I may have been destined to become a lawyer. As a kid, I loved puzzles and games. My dad, an engineer who hates reading directions, always teased me for how intensely I’d study the little booklet that comes with most board games, learning all the rules and regulations. My favorite games had characters and stories, their own lore, and I made sure I knew the ins and outs of gameplay before I even picked up the dice. On road trips or Disney getaways, my parents were quick to entrust me with maps and directions. I would not only find the quickest and most efficient route to the Haunted Mansion, but I would be able to pick out the best snack stands along the way too.

In college, I considered majoring in math but ultimately chose linguistics. The study of language and its structure appealed to me for the same reasons I used to pore over instruction manuals: I wanted to know how languages work. Though I was learning all I could about syntax, phonetics, and morphology, I always had law school in the back of my mind. I knew I wanted to help people (and that I was too squeamish to be a doctor).