Internship at Prosecutor's Office 'sealed the deal' for law student

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News
Rosanna Ameriguian’s original career plan was the field of medicine and becoming a physician; but she changed her mind two months into her freshman year at the University of Michigan.

“After reflecting on years of hearing my parents tell me how good a lawyer I’d make after arguing myself out of timeouts and being grounded, I decided to listen to them and see if it was something I’d enjoy,” she says. “Taking political science and psychology courses and interning at the Prosecutor’s Office sealed the deal.”

Ameriguian chose political science at U-M as a versatile major, allowing her to explore economics, social issues, and international relations. Class debates and persuasive writing assignments were her favorites. 

“Thinking strategically and analytically to craft my arguments was always fun,” she says. “I especially enjoyed the challenge of playing devil’s advocate. The skills I developed are coming in handy in law school.

“I’m a major empath, and being successful in the field of law—or policymaking, or social justice and change—is the ability to try to understand what the other side is experiencing and why—no matter how much you disagree. Refusing to walk a mile in another’s shoes ultimately puts you and your cause at a disadvantage. I enjoy problem solving and creatively strategizing and constructing arguments. This is what I’m meant to do.”

Political science also introduced her to social science research, which she continued to explore by taking several courses in psychology. 

“There are many overlaps between politics, the law, and psychology and I have Michigan to thank for allowing me to explore them,” she says.

During undergrad, she interned in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit where she supported the Child Abuse Unit and sometimes assisted on cases in the Domestic Violence Unit.

“I treated the internship as though my work impacted the fates of the victims, and I hope my work helped the prosecutors bring the perpetrators to justice,” she says. “It was a great introduction to the field of law, and the whole experience solidified that the law was more than merely an interest, but my calling.”

Now in her 1L year at Detroit Mercy Law—where she received the Dean’s Fellowship, was elected 1L Class Treasurer, and is a member of the Business Law Society, Women’s Law Caucus, and Black Law Students Association—Ameriguian says law school has been an amazing experience to date. 

“My professors and classmates are awesome—the more individualized environment is a refreshing transition from a large undergraduate institution,” she says.

She considers herself “incredibly blessed” to have the honor of being a Dean’s Fellow. 

“I’m thankful for the professional and service opportunities that come with it, and I’m proud to be a representative of my class,” she says.

After dabbling in several areas of law in her first semester, Ameriguian is open to exploring each area in greater depth. 

“I just want to make a difference,” she says. “No matter what type of law I end up practicing, I’ll strive to use the tools I’ve acquired practicing law to support children who were abused, sexually exploited, or are in foster care, as well as the preservation of the Armenian race.”

She also is grateful to have had in-person classes in her first semester, during the pandemic. 

“A face-to-face learning environment is so important, and I hope society is able to return to traditional classroom learning soon,” she says.

A native of Au Gres on the shores of Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron, Ameriguian at the age of 4 moved with her family to Grosse Ile in Wayne County. 

“After living in Ann Arbor while I attended U-M, my parents moved, and I’ve since made my way back to Grosse Ile, where I live with my dog,” she says. “I rescued my dog, Kimber, in 2019.
She is my closest friend. I adopted her from a Detroit-based animal rescue and I encourage others to do the same. So many pets need loving homes, and Detroit’s shelters and rescues are overflowing.”

Ameriguian is very close to her parents and younger brother. 

“As a family, we attended church every Sunday, and my parents tried to be there for every activity myself and my brother were involved in,” she says. “My parents emphasized education and hard work, and my grandparents emphasized the same to them. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my support system.”

In her leisure time, Ameriguian enjoys spending time with friends and family, and her dog, and loves taking walks outside. 

“Nature is the best medicine,” she says, adding that travel is another of her passions, as is music.

“I love music of every genre and exploring the history behind each. Music coming from the ‘80s is unmatched and my dad and I are starting to enjoy listening together.

“And as much as I love getting dressed up to grab dinner with friends on the weekend, I also enjoy time alone—making tea and putting on a documentary or doing logic and math puzzles.”

She is an avid supporter of, and has fund-raised for, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption; and THORN, co-founded by actors Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, that fight the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children.

“And I’m a vigorous advocate for universal recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and the ongoing initiations of genocide on Armenia and Armenian-inhabited regions by Turkey and Azerbaijan beginning in September of 2020,” she adds.

She is a big fan of the Motor City, including its history, music—especially Motown—food, and Detroit sports.

“From the standpoint of a future legal professional, I’m so blessed to be studying law in Detroit,” she says. “I’m just steps away from an array of legal careers to explore, and I’m confident I’ll have the chance to find my way.”

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