Law students urged to be fearless in pursuit of justice

February 13, 2020

reeves speaking at Gateway to Practice program

First-year students at Quinnipiac Law recently participated in our two-day Gateway to Practice program, designed to help future attorneys develop the skillsets they'll need to succeed. The experiential initiative gives students the opportunity to explore what it means to be an attorney — practicing client interviews and oral presentation skills, through the collective experience of area legal experts.

The introductory panel moderated by Michael McGarry, deputy chief of the financial fraud and public corruption unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, delved into what makes a successful lawyer. Judge Nawaz Wahla, of the New Haven Judicial District, who currently presides over civil matters and previously has worked juvenile and criminal cases, offered guidance on negotiation.

“Think of everything from your opponent’s perspective,” he advised. “Adopt that strategy.”

Andrea Barton Reeves, president and CEO of Harc, Inc., advised students to go beyond understanding the law, and learn the business, bringing forward solutions. Harc’s mission is to offer a lifetime of programs, services and respite care for people with intellectual and related disabilities and their families in Connecticut.

"To be a successful lawyer, you can be fearless — but not reckless,” she said, “Bring value to your business leaders by knowing their organization and bringing forward solutions. This requires going beyond reciting the law and being committed to ongoing training and learning."

Edward Chang, Second VP of cyber risk management at Travelers, encouraged students to pursue their interests, which for him involved technology and taking his experience from Microsoft to fight cybercrime.

“Whoever you are, you can pursue something meaningful in the law,” he said.

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