Greetings from the April Alumni Blogger

Posted on Categories Health Care, Marquette Law School

Good afternoon and welcome to April! I’m Mathew and I will be your humble Alumni Guest Blogger for this fine, fine month.

I suppose I should start off by noting that I don’t practice law. Never have, never intended to. I’m starting with that note because I plan on bloggin’ about alternative uses for the law degree. That particular post is still incubating, but it has been subtly hinted to me that such an entry may be of interest. I earn a living as a clinical ethicist. Did you know that the law school has a joint degree program with the Medical College of Wisconsin?


IT DOES!



The Bioethics and Medical Humanities Department at MCW is the third-oldest bioethics program in the nation. Its faculty are well known and active in the bioethics community, and the curriculum is robust and challenging (with good planning, you can walk away with a MA along with the JD without lengthening your graduate experience). Though, much of what I do involves varying degrees of dispute resolution. Hey, did you know that Marquette University Law School once again ranks in the Top 10 in the nation in alternative dispute resolution?

6TH IN THE COUNTRY!  (I’m not sure how to put that in bold. Please—imagine that in bold. Consider adding an extra exclamation point.)


I did a cursory (actually, a thorough) search of the Law School’s website, and I couldn’t find mention of that achievement so I wanted to highlight it here. Kudos to Andrea Schneider, Jay Grenig, Janine Geske, and Natalie Fleury for their excellence in running that program. I had the opportunity to teach negotiation to medical students in Chicago last year, and it was the foundation laid by Andrea Schneider and Joanne Lipo Zovic that prepped me to facilitate that class. But you want to know something else?


MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY HAS A GRADUATE PROGRAM IN DISPUTE RESOLUTION!


Now, this is my personal opinion, but I am going to wager that one reason MULS grads are so grossly competent and savvy in dispute resolution is in part because a significant number of us went down the block to take advantage of the Center for Dispute Resolution’s excellent program. It’s a multi-disciplinary program where your classmates are bringing perspectives from a number of fields, such as teaching, environmental engineering, and pastoral care. And you’re all (presumably) united by a passion for conflict resolution. Graduate-level work makes for a more well-rounded practitioner.


So… yeah… that about captures the areas of interest I will focus on this April: alternative careers for the JD, bioethics, and conflict resolution. I may also post on other things. Like the importance and appropriateness of levity in austere environments, fashion, and perhaps Dr. Who.


Hey, did I mention, MULS has a stupendous ADR program? I am very proud to have been able to participate in the program. It’s the first day of April and I can think of no better way to ring-in this month by telling Andrea Schneider
what a great job she is doing. If you agree, join me in sending her a celebratory email this first day of April. The Andrea I know has always been very gracious in responding to each of her emails.

7 thoughts on “Greetings from the April Alumni Blogger”

  1. Welcome back Mat . . . you have been missed. I eagerly await the fashion section though I fear it may say that black is back for nail color, or at least for one, and I simply cannot abide. How incredibly fitting that you get April and may you let the sentiments that drive the first day carry forward for the entire month! Joanne

  2. Mat–thank you for making me smile on April Fool’s Day. This post and the emails from it have been far more wonderful than the buzzer you hid in my office several years ago to celebrate this day! And, on a serious note, thanks to all of our alumni and the DR community in Milwaukee that help make our DR program so successful and well-known around the country.

  3. Aww, shucks, y’all.

    I do what I can. Though, from what I can understand, you should probably thank Dean O’Hear for kiboshin’ my Plan A. Pranks, for me, are signs of respect.

  4. Andrea is doing a great job, but I would love to hear your thoughts about Dr. Who. Do you agree that Tom Baker was the best of the original doctors? What do you think of Christopher Eccleston and the guy from the Harry Potter movie? I, for one, miss the surreal qualities of the pre-revival episodes.

  5. Well, Prof. Hylton those are good questions.

    Admittedly, I started watching Dr. Who in 2007 after the reboot and I am not very familiar with Doctors 1-8. I know everybody has “their” Doctor and mine will definitely have to be that guy from the Harry Potter movie, David Tennant.

    I was ok with Christopher Eccleston and liked him just fine. I also feel bad that he left a good project playing the Doctor to join a failing project known as Heroes (this show also makes me sad for numerous reasons. Like a crazy person, I watched every single episode hoping that it would get better after season 1). Right now, I am half way through Matt Smith’s first season as the 11th Doctor, and I am not that fond of him. I do like Amy Pond a lot.

    When I think of pre-reviival, it is Tom Baker’s Doctor I do think of, though I have never seen an episode so I also cannot speak toward the surreal qualities. I will venture a guess that, like many long-told stories, the move is generally to create a realism (eg a more physics-based theory of time travel) and tie-up continuity issues. This is what comic books have been attempting to do since the late 80s.

  6. Mat, welcome as the alum blogger of the month—nice to see you here.

    As a fellow three-degree participant (or, if memory serves, the “triple crown,” as Mat likes to refer to it), I can attest to the unique structure and offerings that MULS/MCW/MU provide via this educational blend. While I do not use my MA in my current law practice (I serve as an Asst. City Attorney representing the City of Milwaukee’s pension system), I have found a very useful and practical way to apply my educational background (and thought it might be useful to share, for what it’s worth).

    I currently serve as a consumer representative on the Advisory Committee of the Vaccines and Medications in Pregnancy Surveillance System (VAMPSS http://www.aaaai.org/members/resources/vampss/), a nationwide post-marketing surveillance system established to comprehensively monitor the use and safety of vaccines and medications during pregnancy. As a mother of one (+ one on the way), I find this work to be extremely rewarding—especially given that this is a cutting-edge system for an important population group where, previously, there had been little to no research/quality info gathered regarding this health issue. I’d like to think that my blended educational background assists in uniquely qualifying the skills and perspectives I can share with this group as a consumer rep.

  7. Thanks Beth! Yes, the “triple crown”. Thank you for highlighting that aspect of my post. From what I have heard, enrollment in the joint JD/MA bioethics program may be low (and I may be wrong), and I wanted to highlight MCW. It’s a good program down the street and from the best I can tell the 4 grads I know (you, me, Angie and Maureen) have all been successful in utilizing the specialized education… but I will save this for that forthcoming post.

    Your Consumer rep work sound like a lot of fun… and if I remember correctly, somewhat near what your thesis addressed.

    Also, YAY BABY! congrats.

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