Hitting the high notes


Singer to follow family’s path to career in the law

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

A classically trained singer who has sung the National Anthem at a Tigers game at Comerica Park, Emma Trivax is hitting the high notes in her studies at Wayne State University Law School.   

Coming from a family of attorneys, Trivax set her sights on studying law as early as middle school.     

“I really decided on law when I realized attorneys are more than just a ‘profession’ — they regularly save people from serious legal trouble that would otherwise significantly alter their life. It's an extremely noble profession in my mind.”

Trivax earned her undergrad degree in Behavioral Sciences and Criminology from the University of Michigan, where her mentor was a previously incarcerated individual who turned his life around and became a U-M professor.

“He inspired me to learn more about the criminal justice system and to learn how I can help,” she says. 

She is now in her 2L year at her grandfather and father’s alma mater, Wayne State University Law School.

“I’ve really enjoyed the support from the school and how they truly want the best for their students,” she says. “Career services has had a huge impact and guided me to finding the perfect job for next summer. I’ve met some really incredible people and I had an instant bond with my study group.”

Trivax is particularly interested in health care law, an interest sparked when she worked at an urgent care facility during her undergrad years.

“When I saw all the different hurdles and struggles my bosses—who had opened their own urgent care—went through legally, it became a goal of mine to help doctors ‘learn the law’ so to speak, in order to be great providers,” she says. “Helping providers be compliant will in the long run help patients receive the best medical care possible.”

Trivax has been clerking since May at the health care law firm of Wachler & Associates PC in Royal Oak.

“It’s been an incredible experience thus far—not only have my attorney mentors been wonderful teachers, but they’ve been very supportive,” she says. “My job includes mostly research—but what I believe is unique, is that they’ve allowed me to kind of take the reins on a few assignments and put forth my own opinions and arguments about how we should help the client. I really enjoy the responsibility they’ve trusted me with, and they’ve taught me so much about the health law field.”

As the daughter of commercial litigation attorney David Trivax, she was able to learn about commercial litigation and estate planning at her father’s firm, Serlin Trivax & Associates in Farmington Hills before law school; learned about bankruptcy and subrogration as a legal assistant at The Law Office of Dominic Silverstri, also in Farmington Hills; and gained experience about ADR as a legal intern with Judge Bryan Levy.

These work experiences helped her to be an informed law student, she notes.

“Above all else, it gave me great exposure to the legal community as a younger person. I’m now extremely comfortable in different legal situations, including ADR, depositions, courtroom proceedings, and negotiations, which is something I value as a young law student,” she says. “I enjoyed being able to experience a variety of law before entering law school, as it helped me understand what areas I would like to pursue or avoid. I'm not sure whether or not I want to do transactional or litigation work, so I’m keeping my options open.”

“I sought out this career to help people navigate their ways through the confusing legal community, and I see it as a service,” she adds. “Regardless of what area of law I end up practicing, I want to feel I’m giving back to my clients and helping them achieve their goals. When my clients are happy, I’ll have achieved my goal. The best part is that I can watch my clients grow and be successful throughout my whole career.”

Trivax is president of the school’s Jewish Law Student Association.

“I love being able to be a part of the JLSA—I've always been extremely involved in my local Jewish community, so when I saw there was a Jewish Law Student group on campus, I instantly wanted to join,” she says. “This year we’re working on rebuilding the group since it’s been on hiatus for a few years.”

Planned JLSA activities include creating a mentor/mentee program between 1Ls and 2/3Ls, raising money for charity (“tzedakah”) to foster a positive impact on the community, and pairing with Jewish groups in the WSU medical school and school of social work to host a large networking event.

A classically trained singer who has been singing her whole life, Trivax has been working with a vocal coach for more than10 years.

“Singing always makes me feel relaxed and happy, I plan on doing it for the rest of my life,” she says. “I've sung the National Anthem at Comerica Park, probably the largest crowd I've ever performed in front of! I’m also a percussionist—I teach drum lessons in my spare time, and I've been drumming for 15 years, so now that I'm older, I love giving back to my students.”

On weekends, Trivax—whose mother is a music teacher— volunteers at her Temple as a cantorial soloist, and sings at services.

“I also teach a children's choir on the weekend, which is so much fun for me,” she says. “I was in this choir as a child, so being able to teach the same choir that really inspired me to become a singer is extremely rewarding.”