Monday Profile: Laura Sagolla

Laura Sagolla is an assistant United States attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. She practices in the civil division, defending federal agencies in employment discrimination, torts, and Bivens actions. She is also tribal liaison to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.

Sagolla is past president of the Woman Lawyers Association of Washtenaw County, and formerly practiced with Dykema and Kanji & Katzen PLLC in Ann Arbor, focusing on appellate and constitutional cases. She has lectured and written on legal writing and civil procedure for The Institute of Continuing Legal Education.

Residence: Ann Arbor

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Watching the sunset over Big Glen Lake.

What is your greatest fear? That my children are hurt or terribly unhappy. (Same for all parents, I'm guessing.)

What is the trait you hate most in yourself? Procrastinating.

What is the trait you hate most in others? Criticizing me for procrastinating.

What is your most treasured possession? Two things: my grandmother's cameo, and a beat-up turquoise bracelet from a pawn shop in Gallup.

If you could do one thing professionally ... It would be helping other people figure out what they want to do professionally, and convincing them they can achieve it.

It's 7 a.m. Monday. How are you feeling? Ready to have a great week as soon as I can get a short double decaf latte and fruit plate from Zingerman's trailer.

What would surprise people about your job? I'm not a prosecutor. (The United States Attorneys' Office has a sizeable civil division which defends federal agencies and, on the affirmative side, enforces civil rights, pursues asset forfeiture, and sues for fraud upon the federal government.)

Introvert or extrovert? Extrovert. ENFP, actually, says the Meyers Briggs test. (Heavy on N and light on P.)

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Consistency.

When and where were you happiest? University of Michigan Hospital, August 20, 1997, 4:55 p.m. Close second: University of Michigan Hospital, December 4, 1999, 12:04 a.m.

What's your greatest achievement: Rolling with the twists and turns of life, and looking forward with optimism. (At least I try.)

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Don't get in the habit of eating whatever you want whenever you want and never gaining weight. Your days are numbered.

What would be your ideal job? Cookie-store-owner by day and jazz vocalist by night.

What do you wish more people understood? Humility is sexy.

Favorite words: "Motion to extend dates granted."

Favorite movie: Casablanca.

What's one thing you can do now that you couldn't do 20 years ago? Not worry if everyone thinks I'm an idiot.

Favorite place to spend money: Value World.

What is your motto? "C'mon, it'll be fun."

Where would you like to be when you're 90? In Santa Fe, reading, writing, hiking, and cooking, with frequent visits from my grandchildren.

Published: Mon, Aug 6, 2012

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