Student chaired MSU Student Faculty Hearing Board

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Photo courtesy of Wayne Law

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News   

Wayne Law student Lauren Potocsky, a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University, got her first exposure to a law firm environment when she clerked last summer at Buckfire & Buckfire, personal injury lawyers in Southfield.

“It was an incredible experience,” she says. “They instantly entrusted me to legal research, brief writing, client interaction, and more — I really felt I was part of the team, and that what I was doing was truly making an impact on the client as well as the attorneys.

“All the attorneys were more than willing to help me and explain things in a way that helped me understand the substance of each project, as opposed to only giving me enough information to just get it done.”
After serving as assistant editor of the Wayne Law Review, she is excited to take over as editor-in-chief in her 3L year.

“I saw myself grow exponentially as an assistant editor and as a result, my writing and editing skills improved dramatically,” she says. “I’m honored to be able to lead this group in continuing that legacy for incoming editors.”

She also served as an executive board member of the Women’s Law Caucus.

“The opportunity to connect with other women at Wayne, as well as with female attorneys in practice has been very insightful and beneficial,” she says. “We’ve developed various mentoring programs, and all have proved to be very helpful for all involved.”

When she entered law school, Potocsky promised she would never put herself through the stress and challenge of Moot Court – but is glad she forced herself to step out of her comfort zone and try out. She and Brandon Barlog won the in-house Arthur Neef Moot Court Finals competition in the fall, and she and Chris Rambus competed in the 40th Annual Robert F. Wagner National Labor and Employment Law Moot Court Competition at New York Law School in the spring semester, making it to the quarterfinal round.

“I’m forever grateful to this program for increasing my confidence and improving my oratory skills,” she says. “Having practical experience in both through Law Review and Moot Court has been incredibly valuable and has shown me what the characteristics of an attorney really look like. They are advocates, and they advocate both orally and through their writing.”

Still undecided about her eventual legal niche, Potocsky is looking forward to interacting with attorneys from different practice groups as a summer associate at Varnum in Novi.

“Coming into law school, I never thought I would consider litigation, but law school has been full of surprises,” she says. “So now, I’m completely open to a career in either transactional law, or litigation.”

With a high school passion for activities related to social justice and governance, law school was always on Potocsky’s radar. She started that career route by earning her bachelor’s degree in social relations and policy from MSU.

“I knew law school was a definite possibility, so I wanted to best prepare myself for that next stage,” she says. “I had heard excellent things about the James Madison program, and they all proved true — the whole experience and all four years were the best years of my life.”

She also gained experience in judicial matters, serving a term on the MSU Student Faculty Hearing Board before becoming its chairperson.

“It was a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience,” she says. “It was up to us to decide culpability and ultimate sanctions for students who had committed serious university violations, ranging from drug sales to serious assault cases, that warranted suspension or expulsion from the university. It was my chance to give back to the university, while also representing the students.”

She also was appointed to serve on the Anti-Discrimination Board.

“The cases we heard were really tough, mostly involving situations of rape,” she says.

In 2012, she spent five months as a legislative intern at the Michigan House of Representatives, getting a close-up look at the ins and outs of the legislative process.

“I got the chance to do bill research in preparation for the Representative to introduce legislation, interact with constituents about various concerns, and also see the house floor in action,” she says.

Potocsky and her husband Ryan, a CPA, share their Northville home with three rescue pets.

“We renovated our entire house last year, so now we’re always itching for a renovation project,” she says.
 

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