Success Stories

Gabriella Silva '20 Heads to Fordham University School of Law

September 11, 2020
Gabriella Silva

Gabriella Silva ‘20 is attending Fordham University School of Law this fall, focusing on public interest law due to her strong desire to expand her knowledge in immigration law, criminal law, and economic development. Silva says her UHart professors have contributed enormously to her academic growth and ultimately helped her in deciding to attend law school at Fordham. When looking back on her faculty mentors, Silva points to Associate Professor of Economics Jane Horvath, who oversees UHart’s pre-law advising program, as being instrumental in helping her attend law school. “From day one, she made sure that I took courses that would help me with the LSAT and helped me maintain the proper timeline to be in law school immediately after graduation.”

Silva, who double majored in economics and international studies, also says courses she took with Associate Professor of Politics and Government Jilda Aliotta, such as Inside the Marble Palace and Constitutional Law, affirmed her desire to go to law school. “She helped me maintain a passion for the law and especially helped me to realize my goal of practicing public interest law as opposed to corporate law.”

An opportunity to network with Connecticut Supreme Court justices also helped Silva realize her dream. The Court visited UHart last fall as part of its “On Circuit” program, which gives students, educators, and the public a greater understanding of the appellate process. That day, arguments in two criminal cases were heard. “I was given the opportunity to meet the justices and network with them," Silva explains. "It was at this event that I was put in contact with Justice Maria Araujo Kahn. I have since kept in contact with Justice Kahn and she was extremely helpful to me in deciding to attend Fordham University School of Law.”

Silva completed two internships before graduation. Her first was to help the Connecticut World Affairs Council plan its annual high school model United Nations event at UHart. And last summer, she worked at the Hinckley Allen & Snyder law firm through the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity pipeline program. Silva says both experiences were critical to her growth, but it was her work with the law firm that fueled her interest in public law. 

This experience confirmed my interest in law and made me passionate about litigation and work done in a courtroom while advocating for clients.

Gabriella Silva '20, Economics, International Studies
Consistently a member of the Dean’s List, Silva is the recipient of the Melvin Goldstein Award for papers on interdisciplinary approaches, the Harold Sandstrom Endowed Scholarship, and the Robert Hanley Award. She served as president of the Hispanic and Latino Student Association for three semesters and was the public relations officer and, later, treasurer of UHart’s Commuter Student Association. Silva also was an ambassador for the College of Arts and Sciences where she assisted with admission events and student recruitment. “I’m also very proud of my student organizations that received leadership awards in 2019 and 2020,” she says.