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Your Gifts at Work: Adriana Deras

When Adriana Deras graduated from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in biological engineering in 2020, she planned to attend medical school. But as she prepared to take the MCAT, her desire to become a doctor was quickly overshadowed by her passion for rhetoric and she opted to apply to law school instead.

“I never thought of myself as a litigator or argumentative,” said Deras, who is wrapping up her final semester at LSU Law and will graduate this spring. “I thought you had to be in the courtroom and I was really adverse to that. But I loved representing a side in political science and English classes, so when it came down to it, I decided to take a risk and apply to law school. I thought I could combine my passion for engineering and law.”

As soon as she began taking classes at LSU Law, Deras knew she had made the right choice. While she initially planned to pursue a career in patent law, the Baton Rouge native said Professor Joseph Bockrath’s contracts class led her to pursue corporate law instead.

“Life has a funny way of giving you what you need,” Deras said. “I came to LSU Law hoping to use my technical undergraduate degree in engineering in a very nonconventional way, and I initially thought I would pursue patent law. During my first semester of my first year, I realized how much I enjoyed contracts and commercial transactions, and I now hope to use my legal degree to work in contracts for a company.”

Deras said she is still steadfast in her dream to combine her passion for both engineering and law. Her ultimate career aspiration includes becoming an executive for a biotech company. But for the time being she’s soaking up the last few months of her time as an LSU Law student.

Reflecting on her time at LSU Law, Deras said her favorite memories include studying in the Law Library with her friends during finals week—something she gained a greater appreciation for during the pandemic, when study groups were forced to meet virtually.

“I chose LSU Law because I wanted the sense of camaraderie that I had in engineering, and I knew I could have that here,” she said. “After speaking with LSU Law alumni and hearing how highly they spoke of it, I was sold. I wanted to stay close to home, receive a great legal education and build friendships and connections, and LSU Law checked all those boxes.”

Deras is an active member of the Hispanic Law Students Association, serving as both outreach chair and secretary of the student organization during her time at LSU Law. She is a recipient of the John P. Laborde Scholarship in Energy Law, and said the financial support has afforded her additional time to study and pursue her career goals.

“Receiving the John P. Laborde Scholarship in Energy Law means so much to me.” Deras said. “It’s an outstanding contribution to my legal education that lessens my financial burden, and it allows more time for me to focus on what matters most: My education.”

Support LSU Law scholarships

To attract and retain a talented student body at LSU Law, we must offer meaningful and nationally competitive scholarships. Every major law school in the country attracts top students through scholarships, and the LSU Law Center is a part of this very competitive environment.

Resident tuition has increased to over $23,000 for first-year students. With fees, room and board, personal costs and transportation, the cost of a legal education may exceed $35,000 per year.

The Law Center works diligently to attract outstanding students, and private scholarship funds are critical to our efforts to provide financial assistance to deserving students.

Learn more about how you can support scholarships at LSU Law.