Class of 2000
Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels
Although I went into law school thinking I probably wanted to be a litigator, I knew so little about the law that I just couldn’t be sure—maybe I should be a transactional lawyer and draft agreements, partake in "M & A" or get into entertainment law and try to be an agent. My background was in theater, so I had no real experience even in the business world beyond some basic temp work. In truth, working in an office full-time, at that point, seemed not only terribly foreign but also potentially very boring.
I decided I would take every class that sounded horrible and scary to make sure I really explored my options: Commercial Paper, Antitrust, Business Organizations, and the worst sounding—Tax. Amazingly enough, probably because I had such fantastic teachers, I really enjoyed those classes, furthering my confusion about the direction my career should take.
At some point, I think it was in my second year, we were all required to participate in a mock argument. We were randomly paired up with a partner who would argue the other side and entered with our partners, one group at a time. When our names were called, we marched into the room and argued our positions, and when it was over, the judge turned to my partner and talked to her about what kind of lawyer she wanted to be. She readily admitted that she very much disliked litigating and that she was purely interested in being a transactional attorney. Then, the judge turned to me and shook his finger at me with a knowing look and a grin and said "Now you—you clearly love this—you want to litigate, right?"
At that moment, I knew that I was on the right path. I had indeed enjoyed the argument and I felt a true rush of excitement at the prospect of getting to do it as a career. The funny thing is, once you are in the practice, you can easily see the differences between transactional attorneys and litigators, and, thanks to DePaul, I know now that I certainly fall into the latter.