ASU Law transfer student success story leads to dream job
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2020 graduates.
Arizona native Emily Fann, who graduated this week with a JD degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, wanted to help advance the role of women in the legal profession, so she served on the board of the Women Law Students' Association, one of the largest student organizations on campus. Fann also was a member of the Corporate and Business Law Society, completed an independent study in mergers and acquisitions and still found time to volunteer each week at Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Fann considers herself a transfer student success story. However, her path getting there was somewhat untraditional.
“Prior to attending law school, I didn't understand the concept of studying where you want to practice. I just thought law school was law school,” Fann recalled. “With that in mind I accepted a placement at a school where I received a scholarship that covered 100% of my tuition. However, I quickly learned that I wanted more out of school.”
That's when Fann transferred to ASU Law and restarted her law school education. However, she transferred after on-campus interviews – or OCIs as they are referred to among law schools – when law firms and other legal employers have an opportunity to interview students on-campus.
“I missed every opportunity for the covetable summer internships at the big law firms. Rather than accept defeat, I fought my way into the firm of my dreams, Tiffany and Bosco,” she said. “I started as a freelance researcher for an equity shareholder of the firm. With his recommendation, I moved to the spot of a law clerk for a young attorney looking for additional help and became a part-time employee of the firm. Her recommendation moved me to the commercial transaction department, and working for my now boss.”
She is honored to report that after she graduates she will begin full-time employment as an associate in commercial transactions with Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.
Question: Why did you choose ASU Law?
Answer: I went to a networking lunch with five attorneys from a law firm in town. As I sat there, I kept thinking to myself, “How do I secure my seat at this lunch table?” It dawned on me that every attorney at the table was a graduate of ASU Law. There was no question in my mind from that point on that I had to attend ASU. I am thrilled to now report that I will be working at the firm with those same attorneys after law school.
Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU Law?
A: While sitting in my last advanced water class, Professor Larson gave the greatest speech. It went something like this, "Be water my friends. Water is strong, resilient, fierce and powerful. She keeps moving and never stops. Give her time and she can build a monument."
Another great tip came from Larry Cohen, an adjunct professor at ASU Law, during his medical malpractice class. He said, "It never hurts to pretend to be the dumbest person in the room. People will tell you everything they think they know. As a lawyer that is the best place to be in. Let people speak to you first before you respond."
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in law school?
A: Be persistent with your goals and don’t be afraid of taking an unusual route to reach them. Figure out what works best for you and own it.
Q: What motivates you?
A: It is important to me that at the end of each day I am proud of myself. That motivates me to do more, to be better and to be authentic in the midst of it all. I truly believe that motivation is like a helium balloon, though. It is going to deflate and you need to check in on it to make it full again. Your law school career will ebb and flow. To finish strong, check in on your motivation and restore it when necessary.