Laura Turczanski

Laura Turczanski

Class of 2013

Associate at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

What did you do before law school, and what led you to pursue a law degree?

Before (and during) law school, I worked in the field of human resources. I began in recruiting, before moving on to support senior HR executives in the areas of employee relations and organization development. While working in employee relations, I had the opportunity to work with in-house employment counsel on several issues, including workplace investigations and terminations. I found employment law to be incredibly interesting, and I decided to pursue a law degree so that I could help employers dealing with legal issues.

How did the part-time program benefit you? What law school experiences helped you in establishing your career?

I chose to attend Seattle University because of the part-time program. I had an established career, and did not want to stop working during law school. The part-time program gave me the best of both worlds — I was able to work during the day, maintaining my job and income, while going to school at night, getting a great education alongside really smart people. My experience as an evening student was invaluable, because I had to learn to be incredibly efficient with my time. Now I know I can produce quality work on any deadline.

Even though I went to school at night, I was able to take advantage of many different opportunities. I joined law review and served as an executive editor my 3L year. I was a member of the Labor and Employment Law Association and served on the board as the secretary/treasurer. I participated in moot court competitions and attended interesting events.

With careful planning, I was able to graduate in May, rather than December, by switching to the full-time program spring of my 3L year to complete a full-time judicial externship. I think one of the greatest benefits of the part-time program is the flexibility it gave me to manage my course load, take classes I was interested in, participate in extracurricular activities I cared about, and complete my law degree on my schedule.

What advice would you give to prospective or current students?

To prospective students, I would say go for it! Whatever your work or family situation may be, if you want to pursue a legal career, you will be amazed at how much you can fit into your day. Whether you choose the part-time or full-time program, you can plan your schedule to fit your life, and with hard work and dedication you will be a lawyer before you know it.

To current students, my advice is to keep working hard and take advantage of as many opportunities as you can. Grades are important, but don’t forget about meeting people in the legal community, participating in extracurricular activities, and forming connections with your peers. It may not seem like it now, but these three years will be over in the blink of an eye and you want to get as much out of your law school experience as possible. Take a deep breath, take care of yourself and your loved ones, and good luck!

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