along this journey, she also participated in the Sports and Entertainment Law Forum, the Legality (a student-produced online legal journal), and the Oregon triathlon team during her time at Oregon Law.

Earning a degree from the University of Oregon School of Law is a great achievement. This law school is part of one of the nation’s leading research universities and, based on reputation, is the top ranked school in the state of Oregon, and the second in the Pacific Northwest. The law school also has four nationally top- ranked specialty programs in which students learn and prosper from the highly qualified faculty that work within them. Oregon Law lets students thrive in its close-knit community and encourages students to make the school their second home.

O’Connor reflects on how important this degree is to her. She knows that with her J.D., many doors will open:

“With this education I can take it and apply it anywhere: law, politics, business, the opportunities seem endless.”

Her proudest accomplishment while at Oregon Law is graduating. She thanks her mom, dad, and sister for their ongoing support, and for listening to her when she needed someone.

O’Connor plans to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. She worked in entertainment before and says she hopes to use this education to catapult her to higher levels in her career.

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