March 20, 2024

Doyle pursues passion for public interest

Delaney Doyle poses for a photo in the Marvin & Virginia Schmid Law Library

Delaney Doyle poses for a photo in the Marvin & Virginia Schmid Law Library

Editor’s Note — This is part of a student conversation series featured on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Medium page. The series highlights Huskers who are making positive impacts on campus, in their outreach work, and career paths.

Armed with a passion for public interest work, Delaney Doyle, a second-year law student from Omaha, is starting by making an impact on fellow Huskers, from her leadership on campus to supporting first-generation law students and making professional attire more accessible through the Career Closet.

You came to Nebraska Law after getting your bachelor’s degree at the University of Kansas. Is there a particular area of law you are most drawn to?

I am most drawn to public interest work because I have always been a people person, so I hope to work as a prosecutor after graduation. I also have an interest in international law and human rights work. I am uncertain what the future holds for me, but working internationally would be a dream come true.

Talk about leading a major expansion of Nebraska Law’s Career Closet.

The College of Law Career Closet was started a few years ago by a former Justice of Phi Alpha Delta. It was a legacy that they left on the school to aid so many future generations of students. I wanted to build on that legacy. The Career Closet was just newly renovated this month, and we have started a new clothing drive event at the College of Law that will hopefully become an annual tradition. We were able to bring so many attorneys and legal professionals from the community together for the benefit of the students; I cannot thank everyone enough who donated to and sponsored the Career Closet.

Can you talk about introducing a new programming series for first-generation law students?

As a first-generation law student myself, I struggled through my first year having to figure everything out on my own. I had no idea what law classes were going to be like, not a clue what a cold call or outlining was, and I especially was unprepared for applications and interviews for clerkships. I was so fortunate to have found two wonderful mentors who really guided me through my first year — thank you Ashly and Steve — but I understood that there is a whole demographic of students out there who don’t have these resources. The idea behind the First-Gen Panel Series was to give students access to different attorneys in Nebraska to answer these questions for them. We organized six different panels that talked about a variety of topics, from what to expect during final exams to preparing for interviews to how to have a successful summer term.

You were elected Justice of Phi Alpha Delta. Do you have any goals in mind for your time in this position?

As Justice of Phi Alpha Delta, one of my personal goals was to leave a positive mark on the organization and the College of Law. I hope to have accomplished this by sparking student interest in the Career Closet and hosting the annual clothing drive. January 2024 was our first annual Career Closet Clothing Drive and Attorney Mixer, so only time will tell whether this tradition will carry on with the future generations of Justices. Either way, we have received wonderfully positive feedback from the community through this event, and we already have interest in next year’s event from the community and the students.

The College of Law also sponsored the renovation of the Career Closet, which coupled with the new clothing donations we received from attorneys and judges and other community members, is going to be a brand new beginning for the Career Closet! One of my goals for the organization was to maintain one of Phi Alpha Delta’s core values — community outreach. We aimed to accomplish this through the Career Closet Clothing Drive and Attorney Mixer of course, but also through the First-Gen Panel Series, and the “Dunk-A-Prof” fundraiser event, where we raised over $400 for Lincoln Lighthouse.

You’re also involved with the Hispanic Law Student Association. How have your involvements in groups like PAD and HLSA shaped your law school experience?

Being involved in student leadership through organizations like Phi Alpha Delta and the Hispanic Law Student Association has been so fulfilling. I was able to create something special for the College of Law with people who had the same goals in mind, especially for future generations of students. It was also a much-needed break from the stress of law school; I was able to organize fun activities and events for students, which was a productive way to be involved in the school but was also a creative outlet for me. Not to mention all the people I’ve met and relationships I’ve formed through the organizations that have become very important to me.

Is there anything you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?

In my lifetime, I truly hope to leave a positive mark wherever I go. I want to make a difference — even just a small one — in people’s lives. A dream of mine would be to be able to practice international human rights law or work internationally in some other capacity. I have spent years studying different cultures, languages and legal systems across the world, so to be able to implement that in my career would be unparalleled!

What or who inspires you?

I come from a family with generations of strong, independent women, and they are the ones who inspire me and motivate me every day. My mom is the most supportive and hard-working person I know, and she has always shown up for me in all of my accomplishments and failures. She has never made me feel less than perfect. My younger sister, who faces adversity every day, is the embodiment of pure kindness. She is my role model. My aunt who battled (and won) cancer four times in her life is so incredibly strong, and she has such a beautiful outlook on life. She reminds me to embrace and give others that same positive energy. My grandmother is so creative and smart — a true out-of-the-box thinker. She always has pushed me to embrace my artistic side. I have been so privileged to have these women in my life, and I always try to take something that they have taught me and implement it in my own life.

What is your advice to other students looking to make an impact on campus?

Get involved! There are so many avenues that you can take to get involved on campus, and it will put you in a position to make a change. Student organizations are a big one, but there is also nonprofit volunteer work through UNL and a lot of community outreach through Greek life. The opportunities are endless! Also, if you want to make an impact but there is no student organization or event or anything that involves your interests, then reach out to administration to create it yourself. Change starts with you!