Emilie DeRemer

2020 | Happy Valley, OR

Oregon State University | Sociology

“The law school takes pride in the accomplishments of the students and continues to promote the opportunities offered for life after law school.”

As a strong advocate for the balance between the Rule of Law and individual liberties, Emilie DeRemer’s decision to attend law school was inspired by her passion for the criminal justice system and its reform.

She studied sociology with a focus in criminal justice at Oregon State University. While she always knew that she wanted to work in the criminal justice system, she admits that during her undergraduate program she explored a few different career avenues – from police officer to corrections officer, ultimately, she decided to become a lawyer.

“I spent a few years mentoring in a youth prison, studying the disparate impact that race plays in the criminal justice system. It made me want to fight for justice for people who need it the most,” DeRemer said. “I am most passionate about the death penalty and how it affects society’s view on crime and the people in the system.”

When choosing a law school to pursue her passion, she said MSU Law immediately felt like home. “The law school takes pride in the accomplishments of the students and continues to promote the opportunities offered for life after law school,” DeRemer said.

She has used her knowledge of the criminal justice system to develop MSU Law’s Criminal Defense Association, a student organization for which she currently serves as secretary. The group’s goal is to bring awareness to the criminal defense system while showcasing the people who have dedicated their careers to the pursuit of justice for all and offering resources and a community for students interested in doing the same.

“Our organization hosts lunches where we give information, bring in guest speakers to convey their experiences as practicing lawyers, and, overall, generally educate the public on the criminal justice system,” she explained.

DeRemer took on an opportunity to study international concepts of law and justice as well. She participated in the MSU College of Law Institute for Comparative Law & Jurisprudence study abroad program to Bialystok, Poland, with Professor Daniel Barnhizer and some of her peers. “We were able to study comparative laws within the Rule of Law, alternative dispute resolutions, and comparative free expression,” she said. “I forged friendships with people I had not previously interacted with in law school as well as the other students from Belarus and Poland.”

As a 2L, DeRemer has learned the value and importance of receiving feedback, and encourages incoming law school students to ask for it, “Ask professors, ask your friends and ask other law students. There is nothing more valuable than another perspective or a fresh set of eyes on an idea.”