Wayne Law 3L spearheads Jewish Law Students group

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News
   
When David Walz got married in 2013 and moved from New York to Oak Park, he was eager to enter the law – and when a family friend had a job opening for a legal assistant/paralegal at Rich and Campbell PC in Farmington Hills, he jumped at the opportunity.

“I learnt a tremendous amount about how the legal system works, and it definitely helped me through my first year of law school – I would have been completely in the dark going into law school otherwise,” he says. “Although it was a small firm, the attorneys there were brilliant and incredibly successful.”

With 18 months experience under his belt, Walz headed to Wayne State University Law School in 2014, where he serves as president of the Jewish Law Students Association.

“We’re a small, tight-knit group with very similar goals aspirations,” he says. “We have a tremendous alumni network as well. We run a very well attended annual lunch and discussion at the offices of Miller Canfield with some of their attorneys and get a tour of their office. That event is open to the entire school and sponsored by the JLSA.”

The 3L student also has thoroughly enjoyed his involvement with The Journal of Law in Society, where he wrote an article, “Conscience Clauses, Title VII, and the Religious Right of Refusal to Performing Tasks in the Workplace.”

“The experience has been nothing but tremendous for me,” he says. “Getting to research and write about a topic which is near and dear to me was a fantastic experience. I’ve always enjoyed writing – and the fact my article is getting published is an even greater reward, one I could never have imagined.”

He now serves as a senior editor, helping this year’s notes writers.

“I’ve learnt even more from getting the opportunity to read through their notes and assist them with topics which mean a lot to them,” he says.

His time on the Moot Court team was a “priceless experience,” he says.

“As a hopeful future litigator, having to get up and argue a case in front of judges was invaluable – I learned a lot more from the practical experience than the classroom experience.”

Working at Sommers Schwartz in Southfield since May, Walz’s work entails everything from getting on the phone and talking with potential clients to preparing for trial. Working predominantly on medical malpractice, premise and product liability cases, he has spent hours reviewing medical records, drafting Notices of Intent and other pre-suit documents such as demand letters; and has drafted motions, witness and exhibit lists, prepared and answered discovery requests and done deposition summaries, among other things.

“This has been an incredibly worthwhile and invaluable experience,” he says. “The attorneys and staff have been nothing short of great to me.”

Walz spent the summer of 2015 interning with Judge Mark Goldsmith at the U.S. District Court.

“Being able to sit in the courtroom and watch proceedings and then go back into chambers and see a brilliant legal mind at work analyzing what we had just seen before us was awe-inspiring,” he says.

With a career goal of becoming a litigator, Walz’s work in multiple areas of civil litigation has only served to firm up that interest. He’s even mulling a move into politics one day.

“I’ve no idea if that will ever come to fruition or how far me thinking about it will take me – but at this point, I’m keeping that door open,” he says.

An undergrad degree in psychology, cum laude, from Queen’s College is useful in his chosen field, he notes.

“I always had an interest in understanding why people may act or feel the way they do. I find that because of my background in psychology, I feel a closer connection with clients and witnesses and have an easier time understanding their position.”

Walz’s childhood dream was to be a sports broadcaster, and during his undergrad years, he spent 27 months at Macslive.com in Washington Heights, N.Y.

“Getting to do it for a few years was fulfilling, like living out my dream, but unfortunately it wasn’t something that was practical for me to do long-term,” he says. “Although my broadcasting dreams are now dead, I still very much enjoy watching all kinds of sports.”

He also gets his sports fix by participating in softball, football and basketball leagues throughout southeast Michigan.

“It’s very hard for me to exercise unless there is a ball or some sort of competition involved – good thing there are plenty of leagues to choose from around here,” he says.

After moving to the Great Lakes State to be close to his wife’s family in Southfield, Walz plans to make southeastern Michigan his home for a long time. He and his wife have a 14-month-old son, Ethan, and are active in their local synagogue.

“Most of my family still lives in New York, but I have close relatives living in Israel as well,” he says.

The Motor City was a pleasant surprise, a place he describes as big-city entertainment with a small-town feel.

“When I lived in New York, the only thing you heard about Detroit was how run-down and decrepit it was – that’s obviously not the case,” he says. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time out here. There’s just as much to do out here as there is in New York. There’s a nightlife here that rivals any big city in the country. There’s always something to do. Being out here does not make me miss New York at all, other than family and friends.”

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