Last spring in Washington, D.C. at the Federalist Society’s National Student Symposium, Justice Thomas told a room full of law students to “get rid of [their] pessimism.” Justice Thomas, your words have been ringing in my ears. Admittedly, many aspects of America’s contemporary legal and political landscape engender a lingering pessimism in me. I’d like to step back a moment from this divisive arena we encounter every day and briefly discuss a few points of optimism. Continue reading “Advice from Justice Clarence Thomas”
I believe intellectual diversity is vital to the development of the legal community—in law school and in practice. I also believe our individual mindsets—as lawyers, professors, or law students—aggregate and have an outsized effect on the direction of Wisconsin’s and America’s laws. Finally, in the vein of free-market competition, I believe we should each endeavor to challenge our mindsets and step out of any conscious or unconscious echo chambers of legal thought. With these ideas in mind, let’s spice things up with a rather normative post.
Let’s start with a somewhat lighthearted contention. Math is not evil, mysterious, or to be avoided at all costs. On the contrary, we should challenge ourselves to use it appropriately and effectively when an opportunity arises to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good “lawyers are bad at math” joke, but maybe we shouldn’t perpetuate that mindset. If you can use a standard normal distribution or some Bureau of Labor Statistics data to make a point, go for it. Words may be our specialty, but numbers should be in the tool bag as well.
That was a good warm up, so let’s try something a little more controversial. Continue reading “Gratitude for Intellectual Diversity”
February is upon us, and it is time to welcome our Guest Bloggers of the Month.
Our Alumni Blogger of the Month for February is Jamie Yu, Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated. Ms. Yu joined Baird’s legal department as an intern in 2013 and joined the Baird legal team full time in 2015. Ms. Yu’s primary areas of responsibility include advising Baird’s Fixed Income Capital Markets and Investment Banking business and providing general legal counsel to a variety of areas throughout the firm, including data privacy. Prior to joining Baird, Ms. Yu worked for three years in Taiwan as a legal assistant and translator. Ms. Yu received her J.D. from Marquette University Law School in 2015, where she was the editor-in-chief of the Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review, an Academic Success Program leader, an admissions ambassador, and a Student Bar Association student mentor. She received her B.A. in political science and international studies from Case Western Reserve University in 2009.
Our Student Blogger of the Month for February is Scott Lyon. Scott is currently a 3L at MULS. He graduated from Emory University with a BA in Economics in 2013. Before law school, Scott taught at-risk youth at a high school in Cook County, IL. Scott currently participates in the MULS Prosecutor Clinic. He interned at the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel through the MULS Supervised Fieldwork Program in 2018 and spent the summer of 2017 in the Marinette County Circuit Court, Branch 2, clerking for Judge James Morrison. Scott focuses his studies on criminal law and litigation. He is the President of the MULS Student Chapter of the Federalist Society, and he participated in the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition. Scott is proud to attend MULS with his younger brother, Eric Lyon, who is also currently a 3L.
Please join me in welcoming our Guest Bloggers. We look forward to your posts.
My father, John Van Lieshout, got his J.D. from Marquette University Law School in 1981. He currently practices law at Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren here in Milwaukee. Since it’s been thirty-eight years since he walked these hallowed halls as a student, I interviewed him to get the scoop on what law school was like for him. I knew that there would be differences big and small, but I am happy to report that just as he reports feeling great affection for law both in its nature and because of the connections he made, I feel like coming to Marquette was one of the best choices of my life. I hope you enjoy his fond recollections of his time at MULS, whether you are a current student or a former one, and if you are a member of the graduating class of 1981, please feel free to reach out!
“The law school used to be six or seven classrooms and a hallway, to put it simply. You saw everyone in that hallway. At that time, there were more women than men, and most of the women did not come directly from undergrad. Many of them had been teachers before deciding to study law. We had contracts, torts, and property both semester one and two. We kept the same sections and the same professors through both semesters, which made the transition much easier. Unlike at Eckstein Hall, our lockers were two feet long and two feet deep; they basically only fit textbooks. There was not room for a winter coat or boots.
As a current .5L, I’ve discovered that law school has a sister: swimming. While it may not turn your hair green or get you ripped abs, law school involves a lot of the same principles that swimming does: hard work, discipline, and patience. I believe I am qualified to make this comparison because I earned my time in the pool. I swam competitively for fifteen years. Around middle school, my coach decided to put my awkwardly long limbs to use as a backstroker.
