Evening Student Sees JD as Tool to Expand Union Advocacy Skills
For nearly a decade, evening student Dev Das ’17 has successfully advocated for others. As an organizer for unions and presidential candidates, he has fought for better wages, improved working conditions and a better life for those he serves. Now, he hopes to use a law degree to deliver even more to those he represents.
“I fell in love with advocating for people and helping people fight for positive change—I can keep doing that as an attorney,” said Das, an organizer with SEIU United Service Workers West. He came to Los Angeles to pursue a screenwriting career but found his way into the labor movement after finding his passion for politics.
A law degree will create opportunities for Das to assist union members with their individual issues, he foresees, by allowing him to expand on the work he already does with large groups. “As an attorney, I can get to know individuals and families more personally—helping with individual problems will be more rewarding for me,” he said, adding that he hopes to become a trial attorney one day. And because the evening program offers him greater flexibility, he still finds time to pursue screenwriting on the side.
Already quick on his feet and able to command a room, Das feels Loyola has prepared him well to take his advocacy to the next level. “There’s an aggressive emphasis on skill training and building skillsets that can help you to get a job once you graduate,” he said.
Das cites his classmates’ high caliber and diverse array of backgrounds as a major draw to Loyola. Evening students have included U.S. Senate aids, pharmacists, police officers, musicians, actors and many more. And Das wouldn’t have it any other way.
As a working professional, Das appreciates being able to network with others who are also juggling an education and career simultaneously, and the range of different work experiences also makes each class discussion different and unique. “All those work experiences influence the conversations in class and impact my education,” he said.