Each month, the alumni newsletter features a Q&A with a student. Meet 3L Zaren Craddock. He has a master’s degree in Criminology, and hopes to become a prosecutor. He is currently externing with U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen of the Northern District of California. He hopes to enroll in Hastings’ Criminal Practice Clinic his last semester, a field placement program that enables students to work in local district attorney’s or public defender’s offices.
He wants to pursue criminal law. His work as a probation officer and pretrial services officer has given him “a feel for both sides of the aisle,” he says. “Dealing with defendants, victims and others, I feel I’m able to take a neutral position.” He’s waiting out the pandemic in Fresno.
Q: What led you to pursue a law degree?
A: Prior to enrolling at UC Hastings, I worked in the criminal justice field as both a county probation officer and U.S. Pretrial Services officer for a total of about seven years. The law was always a backdrop to that work and was of interest to me. That being said, what really pushed me to want to study the law was working alongside the attorneys and judges at the federal court during my time at Pretrial Services.
Q: What experience have you appreciated the most since starting at UC Hastings?
A: I think I appreciate the time I spent in Moot Court during my 2L year. It definitely put me outside of my comfort zone, which I think is important. The teamwork aspect of it was rewarding, too.
Q: If you could choose any job after graduation, what job would you choose?
A: I would either like to work as a prosecutor or as a law clerk for a judge. I think the litigation experience or the legal research and writing experience would both be very rewarding.
Q: Who would you have dinner with if you could choose anyone (dead or alive)?
A: This is definitely the hardest question here. There’s a lot of people I could name. One of many that come to mind is Haruki Murakami, my favorite author. I’m not even sure what I would ask or what we would talk about. It probably wouldn’t turn out the way I would expect, but that’s not a bad thing!