UNCP pre-law students gain invaluable experience at UVA Law School

Magally Ortiz-Rojas, left, Aspen Andersson and Jacob Butler (not pictured) were among the Roadmap Scholars at UVA School of Law this summer.

A trio of pre-law students at UNC Pembroke have a greater understanding of the legal field after spending their summer networking with faculty and professionals at the University of Virginia School of Law––one of the premier law schools in the country.

Aspen Andersson, Jacob Butler and Magally Ortiz-Rojas participated in the UVA Roadmap Scholars Initiative. This two-year program supports undergraduates interested in pursuing careers in the legal profession to help them become competitive applicants to the nation’s top law schools.

Butler and Ortiz-Rojas attended mini-law school classes and LSAT prep courses. In her second year in the program, Andersson completed a four-week legal internship at Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville.

“Through the Roadmap Scholars program, I was exposed to the different areas of law, and I got a chance to network with faculty and current law students,” said Ortiz-Rojas, a junior who aspires to become an immigration attorney. Ortiz-Rojas serves as student government association vice president.

Butler has his sights on practicing constitutional law or becoming a medical lawyer to ensure patients from rural areas can access affordable health care.

“Cancer runs deep in my family, so I know how expensive treatment can be,” Butler said. “I want folks from rural communities to have better healthcare at a more affordable price.”

Andersson, who plans to pursue a career in international diplomacy, said the Roadmap Scholars program has served as a gateway into the legal field. 

“It was a wonderful experience,” said Andersson, SGA president. “It opened my eyes to education laws. Through my internship, I was able to advocate for people who have children with special needs and issues they are experiencing in the school setting.

“I love to help others. Being an advocate is invaluable because you get to see the results of your hard work and how they benefited from that,” Andersson continued.