For Emilija Avsharian, MSU College of Law offered excellent preparation for a career as a litigator in a major Michigan law firm.
Avsharian has worked as an associate at Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss in Southfield since graduating from MSU Law in 2008.
The Serbia native attended the Law College on a full scholarship. “For me, it was a no-brainer,” she says of her decision to enroll. “One of the great things about MSU Law is that they offer quite a few scholarships for students. That was really great, to be able to go to law school for free, essentially. Graduating without any debt is just truly amazing.”
Avsharian commuted each day from Ann Arbor, where she lived with her husband. A flute performance major as an undergrad, she taught lessons and played gigs throughout her time in college.
Avsharian completed a public defender externship the summer after her first year, and headed to Jaffe for a summer internship the following summer. “I interviewed with seven or eight firms on-campus,” she says. They all called her back, but Jaffe was the only firm that offered the work/life balance that Avsharian, who planned to start a family with her husband, wanted.
“I got an offer from Jaffe on the spot, but I still interviewed with two more firms,” she says. “I got offers from them as well, but I knew I wanted to be at Jaffe.”
Avsharian concentrates on probate litigation, but also handles commercial and intellectual property issues. She says the Law College prepared her well by providing the right blend of the practical and the theoretical.
“MSU Law really emphasizes the real-life skills you need,” she says. “The professors are good at pointing out, ‘This is what happens in real life.’ Research and writing are a really big emphasis the first year of law school, and in everything I do now.”
The support from her professors was also significant, she says. “What I really came to love about MSU College of Law was the atmosphere, the relationships between students and professors,” she says. “Professors really know who you are. They say hello in the hallway. You can go to them to ask questions, even if you aren’t in their classes. The open door policy is truly central at MSU Law. That was what I really came to value.”