Heather Townsend '23

Heather Townsend '23Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Email: hst5058@psu.edu

Legal Areas of Interest:
Criminal Law, Cyber Law, National Security, Privacy, Technology Law

Undergraduate Study:
University of Toronto

Campus and Community Involvement:
I serve as the wellness chair for the Student Bar Association, and I am a member of the Criminal Law Society, OutLaw, and Women’s Law Caucus.

Life Before Dickinson Law:
I grew up in Ottawa, Canada. For the two years before law school, I was managing a restaurant in Toronto’s downtown core.

A Dickinson Law Favorite:
I am so grateful for the community I have been welcomed into at Dickinson Law. Coming from a very large school, I am always surprised by how accessible and supportive the faculty and staff are for all students.

Why Dickinson Law?:
I was able to build incredible relationships with both students and faculty prior to committing to Dickinson Law. The kind, authentic, and positive approach that each individual displayed convinced me that this community would be a good fit.

During my 1L summer, I was lucky enough to have two part-time internships. I advanced my legal research skills from my 1L courses while working on a policy surveillance project with Temple University’s Center for Public Health Law Research. I also worked with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project where I participated in a case analysis.

Favorite Course:
My favorite course so far has been Constitutional Law with Dean Gaudion. As an international student, it was fascinating to be able to compare legal systems and learn the basics of the Constitution.

Advice for Prospective Law Students:
Don’t compare yourself to others. We are all here for different reasons, come from different backgrounds, and have very different goals. Take advice from a variety of people but be willing to stick with what works for you and what makes you happy, not what others say you “should” be doing.

Something You Love About Carlisle:
Carlisle is a beautiful area with lots of great parks and trails. Moving here from a big city, I really appreciate being able to take a book and read in a park or go for a hike with friends without having to travel far.

On Choosing A Law School:
Look beyond just the academics; your interests will change or grow as you learn and experience the law, but the community and culture will also be a big factor in your law school experience. Reach out to current students, faculty, or alumni to learn more about the community at the school.

You’d Never Guess That… :
I have been water skiing with an Olympic medalist.

Favorite Book:
Thank You for Being Late by Thomas L. Friedman