I’m currently a tax and employee benefits lawyer in the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm McGuire Woods LLP. After graduating from John Carroll in 2004, I attended The George Washington University Law School.
Often in job interviews I am asked, “So, why practice law after studying math?” The truth is that I always planned to go to law school and become an attorney. When I got to John Carroll, I asked my advisor, “What should I major in if I want to go to law school?” And she told me, “Whatever you want!” So, I chose what I perceived to be the most challenging subject, something that I knew I would not learn on my own.
The decision to major in math has benefited me every day since.
Studying math refined the way that I think, which has served me well as both a law student and a lawyer. The analytical problem solving skills that I developed while studying math at John Carroll are the same skills that I use in approaching the problems of the clients who seek my legal advice. And, to be honest, it sets me apart from other lawyers. As a first year associate, I have used my math skills (something that most lawyers refuse to do even if they are able) to compute potential company liability for changes in its retirement plans, severance packages, and executive parachute payments, when others have gotten the calculations wrong by millions of dollars. Being able to give a client the right information in those situations has made me valuable, even without much legal experience, to my firm.