Stephanie Bascon, UD class of 1988, has gotten involved with the law since leaving UD — in a good way! Last year, Bascon was appointed as judge of the 466th Judicial District Court in Comal County near New Braunfels, Texas by Governor Greg Abbott.
She shared how UD, and the Core curriculum especially, had a huge impact on the events leading up to this point in her career.
Bascon started out at UD as a politics major and loved all of the classes she took, including those that were outside of her major.
“Even though I was a politics major, [classes outside my major] were just as helpful as my political philosophy classes — they helped me to reason and to work through arguments, and that’s critical to practicing law and making judgments as a judge,” Bascon said.
While it was a grueling process to get into law school, she had a lot of help and support the summer after graduation. Going straight from undergrad to law school at the University of Houston, Bascon worked from 8 to 5 every week on her studies, going to study groups, and making sure she had personal time on the weekends.
Now as a parent of college students, including one who is a freshman at UD, Bascon appreciates the Core even more. She explained that the foundation of having the Core classes still serves as an important tool and step-ladder towards accomplishing anything in the pursuit of one’s intended major.
Bascon also shared that what she loves the most about serving as a judge is the ever-changing environment from day-to-day.
She added, “I’d be a student forever if I could, and I sort of am as a judge and a lawyer because you’re always learning and you’re always keeping up with the law as it develops.”
One of her favorite memories from her time at UD was participating in the Rome program and hearing Dr. Ambler deliver a speech from a Roman senator during the time of transition from the Roman Empire to the Roman Republic.
“I just thought, ‘This is so amazing to be studying this history being where it all happened.’ That was a real moment for me, and I just thought it was incredible.”
Although it is rare that Bascon picks up “The Iliad” or “The Odyssey” in her daily routine, she has had 30 years of law practice and court cases to keep her busy. And while she has always known that she wanted to be a lawyer, she encouraged any and all students to appreciate the Core classes, even the ones that don’t pertain to their major, and to embrace the change that we see so often in the world.
“We’ve all found out in the last couple of years just how much the world can change, and it’s been more extreme in these last couple of years than it has ever been,” said Bascon. “But you deal with it daily, and the better you’re able to adapt to those changes, the more successful you’ll be.”
To students considering going into the legal field, she said, “Prepare well for the LSAT; law school is difficult and competitive, so it is not something you should go into lightly.”
Bascon added, “If you have any reservations about going,take some time away from school after graduation, maybe work in the legal profession or law enforcement to see if the law is really for you.”
“And if you know law school is what you want to do, hone your writing skills. They will take you far in law school and in practicing law,” she concluded.