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BWLI Students and Committee

MCLA Provides Tools for Success

05/22/2013

Poised to enter law school at the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover this fall, Karla Disla '12 of Lawrence, Mass., credits MCLA with preparing her for the experience by teaching her how to overcome challenges, and by providing her with the right tools to be successful in life, and with her studies.

"My academic experience at MCLA was amazing," Disla said. "I enjoy learning very much; in fact what I miss the most about being at MCLA is being seated in class, and my professors."

During her time at MCLA, Disla participated in the Annual Undergraduate Research Conference, and served an internship at the Berkshire Juvenile Court. "Both experiences allowed me to gain life and professional skills, and to overcome fears," she said.

The opportunity to attend law school fulfills Disla's longtime dream.

"Ever since I can remember, I would often say, 'I will go to school to be a lawyer,'" she explained. "In my family there are a couple of lawyers, but they practice law in my native country, the Dominican Republic, so I grew up learning about the laws and corruption of the legal system in the Dominican Republic. When I came to the United States and I saw how different the legal system is, I became more in love with pursuing a career in law."

At MCLA, Disla majored in sociology. She selected her Spanish minor to help her improve upon her native language while she learned about the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries other than her native Dominican Republic.

"I decided to major in sociology because I really wanted to learn and understand more about the social world," she said. "It's a broad subject that allowed me to taste the different perspectives of society, while providing me with research skills."

Disla credits high impact activities at MCLA - such as participating as a peer adviser, where she volunteered as an upperclassman to help freshman succeed through tutoring and other support - and her activities with ALANA, the College's African, Latino, Asian and Native American organization - with teaching her new skills, including leadership and responsibility.

Her MCLA experience also took her out of the classroom. During the fall semester of her freshman year, a course on "Creative Arts: Methods and History" included trips to artistic and historical places in the community during each class.

"And, in the spring semester of my senior year, I took my internship in the Berkshire Juvenile Court, as a juvenile probation intern," Disla explained. "Both experiences contributed enormously to my educational experience because they allowed me to connect with the community, but in the case of my internship it allowed me to visualize my career in the legal field."

However, Disla said that perhaps the best part of being an MCLA student was the exposure it provided her to diversity.

She recommends the College to prospective students: "MCLA provides an affordable learning experience. Professors are involved in the learning process of each student, and students can easily gain access to all cultural and educational programs."