For those who don’t know, backstroke is the loneliest stroke. Your practices and races consist of staring at the ceiling, listening to yourself breathe, and praying for the pain to be over. You can’t tell where you are compared to others in the race. You have to memorize the distance between the flags near the end of the pool and the wall to know when you must “flip-turn,” or do that little somersault to change direction. If you miscalculate, you risk missing the wall entirely to stop dead in the water. I recognized this “dead in the water” feeling during my first cold call, in which I temporarily left my body from fright and forgot every detail of the case I’d read. Luckily, years of being in this situation had taught me that the only thing you can do is keep going, so I basically read out of the textbook and wrote myself a note on my bathroom mirror to do better next time. You will mess up. What matters is that you keep on going.
We start off the new year with two guest bloggers.
Our Student Blogger for the month of January is Foley Van Lieshout. Foley is a current 1L at Marquette University Law School. She graduated cum laude from Lawrence University in June 2018. She majored in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Ten of her relatives attended Marquette University Law School, but she is the first guest blogger of the family. Foley hopes to focus her studies on criminal law and litigation while at Marquette. She is currently a member of the MULS Association for Women Lawyers and the Federalist Society.
Our Alumni Blogger for the month of January is Daniel Murphy, a recent graduate of Marquette University Law School. Dan provides the following self-introduction:
“After graduating from Marquette Law School in 2016, I was hired by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office. I had participated in the Prosecutor Clinic there working in the Violent Crimes Unit on Drug Team 1 assigned to Judge Timothy Witkowiak’s court. As a newly minted Assistant District Attorney I was fortunate to start in that same position. Judge Witkowiak rotated in January of 2017. Since that time, I’ve practiced in front of Judge Janet Protasiewicz. As a member of the Drug Unit, I prosecute felony level drug and gun crimes. My job mainly consists of charging cases, reviewing search warrants, providing discovery, and litigating motions and trials. My case load fluctuates but is typically around 90 cases. In addition to my normal responsibilities, I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to work closely with a group of officers assigned to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Group. Those officers work longer term, more complex investigations. Through that portion of my work I’ve rode along with officers for take downs and search warrants, I work with the officers on planning investigations, and I help wade through legal issues that crop up during the investigations. I thoroughly enjoy being an ADA in the Violent Crimes Unit. The work is challenging and exciting. My colleagues at the DA’s office are excellent attorneys and supportive teammates. I’ve learned an enormous amount about criminal prosecution in my short time there. My personal life has also seen a significant change since graduating law school with the birth of my son, our first. And life continues to get more (happily) complicated as my wife and I are expecting our second child, a girl, any day now. We are very happy with our small but growing family and fortunate to have the support of many close friends and family.”
Welcome! We look forward to starting off 2019 with your posts.
What is your personal conception of professional success and satisfaction for yourself as a lawyer? How will you know when (or whether) you achieve your conception of success and satisfaction? These are important existential questions for anyone working in a professional setting to reflect upon, but especially for me, as a 3L gearing up for my last semester of law school. Yet, I was struggling. I always knew I wanted to go to law school. I always knew I wanted to litigate, and I had always planned on going into criminal law. I have known these things for years. Why had I never gone a step further, and thought about how I viewed success and satisfaction, and at what point I would feel I achieved those goals?
The questions were posed to those of us in Professor Peter Rofes’ Lawyers & Life course during the Fall 2018 semester. They were the first of what would be scores of questions, each one seemingly simple in language and length, but digging deeper than many of us had ever been asked to do in our law school careers. What parts of your legal education have you found to be the most rewarding? What makes you stand out from other soon-to-be new lawyers? What do you look for in an employer’s organizational culture? What aspects of your career, disposition, or accomplishments would you want emphasized in your “career obituary”? Continue reading “Getting an Education on Being a Lawyer, and Not Just on the Law”
While I was working into the evening on the third floor of Eckstein Hall, a friend stopped to catch up. On the table in front of me were piles of handwritten notes, highlighted cases, outlined arguments, and cheat-sheets, organized by Petitioner or Respondent. Color-coded flashcards were stacked in the corner. I was surrounded by seven-and-a-half weeks worth of sticky notes. I was a few days away from my moot court competition, and reviewing every single note card’s scribbled phrase, ensuring I was ready for any and all arguments from opposing counsel and questions from the judges. She gave me a sympathetic look. “Moot court,” I said.
She asked if I felt it was all worth it, for “just a resume booster.”
I looked at everything in front of me. Seven-and-a-half weeks of color-coded chaos. The disorganization reflected my anxiety. But all of it also reflected an extraordinary amount of work and number of hours mastering an area of the law that just seven weeks ago I found foreign and intimidating. I smiled. Was it all worth it? Continue reading “Resume Booster”
We are happy to have two guests submitting blog posts during November.
