Modern Family Star Ariel Winter: I'm Going to Law School!

Actress has already toured college campuses in California

By Marc Malkin May 19, 2015 10:51 PMTags
Watch: Ariel Winter Spills on Graduation and College Plans

Ariel Winter's recent emancipation isn't the only big legal plan she's had brewing.

The 17-year-old Modern Family star tells me that she plans to become a lawyer.

She graduates from high school next year and she's already looking at colleges.

"I toured around schools in California and I'm going to take a tour of East Coast schools," Winter said last night at the TV Academy screening of Modern Family's season finale (airing May 20 on ABC).

She's most interested in business and law. "I would love to continue acting but it's definitely important, I think, to go and do something else as well," Winter explained. "You never know if something's not going to work out, if one day acting is like, 'No, we don't like you anymore!' 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."

Bob D'Amico/ABC

Smart thinking, Ariel!

On Friday, Winter tweeted, "I am now officially emancipated!!!"

The actress had been living with her sister Shanelle Gray since 2012, when a temporary guardianship was initially put into place after Winter alleged that her mother, Chrisoula Workman, was physically and emotionally abusing her.

A different judge previously said that an initial report by child protective services found evidence of emotional abuse, but that claims of physical abuse were unsubstantiated. Workman insisted that the allegations made against her were false.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

"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," Winter also tweeted on Friday. "Most importantly I want to thank @shanelle_gray and my father for their special support regarding this matter, I really couldn't have done it without them.

"Thank you to all of my family, friends, and fans who have supported me through all of my endeavors in life, and have encouraged me. Thank you for making my life so special! I can't wait to embark on my new adventures. xo."

For more Modern Family scoop and interviews, watch E! News tonight at 7 p.m and 11 p.m.