Former Student Reflects on Parenting in Law School

January 11, 2017

Law school is a rewarding endeavor, but it goes without saying that it is tough for anyone, much less a parent.

According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, the “greatest deterrents” of a parent considering law school are finances and fear of neglecting family.

anderson ring dayKristinia Anderson '16 received her Aggie Ring from her daughter Kyra at Law School Ring Day.

These were Kristinia Anderson’s (’16) biggest concerns when she decided to go to law school while being a mom to 11-year-old Kyra.

“I am a single parent, so I knew I would have to be on a strict budget and a strict schedule in order to be able to balance being a full-time student and a full-time parent,” she said.

But she knew it was the best decision to go back to school because she has an “innate passion” to help those around her.

“Also, I wanted to make a better life for my daughter and myself, so I decided to seek out a career choice where I could ensure that we would be financially secure in our future,” she said.

While she knew it would be beneficial for her and Kyra in the long run, law school changed a “great deal” of things at home. Prior to law school, she was team mom for Kyra’s cheerleading squad and very active with the booster club.

Her role shifted a little after going back to school.

“On Saturdays, instead of being able to sit and enjoy the little league football game, like I once was, I would sit in the stands and review flash cards for my classes or read over my notes and outlines from the previous week,” she said.

kyra and kris andersonEven though she is a single parent, she is not alone in raising her daughter. She said her mother and daughter’s godparents were a “huge support system” while she was in law school.

“I was very active in advocacy, so if I needed to attend an advocacy trip, my mother would watch my daughter and take her to school while I was away.”

It was very difficult to ensure that her daughter’s life still had a very structured and supportive environment, so she made sure to tell Kyra how proud she was of her.

“I also set a date once a month for us to just go out and have a Mommy-Daughter Day,” she said. 

Thankfully, Anderson has no regrets from the past three years, but wishes she could go back to do one little thing differently: cook more meals at home.

“I tried to make sure that my daughter had a home-cooked meal at least four nights a week, but there were many times that, between my busy law school schedule and her busy schedule at school as an honor student, we ate out at restaurants more than we ate at home,” she said.

Order-of-Barristers-2016Anderson, first row second from left, with the 2016 Order of Barristers inductees.

Yes, being a full-time law student and a single parent is difficult, but not impossible.

During her years at Aggie Law, Anderson was a Student Ambassador, Advocacy Chair of the Black Law Student Association, a Texas Young Lawyers Association Diversity Scholarship Recipient, a J.L. Turner Legal Association Scholar and an Order of Barristers member.

She strongly advises students to include their children in their legal education.

“By this I mean, in the evenings set a time for you and your children to do your homework together or after you have read a case, if your children are old enough, try to explain the rule of law in terms that they will understand,” she said. “These methods really helped me learn my rules and also helped my daughter be a part of my educational success.”

Kyra Kris AndersonAnderson said the journey was tough and rewarding, but she’s excited to be in a more doable routine within her family. And there might be a new addition soon.

“I promised my daughter she could get a brand new Pug puppy as soon as I graduated from law school and we moved into our new home,” she said.

- Article by Jennifer Nassar, Communications Specialist, Texas A&M University School of Law