MLS student Evangelina Marquez feels confident at Utah Law

Mar 11, 2024 | Belonging & Access

by Angela Turnbow

Evangelina Marquez, a young Hispanic woman with long brown hair wearing a black blouse“I have a strong passion for social psychology and its ability to impact our world,” says Evangelina Marquez, who enrolled in the master of legal studies (MLS) program in fall 2023. “I chose the S.J. Quinney MLS program to provide further insight regarding my decision to pursue a JD degree.”

As a first-generation Latina college student, Marquez studied at Salt Lake Community College for two years before transferring to Weber State University, where she graduated with a B.S. in psychology in April 2022. Upon graduation, she began working for a local nonprofit as a caseworker when she heard about and applied to the MLS program.

Now that she is halfway through the one-year (three semesters) MLS program, Marquez confidently says that it’s the people at Utah Law who have made it an enjoyable experience.

“Our professors are truly unmatched. Their educational and professional background provide an amazing environment for class discussions and connections to superb guest speakers,” she says. “My cohort is filled with a variety of students from different backgrounds that provide for rich and meaningful discussions. Truly, my MLS experience would not be the same without the amazing students.”

At first, Marquez found it challenging to learn about the law with no formal legal background and describes her first semester a bit like being thrown into the deep end. But she soon found her footing and confidence to succeed.

“Our professors successfully guided us through our first semester by instilling confidence in our ability to thrive in our coursework. As a first-generation college student and Latina, I don’t think the imposter syndrome will ever truly subside, but this program has instilled a newfound level of confidence that is invaluable to me,” she says.

Marquez has found ample opportunities to consider her career and to interact with people at Utah Law through the student organizations and as the MLS representative on the Student Bar Association.

“My ability to serve on the Student Bar Association as the MLS liaison has been a very rewarding experience to network and meet other students. S.J. Quinney provides substantial opportunities for student involvement and camaraderie,” Marquez says. “I hope to enroll in a JD program to further my education in an area I am truly passionate about. Volunteering with the Pro Bono Initiative has provided me with immense experience in understanding where I may wish to focus my future career.”

Interested in the MLS program? Register now for the free webinar on Tuesday, March 19.