'Changeup' - Varsity softball star changes course to pursue legal career


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

A graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a double major in journalism and communications, Jordan Ewald was a sports writer for the school’s Michigan Journal and set her sights on a career in that field.

But then she decided to follow her father into the legal profession, recently completing her 1L year at Wayne State University Law School.   

“I've always had somewhat of an interest in law growing up, but it wasn’t always what I wanted to do,” she said.

As her ungraduate studies progressed, Ewald said she decided not to remain with journalism and communications “but wanted to hold on to what interested me about these areas — people and their stories.

“I’ve always enjoyed telling people's stories through writing and I saw legal advocacy as another avenue in which I could interact with people, listen to their stories, and tell them effectively in a way to help them. I saw law school as an opportunity to further my education and gain skills that could set me up in any facet of life.”

A four-time letter-winner in softball and swimming at Farmington Hill’s Mercy High School, Ewald was a varsity softball infielder in undergrad and helped guide the Wolverine team to the school’s first-ever regular season Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Athletics Championship in 2017. The skills she learned as a student athlete still stand her in good stead.    
“I learned from early on that in order to juggle softball or swimming with school I was going to have to be organized and budget my time,” she said. “Those skills have translated well into law school, especially when it comes to reading for class, taking notes, balancing job applications and still trying to stay active with family and friends.”

In addition, Ewald said, as an athlete, “you have to have a competitive spirit, and I've found that law school keeps that competitiveness alive.”

She is enjoying her law school experience.

“I think what makes Wayne Law great, is that there’s something for everyone — there are student organizations and various other ways that allow everyone to get involved regardless of your interests,” Ewald said. “I've also been fortunate to make great new friends that make school even better! The professors are very passionate and knowledgeable which makes learning engaging and interesting.”

Ewald is working this summer with Michigan Auto Law, auto accident attorneys in Farmington Hills.

“Everyone in the office is really friendly and I've already gained a lot of real world experience,” she said.

A member of the Women's Law Caucus, Ewald joined the student board of governors at the end of her 1L year, and will serve as a governor-at-large.

“I look forward to getting to work with my peers to get involved on campus and put together some great stuff for students,” she said.    

The Wixom native, who in undergrad launched the Love Your Melon Campus Crew Program at U-M-Dearborn to help Detroit area children who are battling cancer, enjoys the downtown location of the law school.

“Detroit is a fun place to be right now,” she says. “The energy is special — everywhere you turn there are improvements being made, new developments going up, and people enjoying all that Detroit has to offer. Being in the heart of Detroit is a unique atmosphere because you're in the middle of the action and there's always something going on.

From an academic perspective, Ewald added, Detroit “is a great market for networking and professional development opportunities.”

Ewald takes classes at Functional Strength Institute in Wixom, and may take up golf this summer. But she isn’t completely turning her back on softball —after playing travel ball in her youth with Compuware Girls Fastpitch, she will serve as tournament director for the club’s 37th Annual Compuware Classic on June 13-16 in Canton.

Her U-M varsity softball experience also helped guide Ewald on the path to a law career, when she participated in the Federation of International University Sport (FISU) Forum in Montpellier in the south of France, with student athletes from more than 50 countries.   

“It was a unique experience because we spent a lot of time problem solving and coming up with ways to improve or changes that could be made to collegiate athletics on a global scale,” she said. “It was one of my first opportunities where I spoke in front of large groups, advocated for change and it reinforced the idea that a career in law would be a good fit for me.”