By Lauren Sutter, Legal Hotline Intern
This is my first year working at Elder Law of Michigan, and I’m excited to be delving into the kind of work that I am doing as an intern. This is a new area of law for me, however, working with people is not, and I’m glad to be on familiar ground in that regard.
I have lived in Michigan my entire life and I’m a very proud daughter of the Mitten State. I have known since I was very young what line of work I wanted to pursue, and, with the hardheaded single-mindedness of a child, I charged forward. For me, this path began around 1995 or 1996 with the TV show, J.A.G., which was about military lawyers. I remember sitting with my mom, sister, and large bowl of popcorn every Tuesday to watch this show and I decided that I wanted to do just what the characters were doing. The stories I watched about justice and the fight for it in the courtroom appealed to me. I very stubbornly clung to this little dream, despite teasing from aunts, uncles, and teachers.
I insisted to every teacher I had that I was going to be a lawyer, in fact, I was going to be a prosecutor! I was very sure of this, even at six years old. I forged on like this all the way through elementary, middle, and high school, even taking my high school’s law class. I even went so far as reaching out to the then Ingham County Prosecutor and arranging for him to come and speak to our class. This little lecture started a tradition of Court-to-Classroom at my high school, a program that brings an active courtroom with a real judge, real attorneys, and real cases to the school for students to observe the judicial process.
I graduated high school in 2012 and went on to Central Michigan University (CMU) for my undergraduate education. While at CMU, I studied a variety of subjects, from Anthropology to Music and Film to Business law. I started as a double major in English and Political Science, but by my sophomore year I switched to something more suited to my interests. I began studying Philosophy, specifically Ethics and Morality, and I deeply enjoyed this subject.
During my time at CMU, I also studied at the University of Stirling in Stirling, Scotland, taking classes in the Psychology of Evil and Scotland and the Traditional Legal System. I returned to Michigan and graduated in 2015 with my Bachelor of Science in Philosophy. I finished with a double minor in Legal Studies and Ethics, Values and Society, and a Professional Certification in Creative Writing specializing in Poetry. An odd array of qualifications, but ones I find helpful.
I started law school at Michigan State University (MSU) in Fall 2016, and in my second year was accepted to the Geoffrey Feiger Trial Practice Institute, a program specializing in training and certifying students in litigation. Since I began law school, I have also worked as a Student Attorney with the Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office. Over the course of a ten week internship, I represented (under the supervision of a licensed attorney) over 50 clients in court who were brought up on felony charges. During the school year, I also work for LexisNexis, a legal research platform, as a Lexis Associate, providing assistance and training on legal research and writing to students and staff at MSU Law.