Where can a CI Degree take you? Yale Law School.
Graduates from the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information have degrees and experiences that prepare them for post-graduation life — including the rigorous challenges of Yale Law School.
Brad Polivka, a UK communication and philosophy dual-degree graduate from Columbus, Ohio, will soon take on those challenges at Yale in the fall.
After visiting for the admitted students program in April, Polivka described Yale as “downright impressive” and knew he wanted to attend. Everything about the campus — leading professors, fellow students and even the history — appealed to him.
“The campus, the grounds, the building, the classrooms and the portraits on the walls simply ooze history and prestige,” Polivka said. “And all the students I met, both current students and other admitted students, were really nice and down to earth.”
He began considering law school as a sophomore when he landed an internship with the Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Larson’s office. The work of an attorney appealed to Polivka, and he knew it was work he would enjoy.
He interned again the following summer in the Governor’s office in Frankfort, Kentucky, learning about public relations and legal aspects of government.
“While I enjoyed the work I did for each, I found the legal work more challenging and more rewarding,” Polivka said. “While I was working on some sensitive issues, it really hit me that the work the attorneys did had a huge impact on the lives of actual, individual people.”
Polivka took the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) after his junior year and began the application process.
“Much of applying to law school involves knowing what to say and knowing how to develop the kind of story I want my personal statement to tell,” Polivka explained. “Assembling a cohesive application is essential, and my communication degree gave me the skills I needed to do so.”
The application, combined with his high GPA and impressive LSAT score, led to an acceptance letter from Yale.
“I would credit CI for the practical skills I gained in my communication classes and in my internships,” Polivka said. “CI made me a better writer and a better communicator.”
Polivka gives credit to Cyndy Miller, his professor, mentor and friend, for his success. She helped him find his first internship, wrote him a letter of recommendation for law school and offered him a teaching assistant position for the communication internship program.
“During his time as my undergraduate apprentice, I saw him become more comfortable in leadership roles and in mentoring students who were essentially his peers,” Miller said. “Despite all his accomplishments, he is humble and gracious. Brad's calm, quiet demeanor belies a strong, determined nature and a really great sense of humor!”
Pairing his communication degree and experience with a philosophy degree has proved a beneficial combination.
“I think my undergraduate experience — both in communication and in philosophy — helped me most in teaching me how to think critically and logically, to read dense and complex texts and in honing my writing skills,” Polivka said. “These are also the skills law schools say are most important for legal training, and I think my undergraduate education at UK has prepared me well to enter the legal profession.”
Polivka isn’t exactly sure where his Yale degree will lead him, but he knows that continued success is in his future. For now, he’s just looking forward to the next step.
“I'm excited about pretty much everything, but I mostly look forward to being surrounded by the people that teach at and attend Yale Law School,” Polivka said. “These are brilliant, amazing people, with a wealth of diverse and unique experiences, and some of them are probably the future leaders of the world. They have a lot to teach me, and I look forward to learning everything I can from them.”
Polivka will move to Connecticut with his girlfriend, integrated strategic communication graduate Hannah Jeffries, who will work for Teach For America in the fall.
Story by Lizzie Baunach, College of Communication and Information