Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
May 20, 2015 09:00 AM

Ariel Winter, the recently emancipated minor who plays brainy Alex Dunphy on Modern Family, says she plans to become a lawyer.

“I toured schools in California, and I’m going to take a tour of East Coast schools,” Ariel told E! Tuesday night at the TV Academy screening of Modern Family‘s season finale, which airs May 20 on ABC.

The 17-year-old, who graduates next year (a year after her TV character), says she’s most interested in business and law, especially since it’s more stable than acting.

“I would love to continue acting, but it’s definitely important to go and do something else,” Ariel said. “You never know if something’s not going to work out, if one day acting is like, ‘No, we don’t like you anymore!’ ”

Continued the actress: “You gotta have something else you can do. I’ve always been interested in law, so I think it’ll definitely be something that I’ll love to do and also go to school for.”

The Modern Family star announced the end to her years-long custody drama on Friday, Tweeting, “I am now officially emancipated!!! I’m really lucky I have an amazing support system and lovely people in my life who have given me the support and guidance to have been given this wonderful opportunity.”

Since 2012, Ariel’s guardian has been her older sister Shanelle Gray after the Department of Children and Family Services found evidence that her mother Chrisoula Workman emotionally abused her.

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