"Although nothing can fully prepare you for law school or being a lawyer, St. Ambrose gave me the foundations necessary and helped me find my passion: health law."
We believe your SAU experience should lead to personal discovery, like it did for Rachel. That is why we offer all students an educational foundation grounded in the Liberal Arts and Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
Home Town: Algona, Iowa
Rachel's fellowship – with Equal Justice Works at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid – is sponsored by Stinson Leonard Street LLP and the Family of Hyman Edelman. She also is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at the University of South Dakota School of Health Sciences.
Rachel knew her first step was an undergraduate degree from SAU, and her second step was law school. “SAU’s small class sizes allowed me to participate in classes and establish working relationships with many professors. My professors were very supportive of my goal to attend law school and they encouraged me to be my best.” In fact, students who plan to attend law school get specialized advising and guidance from our political science faculty, as our goal is to help you reach all of your goals.
How were you involved at SAU and how has that changed you?
“I was a student-athlete on the SAU Dance Team. The team surrounded me with strong, intelligent women and provided lifelong lessons in leadership, perseverance, and time management. My coaches were also extremely supportive of my goal to attend law school and encouraged academic and spiritual excellence among everyone on the team. The friends I made on the team became lifelong friends, and I cannot imagine my time at St. Ambrose without the SAU Dance Team,” Rachel says.
How has SAU allowed you to make a difference?
“My time at St. Ambrose began to shape the person I am today," Rachel says. As a student and a student-athlete, "I learned the importance of never giving up, overcoming challenges, and believing in my own abilities.” Our focus on building stronger communities led Rachel to volunteer and discover her passion for helping others. “When I went to law school, I kept the same commitment to service, and completed over 500 volunteer hours with various organizations."
How did SAU prepare you for what you are doing now?
Rachel says she can tie each of her law specialties to a specific class at SAU. “My junior year, I took Bioethics and Healthcare with Professor Keith Soko PhD, and I fully realized the direction I wanted to take my legal career. I took an environmental law and politics course with Professor Bill Parsons PhD, which peaked my interest in environmental law, and a human resource management course let me delve into the world of employment and labor law. If I had not taken these courses, my legal career may be very different, and I likely would not be starting a medical-legal partnership now,” she says.