Michael Mullen

Michael Mullen

Class of 2018

Communication Studies, Mandarin Chinese
New Mexico State University, Defense Language University

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

I served in the United States Navy for six years, during which time I worked principally as a language analyst with the National Security Agency. As I approached military separation, I explored different postgraduate options and was torn between law and business. Later, I took a practice LSAT quiz and realized that I actually liked the reading material. Emboldened by my relative enjoyment of LSAT test material, it was easy to discover that studying law was the better way to continue building a career focused on public service.

What activities are you involved in at the law school or in the community?

My most significant volunteer experience at Seattle University School of Law has been with the International Refugee Assistance Project. I had the privilege of working alongside a 2L student under the supervision of an immigration attorney who works at Microsoft. The advocacy we provided contributed to our client's ultimate reunification with her family in the United States. It is remarkably gratifying to know that I helped a refugee escape religious persecution and realize a more expressive and secure life.

What have you found most valuable during your law school education?

The Legal Writing program at Seattle University School of Law is exactly as good as advertised. My writing improved more than I ever imagined. Better yet, the writing skills I acquired were instrumental in each of my other courses and especially in my professional aspirations. I was proud of the writing samples that I included in my summer applications.

Additionally, I would be remiss not to praise the tireless efforts of the Center for Professional Development (CPD). The guidance and direction given by CPD resulted in my acceptance of a great summer externship offer. The U.S. Navy and my alma mater operated similar offices that I had utilized, but CPD went further, worked harder, and was much more helpful.

What advice would you offer a prospective law student?

You do not need to know everything. Specifically, you do not need to know about the future of your career or what field of law you want to study. If you have identified that you love to read, write, speak, and reason, then you have figured out everything necessary to be a successful law student and eventual attorney.

Once you are a student, meet everyone and make ALL the friends! Your peers are not the competition. In fact, they are your study partners, the people that will take notes for you when you are sick, your dance partners at the Barristers Ball, and hopefully, your future partners in practice.

Law school isn't all work and no play. In fact, you can and should have a lot of fun! Now excuse me, I have to go play Dungeons & Dragons.

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