Education vocation: Detroit law student relishes challenges of education law

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

With a mother who is an assistant superintendent for Business and Finance in a school district, Paige Bolen’s interest in education law was sparked at an early age. Now the Detroit Mercy Law School rising 3L student is clerking with Lusk Albertson in Detroit, a firm that has spent decades in this field.   

“I’ve been given the opportunity to understand what this unique specialization entails,” says Bolen, who previously worked at the firm as a summer intern. “I’ve really enjoyed being able to attend hearings, meetings with school boards, investigation hearings, facilitation with clients, and so much more. My time at Lusk Albertson has also given me a chance to work on my research and writing skills, which will be so beneficial to my career.”

Bolen learned the value of meticulous work early on; she was always the one who would conscientiously study the rules before playing a board game, and who carefully read the instructions before putting furniture together. These attributes stood her in good stead when it came time to study law.

“I like to know what the rules are that govern citizens and their day-to-day lives,” she says. “I’m passionate about being able to help others, particularly with matters that often are as stressful, overwhelming, or nerve-wracking as legal issues can be. I’m excited to be able to make a difference with a law degree.”

In her senior year at Michigan State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communication, Bolen interned at the Okemos firm of Crenshaw Peterson & Associates, PC, and then worked there as a legal assistant after graduation. She worked with clients one-on-one, and learned about estate planning and elder law.

“The information I’ve learned about estates is relevant to everyone, and has been useful in everyday situations that have occurred since my time there,” she says.

She headed to Detroit Mercy Law School in 2016, and appreciates the community atmosphere, alumni network, and downtown location close to courts and law firms, and convenient for bar association events.

“The experience of attending Detroit Mercy Law has truly been wonderful,” she says. “The faculty is incredible—I feel very fortunate to learn from such amazing individuals.”

Bolen joined the Women’s Law Caucus for the opportunity to meet other women in the legal field and learn how they handle situations that would not be discussed in a class setting. She now serves as president.
The organization has provided volunteer opportunities, fund-raiser involvement, and speakers—including in-house counsel and federal prosecutors—that have shed light on aspects of the legal field from a woman’s perspective, including the value of female mentors, and also how gender impacts the work experience.

Since the organization works closely with the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, members have been able to expand their legal network by attending WLAM events.

“I’ve gone to several events over the last two years and have met so many wonderful people,” Bolen says. “Without the Women’s Law Caucus, I wouldn’t have made these connections.”

She extended her network with membership in the Detroit Bar Association, Oakland County Bar Association, and WLAM.

“It’s been great to expand my legal network and have contacts to reach out to with questions, and to have role models as examples of how to perform in this profession.”

Bolen also has worked as a student attorney at the law school’s Pope Francis Warming Clinic, filing claims on housing discrimination issues and attended an informational training program from the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

A native of East Tawas on Lake Huron, Bolen currently lives in Orchard Lake in Oakland County, with her boyfriend and two cats. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and baking, and snowboarding, pursuing the sport with trips up north and in Colorado.

Bitten by the travel bug, her passport has stamps from Austria, Belgium, Belize, Canada, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and several Caribbean Islands.

“Travel has opened my eyes to so much, and I believe has made me a more well rounded person,” she says. “I’ve gone to a concentration camp in Germany, whitewater rafted in Austria, and taken a river cruise in Paris. I’ve been exposed to Third World countries and have seen an entirely different style of living than anything we see here in the United States.”

The youngest of three, Bolen is very close to her brother and sister and parents. Her father is the mayor of East Tawas and a civil engineer.

“He really instilled values in me that have helped me progress through my time at MSU and now in law school,” she says. “I’m very lucky to have the family I have—they are my everything.” 



 

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