Thomas Stanwood: philosophy alum and Olympic hopeful

Thomas Stanwood used his philosophy major as a gateway to law school and the Olympics

You’ve got to shoot each arrow as if it means everything and nothing all at the same time.

Archery is very much a field, and for me at least, your performance is directly related to the amount of time you’re putting in on the practice field.

When I chose UMass Dartmouth, I wanted to be challenged academically; I had a clear goal in mind. I was going to get my Bachelor’s, get my J.D, and become an attorney. Knowing that my ultimate goal was to go to law school freed me to choose a discipline for my undergraduate degree that I was really excited about, and that was Philosophy.

Most of the typical coursework that you do in Philosophy is deconstructing the text—really getting to the basis of what these thinkers and writers are trying to say. That very much prepares you for law school—it’s distilling the language down to its essence and making arguments from there.

Earning that degree in Philosophy, I did feel exceptionally prepared when I entered law school, and I think it showed. I ended up on the Law Review.

I went to UMass because I knew I wanted to go to law school. I wanted to go to law school, not to have an extravagant existence, but to be engaged professionally, but also to allow me time to be fulfilled personally.

I’ve been very fortunate to compete for the United States a few different times in my career. Archery has taken me around the world. It is my intention certainly to train, get better, and make an Olympic team in the future.


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