Zoe Martinez, '11
Associate, Rhoades McKee PC
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Previous Education: B.A. Political Science
Why did you choose Michigan State Law for your legal education?
I knew I wanted to practice in Michigan, and I felt that MSU Law provided an attractive scholarship incentive coupled with a roster of diverse and well-credentialed of professors. After touring the campus, I was sold.
What aspects of your legal education best prepared you for the practice of law?
It is hard to pick any particular aspects because many of the skills I gained in law school intertwine with each other. For example, research and writing are skills that I use every single day, but neither skill is really effective without being able to analyze case law by applying and distinguishing facts. I also think that the legal clinic programs at MSU Law are an excellent way to get a taste of what practicing law is like before graduation. I participated in the Small Business and Nonprofit Law Clinic and took away some great practical skills from the experience.
How have you used your JD since graduation?
I use my degree every day. My education at MSU Law prepared me to successfully manage the bar exam. As an associate at Rhoades McKee, my practice is focused on the areas of employment law and commercial litigation.
What advice would you offer someone who is thinking about a career in law?
If you are a service-oriented person who enjoys being challenged both personally and intellectually, and aren’t afraid to work hard for something you believe in, then I don’t think any other profession offers as many opportunities for success.
Tell us about a personal accomplishment that you achieved during of law school.
My youngest daughter was 9 months old when I decided to go to law school. Everyone thought I was crazy for even thinking about going back to school, let alone law school. With the support of many, including the professors and administration at MSU Law, I was able to succeed in law school while not sacrificing my family life.