After graduating in December 2013 with my B.A. in International Relations and in Religious Studies, I enrolled at the University of Michigan Law School the following May. In my second semester, I worked in the Unemployment Insurance Clinic, assisting individuals from southeast Michigan in their administrative appeals to ensure they received their unemployment insurance benefits. My first summer, I returned to Grand Rapids to work for the law firm Warner, Norcross & Judd where, among many other things, I researched the environmental and administrative law for a significant environmental revitalization project.
In my second year at Michigan Law, I worked in the Community and Economic Development Clinic, where I drafted incorporation and 501c3 documents for a neighborhood association in a struggling Detroit neighborhood, and drafted real estate documents for a nonprofit seeking to install solar-powered streetlights in a community with very few streetlights. For my second summer, I worked as a summer associate in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown, one of the world's largest law firms with over 1,500 attorneys employed worldwide. I received job offers from both Warner Norcross and Mayer Brown and decided to return to Grand Rapids with Warner Norcross. I also accepted a position as a term judicial law clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan for a term from 2017-2018. I graduated from Michigan Law in December 2016.
After graduating and taking (and passing) the February bar exam, I began working at Warner, Norcross & Judd in March 2017. I worked on a variety of projects, including the new international bridge to Canada from Detroit. I am now working as a judicial law clerk for the U.S. District Court, which is a highly competitive, year-long position. I assist a Federal judge by researching contentious legal issues and by drafting opinions and orders. After my year with the court is completed, I will return to private practice with Warner, Norcross & Judd.
My International Relations degree prepared me extremely well for law school and the legal profession. Research and writing is often a majority of what an attorney does, and critical thinking, understanding two sides (or more!) to an argument, and effective speaking and writing are extremely important skill sets for my profession that I was able to cultivate as an IR major at GVSU.
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