Stephanie Patton was working in finance at a Department of Defense installation near Harrisburg in 2017 when she decided she wanted to do something more with her life.
“I felt I could do more and could make a difference,” said Patton, a third-year evening school student who will graduate in 2021.
Patton took the LSAT, aced it and zeroed in on her one choice for law school: Widener Law Commonwealth.
“It had the only evening program in the area,” she said. “I didn’t have the option to quit my job or travel because I was working and had two small children.”
Today Patton balances a fulltime job at the Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg (four ten-hour days) and one day working at the Harrisburg law firm Mette, Evans and Woodside, with her studies and family obligations.
Widener Law Commonwealth, she said, allows her to take classes three evenings a week.
“The professors are good and understanding about schedules,” she said. “Every student has challenges. You have to be strategic with time.”
Patton, who has a BA from Shippensburg University and a masters’ degree in public administration from Penn State, says she wants to pursue litigation work after graduation.
Patton also finds time to work as an editor on the Widener Law Commonwealth law review and participate in the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts program of the Dauphin County Bar Association.
Patton, who grew up in Dillsburg, PA, is finishing up her first article for the law review on the tuition “claw back” provision by universities should parents file for bankruptcy.
“I argued that education should win,” she said. “I’m the first person in my family to go to college and I’ve fought tooth and nail for my education.”
Interview was conducted in Spring 2020.
Email: [email protected]