Hello ELM family! It is a pleasure to introduce myself. My name is Kaitlyn Mardeusz, and I am the new Legal Assistant in the office. Although law has been a significant part of my life for the past few years, there are also many other passions I have. So sit back, relax, grab a nice cup of coffee, and I hope you enjoy my miniintroduction that you see here in the office and also outside of the legal world.
Before I get into how I found myself in law school, I will start with my undergrad experience. During high school, I always wanted to attend college somewhere outside of Michigan. I chose not to apply anywhere here, but rather to schools in major cities around the country from New York and Boston to Chicago to San Diego and Denver. In the end, I chose to attend Boston University after being recruited by their NCAA Division I Golf Coach, receiving a scholarship to play for them. I packed my bags and moved to a city I knew very little about and, at the time, knew no one that lived there. My 4 years at Boston were incredible and went by much too fast. Playing golf for BU was an opportunity that I am so grateful for. My academic path was a roller coaster of sorts – going from being a Biomedical Engineering major to PreMed Biology and finally graduating with a dual degree in Business Administration and Health Sciences. Where does law school come into play? Well, it was actually my golf coach, Bruce, who suggested it, and that is where my life took me. I graduated in May of 2010, moved back home to Michigan, and began my next life journey – law school.
Becoming a lawyer was not always the career plan I had in mind, but when my golf coach suggested it, I began to look further into this path. Once I moved home, I spent the year in between undergrad and MSU working, playing in multiple national golf qualifiers and championships, studying for the LSAT and applying to law schools. In the end, I decided on MSU. I chose the ‘go green, go white’ path because I had moved back home in order to make a difference in Detroit. In an old article about our city, the author wrote that “our city is never going to be what it was, but what we have is a time for change – a time to come together and take advantage of each and every opportunity.” So this was what I decided to do – utilize my law degree in order to make a difference in a city that once thrived. The three years in law school were just that; it was law school. I would not say it was a fun three years, but it was three years nonetheless. I am now in the midst of the enjoyable (said with utmost sarcasm) time of waiting for the February Bar Exam results, which I wait for in hopes of a passing score.
Now for all of my passions in life outside of the legal world – namely golf, CrossFit, and coaching basketball. Golf has been a huge part of my life since I started back in high school. From captaining our Division I team in college to being an assistant teaching professional at my old golf course in Northville to playing in USGA competitions even now, I will never be able to give this game up. I will adamantly stand by saying it is the greatest game there is, and the greatest game there ever will be. CrossFit was a recently discovered passion of mine. For those who do not know, it is an intense type of workout, which combines weightlifting movements, cardio, gymnastics skills, and an intense amount of hard work and dedication. I have been certified in Olympic Weightlifting for a couple years, and continue to train regularly in this sport of fitness. It is also, above all else, an unbelievable community to be a part of.
Finally, I have coached high school girls’ basketball at Mercy High (my alma mater) in Farmington Hills for the past 5 years. The girls and coaching staff are a great group, and our program is one I am always proud to be a part of. Since I now have given you my background, I can properly give my insights into the first week on the job here at ELM. On my first day in the office shadowing Jay, our Managing Hotline Attorney, it gave me some feelings of nervousness. The variety of cases that I watched him handle in just one day was overwhelming. It surprised how he would switch gears from a bankruptcy issue to a Medicaid issue to a landlord/tenant issue so quickly, and I was worried with how I would ever keep up. Well, I am now a week into it, and it has been a steep learning curve. The job for me personally has entailed a great deal of “please give me a moment to research this issue and consult my supervising attorney,” but I believe that was to be expected. I am grateful for the chance to expand my knowledge in so many areas of the law, while also being able to make a positive impact on those who need the legal assistance. So far everyone has been extremely friendly and helpful, and I am looking forward to my next couple of months in the office!