Former bank manager aims to utilize her MBA, JD in a future career

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Photo courtesy of Monique Eubanks

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Having significant work experience in the financial arena prior to law school gave Monique Eubanks a different perspective when she entered law school in 2017.

“While law school is challenging, I had real life experiences I could tie into what I was learning in class,” she says. “I’ve learned lawyering is very similar to my prior career as a banking manager. For both, you must pay attention to details, make sound recommendations to your clients, whether it’s legal advice or financial advice, and deliver great service that makes your clients trust you and want to refer you to others.”

With a BBA and MBA from Wayne State University, Eubanks worked for JPMorgan Chase and for the City of Detroit in a managerial capacity.

“I was drawn to the business field,” she says. “I like that business allowed for many diverse options for potential careers—and I also like the diversity a law degree grants in terms of career options. I’d eventually like to practice in an area of law that would utilize both my MBA and JD.”

After starting law school part-time while working in the City of Detroit’s Treasury Department, she decided to go full-time in her second semester, allowing her to fully dedicate herself to law studies and to gain work experience in the legal field. She received a full-tuition Damon J. Keith scholarship from Wayne State University Law School.

The 3L student appreciates the school’s strong alumni network.

“Because I plan to practice law in Detroit, the network has helped connect me to different legal organizations and internships. All of the Wayne Law alumni are willing to help students whether with career advice or connecting students with resources,” she says.

“Also, as a prior double Wayne Law alumnus, it’s been rewarding to see the growth within the school. Wayne has focused on increasing its diversity and consistently keeping Wayne Law a top school of choice.”
She is particularly appreciative of the support she received last year, when she experienced personal difficulties. In the spring, her mother suffered a stroke, and her father unexpectedly passed away in the fall.

“Last year was a rough one but Wayne Law was so helpful and accommodating to my family issues,” she says. “I also think all of this was a big part of my focus and achievements in law school. I know both of my parents were already proud but are even prouder now.”

Last year’s work as a summer associate at Dykema, drafting legal documents, and observing depositions and court hearings, provided real world experience of a big national law firm.

“I also gained mentors who will be able to help me navigate my legal career,” she says.   

Last summer, she also interned for U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow of the Eastern District of Michigan. “My internship allowed me to witness various court proceedings, arguments from some of the best attorneys and have weekly lunches with Judge Tarnow, who is well respected in the legal community and has more than 50 years of legal experience,” she says.

She spent the first half of this summer as a summer associate at Warner Norcoss +Judd and returned to Dykema in a similar role for the second half.

A member of the Women’s Law Caucus and the Wolverine Bar Association—from which she received a Damon J. Keith Scholarship this year—in her 2L year Eubanks served as president of the Black Law Student Association. Members volunteered with Pretty Brown Girls, an organization empowering girls of color, and with Focus HOPE, a Detroit-based, non-denominational, non-profit aiming to overcome racism and poverty by providing education and training for underrepresented minorities and others.

The BLSA holds events throughout the year to support minority students, including Study Workshops, Esquire Etiquette, Interviewing Tips, Transitioning from Law Student to Lawyer. Most events feature past BLSA members and Wayne Law alumni in the Detroit legal field.     

“When I was a first-year student, BLSA was like family to me, ensuring I had all the resources I needed to succeed and answering all the random questions I had about law school,” she says. “It was a honor to be elected and serve as president my 2L year, to give back all of the support to the incoming class that was given to me.”

A life-long Detroit resident and alumna of Cass Technical High School, Eubanks enjoys spending free time with her son, Cameron, family members and friends, particularly at game nights, movies and trying new restaurants in Detroit.

“Detroit is home,” she says. “I love the people and the resilience of the City of Detroit. Through all the hardships, the city is on the rise. I’m excited to see where the city’s growth takes my career.”

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