College is a time to discover: what captivates you, what intrigues your curiosities, and what ultimately piques your interests. With so many majors available, figuring out the best fit is often the most difficult part for incoming students. For Colorado native Cody Linderholm (’12), the process was no different. “I didn’t declare a major until my junior year of college,” Linderholm said.
“There were so many things I was interested in, but when I finally took a couple of introduction to political science classes, I found I was super interested in the topic and I wanted to learn more,” he added. After declaring political science as his major, he found his primary interest was law, studying captivating topics through the readings and discussions in his classes.
But Linderholm didn’t jump into the law field right away. While still completing his undergraduate degree, Linderholm found a seasonal job working with the streets department in Loveland, Colo. After graduation, he continued to work with the department until he was hired as an ironworker at Tricon Industries, Inc., completing different projects around the state, including assisting in the Odell Brewing expansion.
One year after graduation, Linderholm moved to Oregon with two close friends he met at CSU. While adjusting to a new state and a new way of life, Linderholm worked for the CINTAS service distribution industry driving delivery trucks throughout Oregon. But his passion for political science never faded.
After four years away from school, Linderholm decided to return to his political science interest and apply for law school. “After I finished my undergrad, I didn’t feel ready in my life. [Law school] was something I always wanted to do, and after moving to Oregon and taking a couple of years off to experience some things and grow up, I thought I was finally ready and capable of doing it,” said Linderholm.
He completed the LSAT, applied for law schools around the country, and was accepted to Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Oregon in 2016.
In the summer of 2018, Linderholm completed an externship for the Colorado District Court in the 17th Judicial District shadowing District Judge Sharon Holbrook, an alumna of the same law school Linderholm now attends. This nine-week opportunity gave Linderholm experience with criminal law and focused his job search. After he graduates in May 2019 and takes the bar exam, Linderholm hopes to apply to a district attorney office or public offender office for criminal defense.
While some people go directly from their undergraduate degree to graduate school, Linderholm needed time to explore and live life. “Even though it was a scary step, I did what worked best for me in the long run,” he said. “Being in law school, there is so much reading and writing and critical thinking, and CSU political science really helped me handle being a student again after such a long time out.”
The versatility and determination he was able to develop with his liberal arts degree at CSU transferred to law school, even after a four-year hiatus.
“Be open to opportunities and find what works best for you,” he added. “It was terrifying to go back to law school after four years, but CSU prepared me to take these risks and opportunities. Always go for it.”
The Department of Political Science is in Colorado State University’s College of Liberal Arts.