Morningside alumna Shannon Schroeder ’12 was able to successfully leverage her experiences at Morningside to pave the way to a successful career in law.
As a student, Schroeder majored in Spanish and political science with a minor in religious studies. She then became an accredited representative in immigration law at the Mary J. Treglia Community House in Sioux City, where she represented clients in immigration matters before the Department of Homeland Security.
“I was inspired by my work at the Mary J. Treglia Community House. I saw firsthand how difficult the U.S. legal systems are to navigate – especially for new immigrants,” shared Schroeder. “I wanted to be able to raise my level of service to these populations by having a law degree in my arsenal.”
While it was difficult studying for the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) and simultaneously working full time at the nonprofit, Schroeder was able to balance her responsibilities successfully. She made the decision to move to Minneapolis to attend law at the University of St. Thomas and upon graduation, was accepted into the highly competitive U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Attorney General’s Honors Program. She now holds a position at the Omaha Immigration Court where she is responsible for researching issues of removability, eligibility for relief from removal, preparing decisions on motions, and drafting final decisions for the immigration judges.
Schroeder’s overall career goals are to continue to work in public service in some capacity, whether it be returning to a nonprofit organization to represent clients or to work her way up to becoming either a local or federal judge.
Schroeder advises all young Morningside alumni to keep in contact with professors.
“The relationships I have facilitated with my professors have turned into lifelong friendships. I have reached out to them over the years for letters of recommendation – and they are elated to do so. Most importantly, I meet up and have coffee or lunch with them whenever I am back in Sioux City just to ask for advice or to chat about life. They are still very vested in my education and career even though many years have passed since I have been a student in their classroom.”
For those interested in a career in law, Schroeder explains, “Being absolutely sure that you want to become an attorney is crucial. Law school is incredibly difficult and challenges you in ways that you could never imagine. You are surrounded by intelligent people who were all successful at the undergraduate level, and it becomes highly competitive in nature. Without a true passion fueling why you want to be in law school, you could easily be discouraged when you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, or can’t see the reason for you sacrificing and doing all of the hard work that law school demands.”