Class of 2019 graduate Larissa Tiller recently accepted a position in the U.S. Coast Guard Direct Commission Lawyer program. She will begin officer’s training in New London, Connecticut, and then continue to the Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island.
“I went to law school because I wanted to serve as an attorney in the military,” Tiller said. “I thought the work sounded interesting and varied, and I felt like it would give my life a sense of purpose.”
Before accepting this position with the Coast Guard, Tiller spent a summer interning for their legal offices in New Orleans, Louisiana as a rising 3L. This opportunity cemented her desire to continue her legal career within the military.
“During the summer I spent working for the Coast Guard, my primary duties involved legal research and writing,” Tiller said. “I developed and honed my legal research and writing skills during my time at Mizzou Law through various classes, clinics, and projects, and it was this experience which I constantly drew on throughout the internship.”
For law students considering a legal career within the military, Tiller says internships like these are the best opportunity to get the first-hand experience of what their future would entail.
“Also, focus on trying to accumulate a variety of skills and experiences rather than focusing on one area of law as military lawyers are often tasked with handling a variety of legal issues throughout their careers,” she suggests.
Tiller says she feels ready for wherever her legal pursuits may take her because of the strong foundation she has built as a law student at Mizzou and through her experiences with the Coast Guard.
“My current plan is to remain with the Coast Guard throughout my legal career. However, should I choose to take a different path in the future, any time spent working for the Coast Guard will doubtless prove highly beneficial in preparing me for whatever I decide to pursue.”
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