Daughter of immigrants aims to strengthen social equality

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Natasha Shlaimon satisfied her entrepreneurial spirit by earning a degree in business administration and global supply chain management from Wayne State University, a major she says offered challenge and versatility.

“As I learned more, I became fascinated by the complexities of the modern-day supply chain — essentially the backbone of every company,” she says.

Shlaimon then worked for Daimler Truck North America, Federal Mogul PowerTrain, Dow, and MAHLE Filter Systems North America, enjoying the cross-functionality and exposure to other areas. 

“I was working head-to-head with design engineers, logistics, program managers, product managers, and legal on almost a daily basis,” she says. “I also enjoyed visiting different manufacturing facilities and getting the opportunity to see the supply chain in action.”

She entered Detroit Mercy Law last fall, attracted to the study of law by a desire to impact her community.

“As a child of immigrants and an immigrant myself, I wanted to pursue what was viewed as a non-traditional path in my culture — to show other women from my background that becoming an attorney is attainable and that women can earn a seat at the decision-making table,” she says. 

“Growing up in an immigrant household was like living in two different worlds. I’m fond of both worlds because I was constantly challenged to look at problems from multiple perspectives. Law requires you to analyze and understand every crevice of every issue by looking at situations from many views. I enjoy studying law because it enables me to use my nurtured ability to empathize with other people.”

Shlaimon adds that she is committed to strengthening social equality and justice.

“Because we can form a more united and resilient society, which will lead to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes,” she says. “Part of that mission is a fair representation of minority women in well-respected legal fields because it shows minority women it is possible to break glass ceilings. 

“Furthermore, having more minority women in well-respected legal positions allows us to be a voice for the muted and make decisions that will positively impact our women communities.” 

She enjoys the camaraderie and inclusive environment at Detroit Mercy Law.

“I feel valued and not just a number,” she says. “The professors and administrators are always available to offer a helping hand. I also enjoy being part of a law school committed to contributing to Detroit’s resurgence.

“My goal is to work at a firm that will expose me to multiple legal practice areas, such as commercial litigation, immigration law, and environmental law.”

Shlaimon hopes to earn a summer associate position at a full-service law firm to explore various legal practice areas; and to land a judicial externship, with an eventual career goal of becoming a judge after working in private practice.

 “I’m eager to work alongside a judge and see the courtroom in action,” she says. 

When Shlaimon started law school last fall during the pandemic, remote work was not a new concept since she had been working remotely for over a year — but instead of being on a Zoom business call with five people, she now found herself in a Zoom law class with more than 60 students.

“At first, it was difficult to get use to this new environment, but I learned how to effectively manage my time and cope with distractions,” she says.

During the solitude of the pandemic, she took up a new hobby of cooking, and became passionate about fitness, including weightlifting and kickboxing. She also enjoys reading, hiking, and being “a coffee connoisseur.”

In addition, she enjoys serving as 1L Representative for the Arab American Law School Association (AALSA) that hosts campus events celebrating Middle Eastern culture and traditions.

“I also enjoy being part of an organization dedicated to helping other Arab American law students and serving the Arab community in Detroit,” she says.

She also is a member of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan (WLAM).

“I enjoy collaborating with women who are motivated to use their knowledge and influence to offer aid to elevate women in the legal profession,” she says. 

An Assyrian American with two younger siblings, Shlaimon was born in Baghdad, spent most of her childhood in the Oakland County city of Madison Heights; and currently lives in Sterling Heights in Macomb County. She volunteers at her local church, and gives back to the Chaldean community by participating in local events.

She enjoys the diversity of the Motor City, including restaurants offering cuisine from all over the world. 

“And Detroit’s rich history in Motown, jazz, rock, rock, blues, and rap is fascinating,” she says. “Although Detroit has endured some hardships, the city has always screamed life from its culture to its people, to its music scene, and much more. I’m always moved when I’m driving past buildings in the city, and I see the beautiful Technicolor murals local artists have painted.”

 

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