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Peter Beauchamp: From Studying the Human Condition to Helping Shape Human Behavior

After graduating from KSC in 2006 with a BA in English, Peter Beauchamp attended New York Law School (NYLS) and found himself fully equipped to compete alongside his Ivy League-educated classmates. In fact, he graduated summa cum laude from NYLS.

If you are committed to the learning process, you don’t need to spend big money for a world-class education, he says.

“I came out of Keene State with all the tools I needed,” he says from Brooklyn, where he works as a law clerk to United States District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto of the Eastern District of New York.

His days are spent researching and analyzing the law and helping his judge to draft her judicial opinions. “To have my writing published as a ruling of the court is very humbling.”

Beauchamp was not always sure about a law career. “I was openly hostile to the idea,” he admits.

His turning point? Participating in KSC’s annual Academic Excellence Conference, an event that gives outstanding students the chance to share their work with a larger audience. As Beauchamp—then a junior—prepared his presentation, he realized that his deep desire to effect social change would be better served by becoming a lawyer than attending a graduate English program.

Studying the humanities is a way to study the human condition—“it probes what makes us human,” he explains. That background is very useful in a future career in law—the attempt to shape human behavior, he says.

Beauchamp is thrilled to begin a Karpatkin Fellowship at the American Civil Liberties Union, where he will work on civil rights lawsuits and policy initiatives as a member of the Racial Justice Program.