April 2016 Alumni Spotlight: Paul Kako
Paul graduated from Wayne State in 2014 with a B.A. in Political Science with departmental honors and he is currently in law school at the University of Michigan.
Even though Paul is only about halfway through law school, he has already gained valuable law experience as a student lawyer at U of M for both the law school's Unemployment Insurance Clinic and the Transactional Lab and Clinic. As a student lawyer, Paul has done work that is reflective of what he would be expected to do as a lawyer. He has drafted contracts for Fortune 500 companies, counseled clients starting their own businesses and represented clients unfairly denied employment benefits.
Paul's work as a student lawyer has been important to his development as a lawyer, but he also cherishes the knowledge and connections that he has made with all of his peers in the program.
Paul believes that to be successful in law school and as a lawyer, a student needs to be prepared to think differently. He believes that is important to be knowledgeable of varying viewpoints to help form your arguments and to create plans to help your clients. Paul feels that his political science courses at Wayne State furthered his understanding of the range of views expressed during discussions in his classes. While law school will teach students to "think like a lawyer," students should use their undergraduate courses to better understand the world around them.
Paul has some great advice for students in our program. For students interested in going to law school, he suggests simply focusing on courses that a student is interested in. Top-tier law schools are looking to build a diverse student body, and they want to have people in their program that were interested in what they studied in their undergraduate programs. It is tough to get into law school, so it is important to be interested in the courses that you take to give you the best chance to have a GPA sufficient to gain admission to the law school of your choice. Since there is not a single path to law school, Paul encourages students to take classes that students find interesting, rather than focusing on courses related specifically to law school.
Paul also advises all students to take advantage of their time in Detroit. He's excited about the positive change he sees in Detroit and regrets not exploring the city more as an undergraduate. Paul sees a growing downtown and Midtown area and he urges students to take advantage of the wealth of experiences that Detroit can provide to them.