Law students urged to remain curious, pursue the law most meaningful to them

February 08, 2018

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dave Vatti sits in front of lockers in the School of Law Center

Students at Quinnipiac Law got their first taste of what it’s like to practice law at the annual Gateway to Practice conference.

After completing their first semester of legal theory, first-year students attended the hands-on learning event focused on how lawyers make practical use of their legal skills.

“We develop the whole lawyer to serve their whole clients’ needs within the current social and political context,” said Dean Jennifer Brown. “That demands much more than intellectual skills — it engages the head, heart and guts."

The agenda included panel discussions with career advice from area lawyers, judges and professors, a primer on networking and various breakout sessions. The small group sessions provided students with the opportunity to practice their client-interviewing skills with Quinnipiac Law alumni providing real-time feedback.

During the introductory session, students heard from a cross-section of practicing attorneys who shared their career paths, advice and insights into what makes for a successful lawyer. Their answers were both pragmatic and philosophical. They advised students to keep an open mind and to turn off their assumptions, to stay curious and to practice the kind of law that’s most meaningful to them.

School of Law

Lou Pepe, a litigation attorney who has been in private practice for over 40 years and is Partner at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter in Hartford, encouraged students to get involved in activities outside of their job.

“I can’t overemphasize the importance of engaging with your colleagues and the legal community at various professional associations, including the Connecticut Bar Association and the Inn of Courts,” he said.

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