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Boxing ring and law school: Loyola student flourishes in both worlds

Loyola press release - August 30, 2013

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law student Annie McBride ’07 isn’t afraid to take chances. As an undergraduate studying Spanish at Loyola, McBride always knew she would go to law school, but it was her introduction at a local gym that set her on a very different path from her peers. McBride became an amateur competitive boxer for four years and even got her first knockout last year.

McBride’s boxing career started as a means to exercise and relieve stress during her first year of teaching high school math after graduating in 2007.

“I secretly started wanting to box during undergrad. I didn't tell anyone because I thought it sounded far-fetched and crazy. I don't think I went to the boxing gym on that first day looking to fight. I went more to get a feel for the sport to see if it was something I really wanted to do,” McBride said.

A few months after she joined Friday Night Fights Headquarters Gym (formerly Freret Street Boxing Gym), she met coach James Joseph. Joseph taught McBride boxing fundamentals and travelled with her to fights all across the country. A few years later, she started with coach Frank Vitrano and his son Anthony.

“Frank and Anthony brought my boxing to a new level. Under coach Frank, I got my first knockout in Houma in April of 2012,” said McBride, who now gives lessons to others at the gym.

Just as she was able to elevate her boxing skills, McBride decided it was time to ramp up her education.

“I've always wanted to be an attorney. In the summer of 2011, I decided it was now or never, so I spent the next year taking the LSAT, applying to schools, and enjoying my last year as a teacher,” McBride said.

Law school has been a very different experience from McBride’s undergraduate years, but the time spent teaching was actually beneficial to McBride.

“How much I learned in the first year! I've been working on writing a legal article this summer. After finishing a draft of the paper, I thought to myself, ‘There is no way I would have been able to do all of that research and writing a year ago,’” McBride said.

McBride was accepted into Loyola Law Review and isn’t sure which path she will take as a lawyer, but she has really enjoyed the criminal law side of her studies, and she clerked for Judge Robin Pittman this summer in Criminal District Court.

“It was an eye-opening experience. I learned that those involved in criminal law have their plates full and work very hard. I am looking forward to learning more about criminal law and other fields as I go through law school,” McBride said.

Even with boxing and law school, McBride somehow still has time to help others as the sole proprietor of Grade A Tutoring and is certified in secondary math education.