Our Student Blogger of the Month is Emily Gaertner. Emily is a 3L at Marquette University Law School. She is Chief Justice of the Marquette Moot Court Association and Vice President of the Legal Writing Society. During her time at Marquette Law School, Emily has competed in the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition, and will represent Marquette Law at the National Moot Court Competition. Emily has also interned for Judge Paul Reilly at the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District II, and currently interns for Judge Diane Sykes at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Emily serves as a Student Ambassador and tour guide, and volunteers her time at the Domestic Violence Injunction Clinic. Prior to coming to law school, Emily graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2015 and earned a dual baccalaureate in philosophy/pre-law and criminology.
Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Alen Lagazo. Ioua Alen Marcyn Lagazo (“Alen”) serves as Compliance Counsel to CNH Industrial, a leading global manufacturing company for industrial equipment. In addition, he is a board member and co-Director of Social Media and Marketing for BYU Alumni Association – Chicago Chapter.
He is a 2018 graduate of Marquette University Law School, where he completed internships at SoftwareONE, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, BP Peterman Law Group, and CNH Industrial. He is a 2014 graduate of Brigham Young University, where he focused on international studies and business management. For 26 months between 2009 and 2011, Alen served a full-time voluntary assignment as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Prior to that, in 2007, he received his Eagle Rank from the Boy Scouts of America.
Ioua Alen Marcyn has been married to Glenna for 6 years and together they have a daughter, Hermione, born just before entering law school. He enjoys spending time with his family, coaching his daughter’s soccer team, entertaining guests and networking. He also volunteers as an adult leader for the youth program for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Welcome Emily and Alen!
Next week from November 5th to November 11th, Wisconsin is celebrating its Startup Wisconsin Week. Cities across the entire state of Wisconsin will be hosting programs and events geared toward helping Wisconsin grow its startup community. For the entrepreneurial-minded, this week provides an array of opportunities to network, learn tricks of the trade, and become more involved in the startup process. For transitionally focused attorneys, this week offers a variety of opportunities to meet new potential clients and learn more about how entrepreneurs can affect Wisconsin.
Wisconsin itself has a lot of success with maintaining new businesses. According to the Kauffman Index of Main Street Entrepreneurship, out of the 25 largest states, Wisconsin ranks second in small business activity. Out of this same group of states, Wisconsin also ranks fourth for the highest rate of female business owners and fourth with the highest rate of business owners between the ages of twenty to thirty-two. Continue reading “Wisconsin and the Startup Community: Why Attorneys and Law Students Should Become Engaged”
Last week, the American Bar Association (“ABA”) designated and celebrated October 10th, 2018 as National Mental Health Day for Law Schools. This date coincided with the World Mental Health Day. The ABA’s National Mental Health Day for Law Schools serves as a vital reminder that the legal profession is not immune from mental health problems. In fact, the numbers themselves highlight just how important discussing and tackling mental health and wellness are to both law schools and the legal profession in general. Both law students and lawyers suffer in large numbers from mental illness and substance abuse. Therefore, it is important to address these concerns and to help both law students and attorneys live a life that focuses on their wellbeing.
Statistics on Attorneys
In comparison to other professions, lawyers themselves experience higher rates of mental health issues and substance abuse. Attorneys are the most frequently depressed occupational group in the United States, and they are 3.6 times more likely to suffer from depression in comparison to non-lawyers. In a study of roughly 13,000 practicing attorneys conducted by the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, 28% of the attorneys reported experiencing depression, 23% reported experiencing stress, and 19% reported experiencing anxiety. Of these participants, 21% are qualified as problem drinkers, and they “experience problematic drinking that is hazardous, harmful, or otherwise generally consistent with alcohol use disorders at a rate much higher than other populations.”
This same study found that younger attorneys, rather than older attorneys, are at a greater risk for experiencing these issues. Continue reading “Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Wellness in the Legal Profession: Change is Necessary”
Our Student Blogger for the month of October is Yamilett Lopez. Yamilett is a 3L at Marquette University Law School and President of the Organization for Student Wellbeing. During her three years at Marquette Law School, Yamilett has been involved in a wide range of activities and organizations, including serving as a tour guide, being Comment Editor for the Marquette Law Review, and volunteering her time at the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic. Prior to law school, Yamilett graduated summa cum laude from Marquette University in 2017 and received a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a minor in marketing.
Yamilett’s first post is on the way!