Competitive spirit: Law student formerly played on pro golf tour

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

When not at her studies, law student Laura DeMarco grabs her golf clubs and heads to the links. Dedicated to this ancient sport since the age of 11, she continued throughout college and eventually played on a Symetra professional tour, the official developmental golf tour of the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association).

“The game of golf has been a blessing in my life that has given me numerous invaluable skills,” she says. “The preparation for high-level competition displays many parallels to preparing for law school exams. It takes countless hours of tedious, focused, and detailed oriented work ethic to accomplish your goals.

“While competing, I was forced to be continually composed under immense pressure and be prepared for all potentially challenging situations—both proficiencies I know will be beneficial in the legal profession.”

Nowadays golf is a relaxing escape from the occasionally stressful endeavor of a earning a dual legal degree during a global pandemic, a tranquil pastime offering an appropriate work-life balance necessary to succeed in law school in a healthy manner, she says.

DeMarco is now a rising 2L in the Dual Degree program offered by Detroit Mercy Law and the University of Windsor.

Before law school, she earned her undergrad degree in Earth & Environmental Science from Furman University in Greenville, S.C.

“I’ve always had a passion for the environment--as a child my parents would take us on vacations to national, provincial and state parks instead of beach resorts,” she says. “This upbringing fostered my heightened interest of global environmental challenges and the scientific foundation behind it.

“I attended a liberal arts university where I was able to study a wide range of subjects, an experience I truly enjoyed and am very grateful for. I see the study and practice of law as an opportunity to continue this experience. I’m continually given the chance to educate myself on the plethora of subjects and topics each case brings to the table. I believe to be successful in law a well rounded and developed range of knowledge is necessary. I’m excited for the prospect to continue to strengthen my mind in my study of the law.”

When she entered law school last year, DeMarco was interested in environmental law or sport law, but has since developed a deep curiosity for multiple unfamiliar facets of the law.

“I’m excited to dive into additional areas I didn’t have any original fixed interest in,” she says. “While I’m unsure exactly which avenue of law I’ll pursue, I hope I find a career path that offers an environment where I can learn and work with sophisticated professionals that continue to push me daily to enhance my legal growth.”  

She appreciates the “perfectly balanced community” of Detroit Mercy Law.

“It offers a tremendous amount of support and a comprehensive legal education, primarily shown through the accessibility of the professors and their real-world experiences as practicing attorneys,” she says. “Their practical knowledge and open-door policy create an environment that encourages my belief to succeed in law school and beyond.”

Immersion in two legal communities simultaneously during a three-year legal education is a unique experience, she notes.

“Having access to a multitude of experiential learning opportunities on both sides of the boarder is unmatched” she says. “I know this well-rounded education will prepare me for the global market of the diverse legal system.”

DeMarco has found serving as SBA class treasurer, where she could better her classmates’ experience and assist the law school growth, was very rewarding; and looks forward to continuing to represent her class and work with other SBA representatives. 

She is excited about joining the Law Review team in her 2L year as a Junior Member, and to the prospect of improving her legal research, writing, and citation skills.

“While the task of writing my note seems daunting now, I know the skills I develop throughout the writing process will be invaluable in the years to come,” she says. 

This summer DeMarco worked for an Environmental Law clinic through Detroit Mercy Law, and found working remotely because of the pandemic was an unexpected experience with unforeseen benefits.

“The online communication, time management, and legal research skills I gained are talents I wouldn’t have been able to gain in the classroom alone,” she says. “I’m grateful Detroit Mercy Law continued to allow us to gain real-world experiential practice while servicing the local community during these difficult times.”

The sudden move to remote learning because of the pandemic was a small shock, she notes.

“There was definitely an initial adjustment,” she says. “Fortunately, the faculty at Detroit Mercy and Windsor Law did a fantastic job converting their lecture material to an online format. They have all been understanding to the difficulties we all may face and productively reactive to refining the online experience to ensure we still receive a well-rounded legal education.”

The third of four children, and with several extended relatives in the legal profession, DeMarco is living with her family in Windsor, and considers herself fortunate to have her family home.

“They are very cognizant of my working hours and the home environment I need to effectively complete my studies,” she says. “There are no words to describe the appreciation I have for the support and understanding they’ve shown the past few months. I couldn’t imagine going through this experience without them.”

In past years, DeMarco has engaged in many group and individual volunteer efforts.

“I feel it’s important to give back to communities that have given so much to me,” she says. “Last year I organized a fundraiser alongside my competitive golf schedule to raise money for a Greenville children’s hospital. With the help of the community we were able to raise over $11,000 to benefit a new adolescent-young adult cancer treatment center.”

DeMarco admires the pride the Detroit community has for the city and its history.

“The passion that runs with every person you meet is inspiring,” she says. “To be immersed in a community that’s dedicated to helping the city grow and flourish is distinctive to Detroit and infectious to anyone who visits.

“With such rich history and enthusiastic people, Detroit unquestionably has a bright future that I’m grateful to be a small part of.”



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