“Looking back on my life, I see the seeds of desire and motivation that made law feel like the right fit for me,” says McKenna Rammell, an accomplished pianist who studied music as an undergraduate. “My original intention was to open a piano studio,” she says. However, persistent hand pain sent Rammell “back to the drawing board.”
Rammell’s grandfather and father were both attorneys. “I grew up listening to courtroom stories told by my grandpa who was a trial attorney in a small town in Montana,” she says. “It seemed exciting to be in a courtroom, directly communicating with people. I’m a people person, and litigation seemed like a way to provide real help to people in need.” When her father urged her to consider law school, Rammell started researching and found that law aligned with the difference she wanted to make.
At BYU Law, Rammell has been involved with trial advocacy, first at BYU Law’s Trial Academy––a weeklong program that teaches students trial skills through intense and repetitive practice––and later as a mentor and judge in trial advocacy competitions. “My job after law school is geared towards litigation. Being immersed in how trial works launched me down that path. It was one of my favorite experiences in law school,” she says. After graduation, she will join Dykema Gossett in Dallas, Texas, and hopes to work with the commercial litigation group. “I always thought I wanted to be involved in the community, that I wanted to make a difference. When you are serving as someone’s advocate, you are helping them with real-life problems and giving them real-life solutions,” she says.
For Rammell, the most valuable part of her experience at BYU Law has been her relationships. “My world has been opened to a vast array of amazing, intelligent, hardworking, passionate people,” she says. “Law school—and specifically mentors—have taught me to think big and to believe that I am capable of more. You have an idea of what you want, but at times you go around in circles and take different paths. I feel like this is my place.”