“I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing,” said Erickson. “Growing up, I took note of injustices in our country, and I decided that becoming a lawyer could give me the tools to help my community.”

Before attending the University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law, Erickson earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Southwest Minnesota State University. From Salem, South Dakota, Erickson ultimately chose to return to her home state for law school.

When she entered law school, Erickson was unsure of which area of the law she wanted to practice, but with the help of some advice from a mentor, she found a passion in transactional law, including business, residential, secured transactions and contracts.

“An alumna of USD law and a professor of mine at Southwest Minnesota State University, Amanda Sieling, told me to keep an open mind,” said Erickson. “The first year of law school is the same for everyone, and you should give all of the subjects you study a real chance to persuade you to practice them. I did not come into law school with any interest in contract law, but it ended up being my favorite subject to engage in, discuss and think about.”

Aligning with her passion for helping her community, Erickson has volunteered for Clay County Teen Court while in law school. Managed by the Boys and Girls Club of Yankton, Teen Court is the county’s juvenile diversion program, a program that works to ensure more juveniles are redirected within their own communities and do not enter the formal court system.

“I love volunteering for Clay County Teen Court,” said Erickson. “I would recommend it to any law student who wants to help our community right now. Teen Court is a collaborative effort that needs community participation to run smoothly and successfully. Helping get kids back on track is the best.”

Following her graduation in May, Erickson plans to work for Gehling Osborn Law Firm, PLC, out of Sioux City, Iowa. Her long-term career goal is to practice law while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

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