“Your arms were the talk of graduation.” This is what Pitzer alumna Abigail Biddle ’20 heard from a fellow graduate after their long-awaited Class of 2020 commencement ceremony. Indeed, Biddle’s biceps belong in a superhero movie. A competitive bodybuilder and soon-to-be Duke Law School student, Biddle says the first time she took the stage in a body-building competition, she was hooked.
“I loved it because for most of my life, even though I was an athlete, as a woman I was told I should take up less space physically,” said Biddle. “When I was on stage, I was surrounded by women who were so buff and by people who were cheering for us.”
Biddle never would have tried the body-building competition if it weren’t for her coach’s encouragement. Biddle strives to pass on that feeling of support through a variety of roles. As a personal trainer, she empowered clients to not only feel comfortable but actively confident in the gym. As an alpine ski racing coach, she taught young athletes how to change their mindset about their abilities and bodies to improve at their own pace. As part of Pitzer Advocates, she helped survivors of sexual assault to navigate the legal system in a way that minimized re-traumatization. This experience in particular was what eventually inspired Biddle to go to law school.
Much like the body-building competition, Biddle had to be persuaded to try out for law school. Biddle’s mentor could see how passionate she was about advocacy work and told her to give law school a shot even though she initially had anxiety about the LSAT.
“What I did with Pitzer Advocates got me out of bed every morning,” said Biddle. “That’s how I got on the path of going to law school. It’s something that will help me continue my work with a population that I love to work with.”
Biddle is interested in victim advocacy law and in fighting for changes in legislation regarding Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which states online platforms are not held responsible for the content hosted on those platforms. Biddle says that sexual predators use these platforms, which enable their abuse without suffering any legal consequences, so she hopes to address that in the near future.
This fall, Biddle is starting at Duke Law School, which appealed to Biddle because of the strong sense of community that reminded her of Pitzer.
“Pitzer helped me grow into myself because of the community,” said Biddle. “I don’t think I would have been so comfortable and confident in myself otherwise.”