'All the world's a stage' - Local student aims to combine law and theater in her career plans


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Passionate about the theater, Samantha Buck frequently catches shows in New York City, and on a recent visit enjoyed “A Clockwork Orange,” and snagged coveted tickets to “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Hello, Dolly!”

She also recently saw “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” in Indianapolis.

The theater passion dovetails with the career goal of this 2L University of Detroit Mercy School of Law student.

“I’d love to work in Broadway theater, specifically musicals, working as a company manager, and eventually producing,” she says,” she says. “Musicals and theater have always been a big part of my life and it’s something I just really enjoy experiencing. It’s a place where a thousand or more people can go in, see the same exact performance, and each come out with a completely different experience.

“I’ve always felt the need to help and take care of people and want to combine my knowledge of the law with my passion for theater, and my drive to help take care of people.”

After earning her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Michigan, Buck taught in the Taylor School District and also worked and volunteered in the theatrical field and other areas. Working closely with lawyers and drafting contracts, she found herself gravitating towards the legal profession.

“I’d always had an interest in the law and all of the intricacies of the profession, but never thought to pursue it as a career until I saw how much people relied on and needed certain legal protections in the workplace,” she says. “From there, I was driven to help people.”

Buck says she has found an “academic home” at Detroit Mercy Law, where she appreciates the open learning environment.

“I enjoy the small campus and how accessible the faculty, staff, and professors are. Having that accessibility to the professors and being able to go to them with questions both related and unrelated to class is something I love,” she says.

She spent this past summer interning for the City of Detroit’s legal department.

“The staff really welcomed me with open arms and to this day, we do lunches and they share advice with me,” she says. “I enjoyed all the work and the opportunity to sharpen my writing skills and make contributions to the department. Working directly for the chief of staff I was able to learn from her how to be a great leader and attorney.” 

As a student ambassador, Buck makes connections with 1Ls and prospective students.

“I like giving them a recognizable face when and if they decide to come to Detroit Mercy,” she says. “Being a student ambassador has allowed me the chance to be a constant for these students and give them someone they can come to. A lawyer friend of mine was so kind as to help and give me advice during my first year, and really imparted the mindset that those of us either going into or already in the legal field should help each other, especially students. And that’s what being a student ambassador allows me to do.”

She currently works as a teaching assistant in the Introduction to Legal Research and Communication course.

“I get to help students and reassure them that they too can get through everything first year has to throw at them,” she says. “It’s really fun to see them progress throughout the semester. I enjoy working with the professors who teach the class. I’ve already learned so much from this experience.”

In assisting librarians and library staff in the summer and fall semesters, Buck has become increasingly familiar with the value of print sources.

“We tend to forget the advent of the Internet is fairly recent and all the lawyers and legal scholars before had nothing but print books—so it’s been great to get acquainted with the library in-depth,” she says.

Her experiences on Law Review and Moot Court provided an opportunity to expand her skills as an advocate and a writer.

“I really enjoy Law Review because it’s entirely student run and I get to work with my fellow students and contribute to such a prestigious organization,” she says.

One of the first things Buck was involved in at Detroit Mercy Law was the Promote Peace event.

“It was truly an eye-opening experience,” she says. “I was able to speak about diversity and raise awareness of ‘subtle racism’ or words people use against certain groups, that they don’t realize are actually harmful and offensive.”

Buck, who recently volunteered at the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS flea market to raise money for AIDS research and awareness programming, also serves as vice president of the St. Thomas More Society.

“In law school, everyone is so busy with reading, briefing, and writing, that we don’t get much opportunity to do other things,” she says. “I think being in an organization like St. Thomas More has allowed me to stay grounded and focus on what matters. It’s a great reminder that underneath it all, we are all just people. And we get to do great work for the community.”

The lifelong resident of Taylor, whose hobbies include visiting museums, enjoys studying and working in the Motor City.

“I love that Detroit is growing so much,” she says. “During my summer internship I got to spend a lot of time walking around and riding the People Mover, and enjoyed seeing all the people—and tourists—out and about.”