Where does Ariel Winter see herself in the future? In the courtroom.
During a Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance on Wednesday, the UCLA-bound Modern Family star revealed that she’s still very much set on majoring in political science and becoming a lawyer. So what does that mean for her career in the entertainment industry?
“I wouldn’t give up acting,” said Winter, 19. “I love being an actress. I think it’s great, but I definitely want to have another skill, you know, because, I could work today and then never work a day in my life.”
“Do lawyers really have a skill, though?” quipped Kimmel, 49.
“Arguing! I’m good at arguing,” she said with a laugh. “But I just think it’s important. Because like I said, I could be an actress today and then never get another role again in my life, and as long as I have a backup plan, then I’ll be set.”
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Winter, who has starred on the hit ABC family sitcom since it premiered in 2009, previously opened up to PEOPLE about her hopes of becoming a social justice lawyer after spending years in and out of courts as her legal guardianship was transferred from her mother to her sister before she successfully became an emancipated minor in 2015.
“I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with the court system,” she told PEOPLE last January. “But with what I’ve gone through, I think it’s really important to become a voice for abuse victims who have no voice. I want to be able to make a difference.”
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And though she said hopes to continue acting in addition to her judicial pursuits, her desire to stay in the spotlight has nothing to do with stardom.
“Having success and a platform like I currently have, I’m able to make a difference,” she said. “The most important thing we can do is leave a mark on this earth — not for ourselves to be remembered, but for us but to be remembered for something we did for other people. That really matters to me.”
Modern Family airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) and Jimmy Kimmel Live airs weeknights (11:35 p.m. ET), both on ABC.