Law student aims to broaden her horizons and extend her reach


(Photo courtesy of Isabella Filary)

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

The murder of Isabella Filary’s 18-year-old cousin, Luke — who was shot at a Fraser High School graduation party in Roseville in 2019 — was what originally sparked Filary’s interest in pursuing a career in the legal field.

“I’m most passionate about the wide range of opportunities — there’s no one set path and the versatility of the field excites me,” she says. “Generally speaking, I truly only intend to better the communities I find myself in — I think the law provides me with the best latitude to achieve this.”

Filary started her academic trajectory with a double major undergraduate degree in political science and communications from University of Detroit Mercy.

“Political science is a combination of disciplines that have always intrigued me — politics, history, sociology, and writing,” she says. “Double majoring in political science and communications provided me ample opportunity to explore those disciplines deeply and thoroughly in both a comparative and integrated way.”

She is now a 1L in the Dual JD program at Detroit Mercy Law School and the University of Windsor Faculty of Law, motivated primarily by the opportunity to broaden her horizons and extend her reach.

“Now, being one of two Americans in the program, I find myself with a unique opportunity to represent the City of Detroit,” she says. “I hope to characterize everything that’s good about Detroit while contributing to the city’s growth.”

Filary was chosen the Transnational Law Fellow for her class, an honor she says she will carry with her for lifetime.

Filary says she appreciates the school’s Jesuit mission the most.

“The university prioritizes community engagement, service, and humanity. I find this prioritization motivating and influential in my growth as a Christian,” she says.

She is most interested in environmental and sustainability efforts as well as national security.

“As I explore my future opportunities, I find an increasing amount of intersectionality between these areas,” she says. “As I stand currently, my post-graduate goals include either working with an environmental nonprofit or with the United States Coast Guard as a JAG officer.”

Filary has worked as a legal assistant for UD Law alum Charles Regan Shaw in Clinton Township, and for attorney Brian Parker in Bloomfield, for whom she still does remote work.

“Mr. Parker and Mr. Shaw have been instrumental in my growth both as a person and as a budding lawyer,” she says. “The time I’ve spent drafting trial and legal documents, going to court, and speaking with clients across each of their firms has given me an advantage in understanding the practicality of my coursework. The mentorship they’ve both provided me with is invaluable —I’ll always be grateful for the relationship I’ve had and have with both of them.”

Some of the most impactful projects Filary had the fortune of working on were with ProVet USA, a national nonprofit organization empowering U.S. military members, veterans and spouses with training to successfully transition into the civilian workforce.

“More so than any organization I’ve been part of, ProVet USA strove to deliver on their mission’s promises every day,” she says. “It’s so crucial we care for our veterans and do as much as we can to serve them like they’ve served our country.”

A native of Mount Clemens, Filary currently calls Fraser home. She enjoys studying and spending time in the Motor City.

“I find our city’s history fascinating and I find its future thrilling,” she says. “Detroit is unlike any other city I’ve been to and I’m so proud to be here. The community of Detroit is so strong — every Detroiter is proud of this town and loves it passionately. Right now, I’m most excited about the season ahead – go Lions!”

Her leisure pursuits including writing, running, and hiking—anywhere and everywhere.

“I take any chance I can to get outside,” she says. “Utah and Kentucky are home to my favorite hikes I’ve done, but Michigan has a beautifully varied natural landscape that’s hard to beat. Our state parks and local nature preserves are unrivaled.”

Above all, Filary deeply appreciates the support of her family.

“My mother and my grandfather provide me with daily motivation to be the best person I can be and to make God proud,” she says. “My brother is my best friend and my first phone call when I have victories to celebrate and losses to recover from.

“I’ve also been blessed with having a family that extends beyond blood. Attorneys Brian Parker and Charles Shaw have been instrumental in my shaping as a lawyer-to-be.

Professors Alex Zamalin and Megan Novell have been crucial in the development of my mind and in the shaping consideration of my place in the world.”


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