A double major in history and political science at Northwestern, Connor was accepted into six law schools. He chose to continue his education at the University of Minnesota and now works as an attorney for a law firm in Minneapolis. He credits Northwestern for his strong preparation for graduate school and appreciates how professors and alumni continued to offer guidance as he pursued a career as an attorney.
Why did you decide to get a law degree?
I always knew I was interested in law, but I finalized my decision after taking Dr. Jeff VanDerWerff’s American Government 101 course my freshman year. Northwestern helped me realize that even if the law is constantly changing, precedent plays a huge part in courts deciding what the law is today. A law degree simultaneously captured my two passions of history and political science, so I was instantly hooked on this challenge. I finished that semester knowing law was where my passions meet this world’s need.
What did you most appreciate about your Northwestern education?
I was the opposite of “another statistic” at Northwestern. Professors truly cared—and still care—about my growth. From reading over my freshman papers and trying not to wince to editing personal statements for law school applications, they were always in my corner. Additionally, Northwestern’s environment continues after you walk across the stage—as evidenced through the regular advice I received from former classmates attending other law schools and alumni practicing law throughout the world.
How would you describe Northwestern professors?
Northwestern is home to the most dedicated, caring and outright brilliant teachers I’ve had. Without them, law school would simply not have been a possibility, and the decisions I made about my career would have been much more complicated. I have appreciated their guidance since freshman year and continue to rely on them when concerns arise. The political science and history departments feel like family.
How did your Northwestern education prepare you for law school?
Saying Northwestern equipped me with the sufficient tools for law school is an understatement. My majors in history and political science represented the exact type of work I did in law school—that is, researching the history of the law and determining how it applies to a given political context. The research and political application tools I gained at Northwestern proved indispensable in law school. My time spent researching projects, reading various texts and writing numerous papers more than prepared me for the rigors of law school. Being prepared to not just give an answer but to articulate my reasoning and to address counterarguments is a vital law school skill, and Northwestern teaches that from day one.
What do you do now?
I was hired by Stinson in my second year of law school. Lawsuits turn on the law and applicable facts. As a litigation associate, I do everything from researching past legal decisions and writing arguments to analyzing claims and presenting oral arguments. I help clients understand their situation and represent them in court. I find it gratifying to positively impact people's lives, and I enjoy the combination of theory and practice. Each day brings new challenges. The law is constantly evolving, and there is always a new issue waiting to be dissected.