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Why Nickole Iula Chose Capital

3/13/2018  -  Nickole Iula, L’19, was holding down a demanding job at Chipotle Mexican Grill’s satellite corporate office in Columbus when she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of going to law school. But she didn’t want to sacrifice her steady paycheck.

“I’ve known for a long time that I want to be a lawyer but I was worried about living for three years on money from student loans,” she recalls. “When I found out about Capital’s evening program it was kismet.” By attending school part-time at night, Nickole learned, she could continue with her day job.

Moreover, she didn’t want to have to take on more stress than necessary, and had heard about Capital’s warm, family-like atmosphere. “I have friends that were going to other law schools at the time,” she says, “and Capital seemed like it had a less stressful environment that would allow me to pursue my passion while also providing me the opportunity to gain professional experience in a related field. I feel so supported here.”

Growing up in Independence, Ohio, Nickole surprised absolutely no one in her family when she showed an early passion for law. The legal profession was part of her family heritage: Nicole’s uncle was a lawyer and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who later dedicated his career to working for the Board of Elections. And, as a child, she was glued to the drama of the O.J. Simpson trial, watching it on television from her grandmother’s couch while her parents were at work.

Later, she participated as an attorney on her high school’s mock trial team four years in a row, and then interned with a mentoring attorney as part of her senior project. He encouraged her to seriously consider going to law school.

As an undergraduate at The Ohio State Universiity, Nickole was active in Phi Alpha Delta, the pre-law fraternity, serving as both secretary and vice president. She also interned with the Ohio Public Defender’s office. It was during her Phi Alpha Delta meetings that she first became exposed to a number of Capital University Law School alumni who introduced her to the warm, close-knit culture of Capital University Law School.

After a short post-graduation stint in Cleveland – where she found herself longing for Columbus staples like Raising Cane’s, Zen Cha Tea Salon, and Gallery Hop – she returned to the Columbus area to begin a position with Chipotle.

Now in her third year in law school, Nickole says that her favorite class so far has been Torts with Professor Melinda Molina. “Professor Molina also did a fantastic job making classes interesting and engaging at 8 o’clock at night after I had already worked a full day,” says Nickole.

Outside of the classroom, Nickole has enjoyed participating in Capital’s Pro Bono program, which has helped her connect the concepts she learns in the classroom with real world problems. She also likes having an opportunity to meet and help the various clients at the clinic. They help her stay grounded during the stress of midterms and remind her that the reason she wanted to be an attorney in the first place was to help people.

As for her post-graduation career plans, Nickole is considering working in either adoption law, employment law, or transactional work. She hopes to use Capital’s extensive network of alumni and staff to help guide her towards making her decision. “Although I’m not sure where I’ll end up,” she says, “I know that Capital will help provide me with the practical experience and knowledge to ensure that I’ll be able to give back to my community in the best way I can.”

 For additional "My Decision" articles, see Why I Chose Capital.