Past Alumni News Stories
Naomi Ko (BA), actor and writer
Shae Moloney (BA), HR specialist
Swati Avasthi (MFA), novelist
Kate Hopper (MFA), writer & teacher
Kevin Fenton (MFA), writer & ad creative
Alex Mueller (PhD), professor
Ellen Boschwitz (BA), consultant
Ethan Rutherford (MFA), writer
Tina Karelson (BA), advertising creative
May Lee-Yang (BA), playwright
Elizabeth Larsen (MFA), writer/editor
Angela Smith (PhD), professor
Jerr Boschee (BA), social entrepreneur
Reina del Cid (BA), bandleader
Dr. Arthur Schuhart (BA), CC professor
Amanda Coplin (MFA), novelist
David Wojahn (BA), poet
Dr. Sarah Wadsworth (PhD), professor
Mark Baumgarten (BA), writer/editor
Andrew Nath (BA), banker
Esther Porter (BA), editor
Dr. Gerald Jay Goldberg (PhD), writer
Peter Geye (BA), novelist
Sam Kean (BA), science writer
Dr. Joyce Sutphen (BA, MA, PhD), poet
Susan Taylor (MFA), CC professor
Sheila O'Connor (BA), novelist
Susan Niz (BA), YA novelist
Scott Burns (BA), screenwriter
Swati Avasthi (MFA), YA novelist
Dr. Marilyn Nelson (PhD), poet
Garrison Keillor (BA), radio show host
Dr. Carol Mason (PhD), professor
Amy Shearn (MFA), novelist
Dr. Virginia McDavid (BA, MA, PhD), prof
Tim Nolan (BA), poet
George Bowman (BA). business exec
Dr. Kevin Reilly (PhD), higher ed admin
Michael Tisserand (BA), journalist
There's a reason English majors make good lawyers
What does attorney Nadia B. Hasan (BA 2002; JD 2006) enjoy most about her job? “Solving problems creatively,” responds Hasan, a Member at Cozen O'Connor in Minneapolis specializing in commercial litigation. It’s a pleasure she embraces outside of work as well, serving as adjunct faculty at the University of Saint Thomas Law School's Bankruptcy Litigation Clinic, which provides pro bono bankruptcy litigation services and counseling to indigent people; on the board of the Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project and on the leadership committee for the Be The Match Foundation; and as a volunteer at immigration and naturalization ceremonies. It turns out the study of English is perfect preparation for that sort of problem-solving.
1. Would you describe your job?
I am a litigator by trade, so I typically represent corporations in their day-to-day disputes, at times resolving disputes without court involvement, and at times resolving them at court in trial. I also work with small businesses, advising them on employment matters and other transactional matters, so they avoid litigation altogether.
2. English major to lawyer: How do the skills you learned in the study of literature support what you do?
My dad was not entirely excited when I elected to be an English major. In my dad’s country children have two career options: doctor or engineer. However, now he frequently says, “I told you it was a good idea to get that English major!” He has recognized that many of the skills I learned as an English major helped me to succeed as an attorney. Day in and day out I engage in textual interpretation and analysis, which was actually one of the classes I took as an English major and is very representative of what you do as a lawyer.
3. What English classes or professors do you most remember and why?
I had an outstanding professor for textual interpretation and analysis, which was my favorite class. David Duke was really interesting, and I remember regretting not taking the class earlier.
4. You do a ton of unpaid legal work outside business litigation. Who is your model of engaged citizenship?
My brother and family are very involved in the community, so it was not unusual for me to follow a similar path. However, I also consider a law license a privilege and responsibility. The legal system is extremely daunting to those who cannot afford representation, and with specialized knowledge comes a responsibility to use that knowledge to help others. I also have a lot of fun at my pro bono commitments and meet a lot of really good friends.
5. Being a lawyer seems to mean you’re always reading. Do you have the time or inclination to read for entertainment?
During law school I took a hiatus from pleasure reading. But I am happy to report I am addicted to my Kindle and read a book a week. I read all types of books. The classics are my favorites, but I also have guilty pleasures. I just spent several months reading the Game of Throne series in every spare moment, much to the annoyance of my family.
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