Alexandria Pollard: An Attorney Accepting the Challenge to Do Good in the World

by Monica Hoel
It was always a given that Alexandria Pollard would go to college. The real decision was where to focus her talents. It was speech she heard on her first day of law school that would confirm her decision to tackle law school – and inform her path moving forward.

In only 3 years, Alexandria finished her undergraduate degree at Emory & Henry. With a degree in Sociology (Crime and Society), she had a lot of options open to her. So she gave herself a year to ponder options.

She moved to Chicago and went to work for an organization called College Possible where her job was to encourage young people to stay motivated “to get to and through college.” Her days were filled with personal contacts with young people who were figuring out their own life paths.

Law school caught and held Alexandria’s attention. So in 2019 she enrolled at the University of Illinois Law School in Chicago. And that fateful start date meant she was soon to be thrust into unusual circumstances. “I got a normal semester and a half before they sent us home for spring break – but they told us to take all our stuff just in case.”

Hers was not a typical law school experience, but Alexandria persisted through classes from home and finished up in 2022. She headed immediately into a great job with Chapman and Cutler LLP doing financial and corporate transaction work. She took the bar exam in August of 2022, and then had to wait an excruciating month and a half for results. “There’s an unspoken rule between law students: you don’t come right out and ask someone if they passed. Most people don’t pass the first time – Michelle Obama didn’t, John Kennedy didn’t, Hillary Clinton didn’t!” But Alexandria Pollard did.

Having that nerve-wracking milestone behind her leaves her with a little time to explore other pursuits. “I work really long days, but now I’m not spending every free moment studying for the bar. So I get to find time for other things and see where my passions are.”

So what were those informative words at the beginning of law school? “On day one of orientation, they sat us down and said were about to step into a professional school that was giving us knowledge that most people in the country just don’t have. And they told us we could use it for good – or for evil, basically. And they said our job was to help people who suffer from lack of access.” That challenge resonated for a young woman who likes “to have a purpose.”

True to form, she spends some of her new-found free time now doing pro bono work. “A lot was going on during my years in law school: Brianna Taylor, George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, Asian hate. And wanted to be in the streets protesting, but it wasn’t always safe. I realized what I was learning in law school could help. Providing legal help was a way to show social outrage and also improve my community.”

So while Alexandria now has more time for a little fun, we can be sure that she will also be striving to live up to a challenge she heard on her very first day of law school.

You can enjoy a conversation with Alexandria on the Duck Pond Wall podcast, where you’ll find out the popular pastime she absolutely won’t be doing.

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/3236-eric-young-on-the-fine-art-of-being-county-administrato"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/94,170,415,491/14902_Eric_Young.rev.1699993408.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/94,170,415,491/14902_Eric_Young.rev.1699993408.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/94,170,415,491/14902_Eric_Young.rev.1699993408.jpg" alt="Man in suit next to flag" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="321" data-max-h="321" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/3236-eric-young-on-the-fine-art-of-being-county-administrato">Eric Young on the “Fine Art” of Being County Administrator</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Different strokes for different situations. But it was “brush strokes” that really won the hearts and minds of Eric Young’s neighbors.</p><a href="/live/news/3236-eric-young-on-the-fine-art-of-being-county-administrato" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/53-the-other-side-of-the-striped-shirt"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,499,543/565_bronie.rev.1505403379.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,499,543/565_bronie.rev.1505403379.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,499,543/565_bronie.rev.1505403379.jpg" alt="Bronie Reynolds (E&H '84) poses with Mike Young (E&H '86)" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="499" data-max-h="543" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/53-the-other-side-of-the-striped-shirt">The Other Side of the Striped Shirt</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Bronie Reynolds (’84) is one of the people who get to pick the country’s best referees. <a href="/live/news/53-the-other-side-of-the-striped-shirt" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1903-liberty-sheppard-life-is-never-going-to-go-like"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.jpg" alt=" Liberty Sheppard Emory & Henry Class of 2020 " width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1440,1440/9937_Liberty.rev.1624482662.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1440" data-max-h="1440" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1903-liberty-sheppard-life-is-never-going-to-go-like">Liberty Sheppard: Life is never going to go like you planned – so find the joy and adapt</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> What happens when a pandemic changes all your plans?<br/>You succeed. <a href="/live/news/1903-liberty-sheppard-life-is-never-going-to-go-like" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1599-brenda-gates-spielmans-books-are-out-of-this-world"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,326,2016,2340/9289_0029_1.rev.1610986720.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,326,2016,2340/9289_0029_1.rev.1610986720.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,326,2016,2340/9289_0029_1.rev.1610986720.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,326,2016,2340/9289_0029_1.rev.1610986720.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,326,2016,2340/9289_0029_1.rev.1610986720.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,326,2016,2340/9289_0029_1.rev.1610986720.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,326,2016,2340/9289_0029_1.rev.1610986720.jpg" alt="Brenda Gates Spielman, Emory & Henry Class of 1969." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,326,2016,2340/9289_0029_1.rev.1610986720.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,326,2016,2340/9289_0029_1.rev.1610986720.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2016" data-max-h="2014" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1599-brenda-gates-spielmans-books-are-out-of-this-world">Brenda Gates Spielman’s Books Are Out of This World</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Brenda Spielman (’69) is a writer who likes to be in control of her stories and of how those stories get shared. <a href="/live/news/1599-brenda-gates-spielmans-books-are-out-of-this-world" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>