Future law student hopes to become ‘effective agent for change’

Photo courtesy of Daria Pietropaolo
By Deserae E. del Campo

Photo courtesy of Daria Pietropaolo

Future law student hopes to become ‘effective agent for change’

By Deserae E. del Campo
After completing her undergraduate degree this spring, Daria Pietropaolo will continue her studies at the University of Miami School of Law as part of the 3+3 Dual-Degree Program.

From her study abroad experience in Rome to her time as an associate justice for Student Government, Daria Pietropaolo’s academic career at the University of Miami is far from over—and that’s a good thing.

Pietropaolo is part of the University’s 3+3 Dual-Degree Program in Law, which means she’ll graduate this spring from the College of Arts and Sciences and begin her first year at the School of Law in the fall. And, she’s very excited to start this next step in her academic career.

“I’ve had a wonderful opportunity to work with professors in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Law to develop research on an independent major in restorative justice,” said Pietropaolo, who is earning a double major in political science with an independent major in restorative justice. A theory used in criminal justice systems, restorative justice, works to repair the harm caused by criminal behavior through various community programs meant to heal and transform both victims and perpetrators.

Pietropaolo said her interest in this form of criminal justice took shape when she befriended a priest from her local church near Boston who is from Rwanda. 

“As a survivor of genocide, he shared his very heart-wrenching and beautiful life story with me, and it got me interested in the power of reconciliation and how we can reach justice from a human perspective while working together to rebuild a community so that there is a resolution on all sides,” she said.

While taking law, philosophy, and political science courses for her independent major, Pietropaolo also competed as a member on the women’s cross country and track team. “Being a student-athlete definitely added another rewarding dimension to my undergrad career,” she said.

This summer, Pietropaolo will continue her work for the Middlesex Juvenile Court Clinic in Massachusetts for a second year. She sees this as an opportunity to complement her undergraduate experience and as an extension of her time working with the professors and administrators who have been instrumental in helping her develop the academic career of her dreams.  

“I’m grateful for the many opportunities I’ve had as an undergrad student,” Pietropaolo said. “From conducting research to developing a supportive community of friends and mentors and discovering more about my interests in law, I  hope to become, in some small way, an effective agent for change in the world.”