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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Brunette Ambition: Meet Kathryn Keating

Photo by Photo Courtesy of Rashid Eltahir Eldoma
Kathryn Keating Feature

After much deliberation, the Texas A&M Law Review Editorial Board elected their incoming board for the upcoming 2023-24 academic year. At its helm is a woman of considerable grace, character and ability.

2L Kathryn Keating was recently named the incoming editor-in-chief of the Texas A&M Law Review Vol. 11. This announcement comes only four months after Keating became a new mother, adding to her already considerable list of accomplishments — a beautiful baby boy named Theo. 

“Law Review is the publication of the law school,” Keating said. “Similar to how there’s medical journals and psychology journals, where scholars and researchers publish all their works to be peer edited. In the law, we don’t have all those journals. We have law reviews, meaning any article that goes out into the scholarship world for law is published by these law students.” 

Law reviews provide law students an opportunity unique to the legal field,  Keating said.

“It’s really cool because you have been in law school for two years and suddenly you’re deciding if a professor at Harvard’s work is something you want to publish,” Keating said. “You get to edit and give substantive feedback to the author. We are given positions that, in a lot of fields, are given to people much more senior than us.” 

Law review provides yet another avenue to cement A&M’s name in the legal field, Keating said.

“We’re at least gonna put out four solid issues,” Keating said. “How many articles or [their content] is yet to be determined, but I hope to put out a fair amount of research because it really is cool students get to help put things into the legal research realm. I would love to have our name read in articles for posterity’s sake.”

As editor-in-chief, Keating will have a say in what sorts of scholarship the School of Law will be remembered for.

“If we choose a great article and publish it, people cite that article, not only in other articles, but even by the courts, so it’s really exciting to get to choose what we want our school’s name on for the rest of legal research history,” Keating said.

‘How does she do it all?’ This is not an uncommon question for Keating, who chalks it up to time management.

“You can do a lot more than you think you can do,” Keating said. “There really are enough hours in the day, you just can’t sit scrolling on your phone and you can’t binge TV shows. It requires a lot of scheduling, lots of calendar updates and planning out just about every minute of every day, but you really can do a lot.”

Keating said she often deals with perfectionism and had to learn how to give herself more grace.

“Sometimes you just don’t do it all,” Keating said. “Sometimes you just don’t do your laundry that week, you skim your reading or something. You don’t necessarily have to do everything perfectly, which has been hard for me because I’ve always been a perfectionist. I’ve had to learn just to prioritize what I care about.”

Both pregnancy and law school are tough in and of themselves. Many would not dare combine those two challenges. Not for Keating, however, who knowingly and willfully entered into the belly of both beasts.

“It was never a question even when I applied to law school that I was going to have a kid there,” Keating said. “Before I even brought the idea to my husband, I went to dinner with my friend who had done law school and asked ‘Is this even possible?’”. 

Keating said she sought the counsel of women who had paved the way, reaffirming her decision before she set out to execute the plan.

“She was really helpful and connected me with another woman who had had a baby during law school,” Keating said. “So then that was always the plan to try to get pregnant during 1L year. I found out I was pregnant at the beginning of the second semester of 1L year.”

Things were not smooth sailing from there. Keating did not have an easy pregnancy. 

“I was super sick during pregnancy,” Keating said. “I didn’t have the physical ability to even prepare for class. First semester, I’m on top of things as much as any first semester law student can be, and then [second semester] I had to walk into class barely able to function, having not read for the day. It was scary.”

Despite this, Keating cites spring semester during her 1L year as instrumental in helping her break free of perfectionism.

“It helped me get out of a lot of perfectionism and being super Type A about things all the time,” Keating said. “I really think it was that semester when I really learned how to prioritize things. [I learned] what to worry about and what not to worry about.”

After a stressful pregnancy, Theo’s arrival further surprised Keating. She said motherhood came almost as a shock.

“They say moms become moms when they find out they’re pregnant,” Keating said. “I don’t think it really hit me until he was born. I knew cognitively that I would love him. But it really does shock you how much you can love something immediately.” 

Keating said she found it difficult, if not near impossible, to articulate the immediacy of her love.

“As soon as they lay the baby on your chest after he’s born you’re like ‘that is mine,’” Keating said. “So as much as it can be explained, it really is indescribable how much you can love a little baby.

Theo has already made appearances at the law school, both in-person and sitting in on Zoom meetings, and at girls’ nights, amassing adoration from all around.

“I think it’s really important that children don’t necessarily take over your life, but just become a big part of your life,” Keating said. “We had a Law Review social the other night at a bar at 6 p.m. and Theo came. Everyone was great. We passed him around and he had a great time.”

Keating said it need not be either/or: she plans to integrate her son into her life, not stop living. Above all, Keating said she is thankful for her strong support system. 

“My husband being really supportive and having family nearby helps out a lot,” Keating said. “I know it’s definitely a privilege not a lot of moms get. Without my support system, I would not be able to be in law school.”

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