In the midst of all the pre-med students on UCSD campus, the social sciences and humanities tend to take a backseat in comparison. Not only is it uncommon to find a pre-law student on campus, but it’s also rare to find one as passionate and dedicated as Melissa Nguyen. As a 3rd year majoring in Sociology with a Law and Society Minor, Melissa was heavily involved as the head of membership for UCSD’s only co-ed pre-law professional fraternity,
Phi Alpha Delta. On top of that, she was an intern for the San Diego Superior Court Justice Corps Program where she helped clients who couldn’t afford attorneys. Her favorite part about her job was that she was able to work face to face with people and offer both compassion and technical help with family law legal issues. Melissa also works for the San Diego Office of the Primary Public Defender, a job she finds especially rewarding because of her love for children and social justice. As a liaison between juvenile delinquent clients and the various probation officers, therapists, and professionals involved in their cases, Melissa makes sure to help the children feel at ease and well-informed about what exactly is going on in their case. The best part about it, she says, is that she has the chance to help children at an early stage of their lives before their bad behaviors become bad habits as adults. Ultimately, with this background in social justice, Melissa wants to go into Criminal Defense as it combines two important aspects of her life: her passion for law and justice and her immense capacity for compassion. Melissa’s favorite Dlush drink is the Chai Chill, perfect for her cool, level-headed personality!