Kelli Rodriguez Currie, Professor and Program Director at Seattle University, never planned on attending law school. She wanted to be a doctor.
Kelli was an aspiring physical therapist after an undergraduate degree in biological sciences, several years working in tech and business leadership, a few years employed in training and fitness, and two children. Aspiring to work in a college setting with student-athletes, she began studying physical therapy. In the process, she took a sport law class and – literally overnight – she was hooked.
She tried to talk herself out of going to law school for months since it was never her plan, but the pull was too strong and all signs pointed to Seattle U. It offered some key benefits: she could go to her classes in the evening after spending the day with her kids while their dad worked, plus earn a joint JD and Masters degree. She cast a wide net, but Seattle U was her first choice and she was ecstatic to end up there.
From Education, to Graduation, to the Perfect Career Fit
Kelli clerked with an appellate court for a year after completing her degree, then was asked to return and teach as an adjunct professor in sport law with what is now Seattle University’s Master of Business Sport and Entertainment Management program. She added another class, then another, until she was basically teaching full time.
Thanks to her unique experience, she had valuable skills in both business and law, and simply wanted to utilize those skills to build great things with equally great people. When the Program Director position opened up, she knew it was the perfect fit and a fantastic opportunity. Kelli now oversees Seattle University School of Law’s International and Graduate programs, which definitely allows her to follow her passion.
This Degree Will Impact Everything
Kelli still reflects on the most helpful advice she received while undergoing the career transition. She remembers exactly where she was when she heard it, and can now confidently say it’s true. At first, everyone was telling her not to go to law school, especially because she didn’t know exactly what she wanted from a law degree. Then a wise acquaintance told her something unforgettable: “It’s an unbelievable education.” Now, Kelli knows from taking the chance and experiencing the results herself that the education is indeed priceless. “It’s okay to go to law school because it’s what you want to study, not what you want to do,” she says.
You still have to weigh every cost, but know that you can take your law studies with you into a myriad of careers. Too often, people think law school means becoming a litigator or corporate attorney, when it can actually mean unforeseen open doors. “It impacts everything,” she says.
Teaching Critical Thinking
The school’s reputation alone gives students a leg up in their careers, but there’s so much more to benefit from. “Seattle U does a really great job in challenging students to think critically about their decisions, whether making legal decisions as attorneys in our JD program, or making business decisions in our Masters program,” Kelli acknowledges. “We teach our students to look at so many different sides of the decisions that they’re making and the impact that those decisions will have,” with top-notch resources such as a robust business school and expert adjunct faculty who bring practical, real-world work experience to their instruction.
Students can see it: from the undergraduate to graduate levels, Seattle places a strong emphasis on the networking program. Best of all, students are coming together themselves to bring in subject matter experts and create spaces that cultivate connection.
Seattle Helps You Succeed
Feeling hesitant to apply, or uncertain about which degree is right for you? First, analyze your career goals. If you want to work in a business setting and answer the hard questions, Seattle U’s program might be perfect. To be successful in the program, key into your personal strengths and make sure to leverage them. If you come with a little self-awareness after some productive thought, Seattle University School of Law can help personalize your education so you always play to your strengths.
The MLS program provides opportunities to solve problems through a legal lens and gain foundational knowledge of the law, but without a JD. It prepares graduates to lead compliance efforts in any organization, regardless of industry. Students in the fully online program can choose to focus on financial compliance, healthcare compliance, corporate compliance, or data & cybersecurity compliance depending on their professional goals and interests. The program’s values-based approach moves beyond a narrow sense of compliance and helps establish a sense of equity, justice, and inclusion. Students graduate with an exhaustive knowledge of law, legal analysis, and the frameworks used to identify, assess, and respond to risk.
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