Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Missouri Law Review Spotlight: Kristen Wagner

My name is Kristen Wagner and I am a third-year law student who will be graduating in May of 2015.  While I attended the University of Missouri-Columbia school of law, I was involved in many of the different organizations the school has to offer.  I participated on the Board of Advocates, as a candidate I was the assistant director for the negotiation competition, and as a board member, I ran the Polsinelli Fall Moot Court.  While serving on the Board of Advocates, I was a member of the school’s arbitration team.  I also got involved around school by serving as the President of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys student chapter.  I was also the vice president of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Organization, as well as, the vice justice for Phi Alpha Delta, the law fraternity. 

Some of the most valuable lessons I learned while attending law school were those that I learned by participating in the organizations the school has to offer.  Some of the most valuable experienced I gained throughout my time at law school was what I learned while participating in the Missouri Law Review.  As an associate member my second year in law school, we were required to write two papers, either a case note or a law summary.  These assignments give you a chance to pick a topic that interests you and to research it thoroughly.  Learning how to do advanced legal research helped me immensely throughout the internship I held the summer after my second year.  Writing these papers also gives you experience in thinking critically and organizing different arguments in a coherent, persuasive manner.  These skills have also proven to be very useful so far in my internships as I had to assess the changes in law and explain policy behind such changes. 

Not only did the Missouri Law Review prepare me to be a better attorney, the Missouri Law Review also provided many opportunities that make the law school experience more enjoyable overall.  For instance, there was a welcome bar-b-q at the beginning of the school year to welcome new members.  The Law Review also puts together a team to play together in the school’s softball tournament.  This team plays against teams put together by the other journals at the school.  This provides a chance to relax and bond with classmates.  There are also fun activities on a week to week basis, such as tasty treat Thursday, where a Law Review member can sign up to bring snacks for the rest of the Law Review.  Although it may sound juvenile, it is the small interactions such as these within the law school community that makes the law school experience an enjoyable one.  Overall, I am very pleased I joined the Missouri Law Review and am thankful for the tools it has provided me with as I move forward into the field of practicing law.

Next year, I will be working for a mid-sized litigation firm in Kansas City, Missouri.  I will be practicing toxic torts, medical malpractice defense, and insurance defense.  Although I have a criminal emphasis, I am very interested in these types of civil litigation and am extremely excited for the opportunity.  One of the aspects of the job I am most excited about is the chance to take depositions.  The firm is adamant about the fact that I will hit the ground running and will be taking depositions in the first six months.  Although intimidating, I am very excited for the next chapter and am thankful for my time spent at the University of Missouri-Columbia law school, for I think that it has provided me with the knowledge and tools I need to succeed in the field of law.