Young woman wearing a Duke sweatshirt

Anna Thompson ‘19
Law Student, Duke University
Music (piano performance) and International Relations double major

What have you been doing since graduating from LMU?

After graduation, I had an amazing law clerkship opportunity at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General. For three months, I worked in the licensing unit that focused on the revocation or suspension of professional licenses throughout California. I learned a lot about a job that I had never thought about before but serves a very important role in a community. This position inspired me to take LSAT in September, after which I was accepted into Duke School of Law. I cannot wait to return to school to explore the world of legal studies.

How did your undergraduate studies prepare you for this next step?

At LMU, I was able to develop close relationships with faculty who connected me with opportunities and wrote personal letters of recommendation. Music helped my memorization ability and allowed me to use my disciplined practice skills in a study setting. I found that I could study longer than many of my other classmates, because of all of the concentrated hours in a practice room. Strangely enough, it was mostly through music that I met the lawyers in my life who inspired me to apply to law school. Music, while a very personal and amazing endeavor in itself, also makes you stand out from a crowd of more traditional majors.

How did you decide to major in music?

I was a competitive pianist since the 6th grade and continued through high school. I couldn't imagine not playing in college, so I auditioned for the music department. The faculty were so kind and open, and I saw the music major at LMU as an excellent fit. Also, I was going to get the opportunity to work with Wojciech Kocyan, which was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. 

I graduated with a double major in music with a concentration in piano performance, and international relations. I lived two very separate lives in the different colleges, but I loved switching between different interests that I had in any one day. The music major was a labor of love because of the hours spent in the practice room!

What was your favorite thing about LMU Music?

It is a tight-knit group, and some of my closest friends were part of the music program. We all felt such camaraderie as we studied music history late into the night in the atrium. Those connections are what I'll remember the longest and cherish most.

What other organizations were you involved with during your time at LMU?

I was very involved in CSA's Alternative Breaks program, and participated in trips to Cuba and Guatemala, and even lead a trip to Cuba in the summer after my junior year. I learned a lot about international education systems, health care, legal structures, and community programs. The program challenged me to look outside the LMU bubble into communities that I otherwise would possibly never have visited. I was also a member of the LMU Honors Program, the International Relations Honors Society, the Jesuit Honors Society, and a social sorority.

Any advice for current and future music students?

My advice would be to keep positive! The music major is challenging, and that is why as students we are lucky enough to form such close bonds. One day, the music history paper will be done, and the awkward singing diatonic scales for aural skills will be a thing of the past. But in the end, LMU Music teaches you how to learn and excel regardless of what you decide to do after graduation, plus you make connections and friends that will last a lifetime.