Karen Krogman, '12
Associate, Smith, Sovik, Kendrick & Sugnet, P.C
Syracuse, New York
Hometown: Peoria, Illinois
Previous Education: B.S. Public Affairs, concentration in Public and Nonprofit Management
Why did you choose Michigan State Law for your legal education?
I narrowed down my decision for law schools to three schools—MSU and two schools in Chicago. Specifically, I was interested in MSU because of the large variety of class offerings and the many areas of law for specialization. I had no clue what type of law I wanted to practice when I entered into law school, so it was important to me to have a lot of choices in classes and extracurricular activities. Once I visited MSU, it just clicked. Staff, students, and professors were very friendly and personable. The professors seemed helpful to the students. Overall, during my visit, the environment seemed very supportive and nothing like the stereotypes of law school being cut-throat and aggressive. I just knew it was the perfect law school for me.
What aspects of your legal education best prepared you for the practice of law?
Researching and writing is crucial in the legal community, and my role as Executive Editor for the Michigan State Law Review refined these skills. Through hours of researching, writing, editing, and Bluebooking for Law Review, I am very confident in my ability to research and write anything that a supervising attorney assigns me. My experience on Appellate Moot Court was equally as important to prepare me for the practice of law. Moot Court gave me additional experience in researching and writing, but also improved my public speaking and communication skills. After numerous competitions and hours of practicing with many teammates, I feel prepared to communicate and articulate my point of view to any client, colleague, opposing counsel, or judge.
How have you used your JD since graduation?
I am an associate at a mid-size firm in Syracuse, New York. I focus on Labor Law, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Negligence and Premises Liability, Professional Malpractice and Workers' Compensation. I use my law degree on a daily basis. For instance, when writing motions, researching, preparing for depositions, interacting with clients and arguing in court.
What advice would you someone who is thinking about a career in law?
I dreamt about going to law school and becoming an attorney since the second grade, and going to MSU was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. However, a legal career is not for everyone. Law school is mentally, emotionally, and physically draining. I would really encourage anyone thinking about attending law school to consider the reasons for wanting this career path. Make sure you are 100% dedicated to putting in the work during the three years of law school. If you are not, I would suggest waiting to take the leap into law school when you are ready to put the time and energy into this career path.