Danielle Zapata, second-year law student at UNT Dallas College of Law, grew up in Arlington but left the state of Texas to study Biomedical Engineering at the University of Arkansas. After earning her degree, Danielle set her sights on law school. She recalls several key factors that led her to choose UNT Dallas College of Law.
“One of the huge factors that went into my decision was the cost factor,” Danielle said. “Attending law school can be very expensive, but UNT Dallas College of Law gave me the opportunity to attend law school at a more reasonable cost. Another main factor was the location. Growing up in Arlington my entire life, Dallas seemed like home. And after spending four years in Arkansas, I wanted to come home.” Danielle also revealed UNT Dallas College of Law showed faith in her even though she did not have, as she says, “the perfect LSAT score or GPA.”
“UNT Dallas College of Law gave me the opportunity to make my dream of studying the law a reality,” Danielle said. “They took a chance on me and I will be forever grateful for that.”
During her first year, Danielle quickly formed valuable relationships with UNT Dallas College of Law professors, bonds she believes contributed to her early accomplishments.
“After my first year of law school, I can confidently say that UNT Dallas College of Law was the right decision; the professors genuinely care about the students and our success,” Danielle said. “They are there to support and encourage us when we need help and to celebrate our successes. Also, being surrounded by so many incredible students, who come from many different walks of life, is a unique opportunity. They have challenged me to not only be a better student, but also a better person.”
One of her first-year accomplishments was wining the State Bar of Texas’ Intellectual Property Scholarship. She said the laborious application process was made easier thanks to guidance from her professors. “I received a generous amount of support and feedback from Ms. Suma Ruth and the Career and Professional Development Office to help polish my essay,” Danielle said. “I also received a lot of help and guidance from professors Melissa Shultz and Matthew Crockett, who were generous in writing my two letters of recommendation.”
After submitting her application, two letters of recommendation, her resumé and transcript, Danielle could only wait on the results. A few weeks later, she received a congratulatory email announcing that she was one of the two law students selected for the scholarship. “To say I was shocked would be an understatement,” Danielle said. “It meant a lot to have the State Bar of Texas select me for this prestigious honor. Along with the scholarship, the State Board of Texas invited me to attend the 2019 State Board of Texas Annual Meeting IP Law Section Luncheon, where I was recognized.”