WMU-Cooley, as a Military friendly and designated Yellow Ribbon School, talks to its military students, faculty and graduates about their journey from the military to law school and about their career goals. This month we feature WMU-Cooley law student Mark Patterson. Mark was a welder in the USMC 4th Assault Amphibious Battalion based in Tampa, Florida.
Military rank and title: E-3, Lance Corporal
Why did you decide to go to law school and why did you choose WMU-Cooley: I wanted to be an attorney since I was a young child. WMU-Cooley gave me the opportunity to go to law school on my schedule –with the option to obtain my Juris Doctor degree sooner, as a student in WMU-Cooley’s Accelerated Program. This schedule will allow me to finish in two years and one semester; all while continuing to work full-time. The location of WMU-Cooley’s Tampa Bay campus was a also a great benefit. I could stay close to both home and work, creating minimal disturbance to the time I want to spend with my children.
Career Description: I was a welder (1316) in the USMC 4th Assault Amphibious Battalion based in Tampa, Florida – activated in 2003. Although I never deployed overseas, I served for seven years.
Career goals: I would consider my career a success if I can be recognized as an advocate for people. I want to be the attorney people come to when an intricate case needs to be handled. I want my career focus to be in civil litigation, but would also like to offer my expertise in criminal litigation to a number of pro bono efforts I think are important. My career goals are simple: I want to provide the best representation, in every case, and for every client. In the end, I want to be proud of the work I did, as if my father was the client that I represented. This is what every client deserves.
Tell us a little about you: In addition to the seven years I spent in the Corps, I spent eight years as a Deputy Sheriff in Polk County, Florida. I believe that we must live a life of service to others, and in that service, we will honor those who have done so before us. In life, everyone has a path to choose. I chose to lead by motivating, and working with an attitude of “we.” Titles have never meant much to me because I believe that when we succeed together, many are touched by the success. Teamwork works in life – across the board – whether it’s family, or friends, or school. I have had the honor of serving my classmates, family, and my fellow Marines. I hope that everyone with whom I have the opportunity to interact with will be Blessed and take that same opportunity to bless, motivate and inspire others.
I have enjoyed and appreciated everything that I have been able to do while at WMU-Cooley Law School. I am certain that anyone who comes to our law school will build lifetime bonds, graduate with the knowledge and skills necessary to confidently open their own firm, and ultimately join our Cooley Family that spans the globe.