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Wayne Law’s first Steiger Fellowship recipient reflects on path to law school, future in law
FEATURE RELEASE (Feb. 8, 2011) — Wayne State University Law School third-year student Paul Isso – Wayne Law’s first student to receive the Janet D. Steiger Fellowship – has Warrior blood flowing through his veins. A native of West Bloomfield, Mich., Isso enrolled as a freshman at WSU in 2005 because of its journalism and political science programs. He also attended WSU because he knew he wanted to attend law school, and Wayne Law had a great reputation in the legal community.
“I knew Wayne Law was where I wanted to pursue a legal education,” Isso said. “So I spent my undergraduate years studying and preparing for that experience, learning about what areas of law I wanted to study and about the Law School itself.”
While an undergraduate student, Isso made the most of his time through his involvement with a number of student organizations – all the more impressive since he graduated with his four-year degree in just three years. He founded the university’s Multicultural Law Student Association, an organization focused on the multiculturalism of students interested in the legal profession, was an active member of the Chaldean American Student Association and wrote for WSU’s student newspaper, the South End. He also helped conduct law school tours at Wayne Law for then-prospective law students.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in 2008 and was accepted to Wayne Law that same year.
“By that time I had worked as a television news anchor, producer and show host for a couple years at MBN TV, anchoring the International News segment as well as producing and hosting the television program, Your Political World,” he said. “That experience, along with working as a reporter for a few additional publications, magnified my interest in news, government and the intersections between law, the media and entertainment industries. Wayne Law offered me a lot of options by way of courses in those areas.”
Like any law student, Isso is very focused on his coursework. He also has continued his involvement in student organizations. He serves as an article editor on The Journal of Law in Society Board, as a governor-at-large on the Student Board of Governors, and as the social committee chairperson with the Wayne Law Sports and Entertainment Law Society.
“Being involved in these organizations at the law school level has provided me with practical skills useful for the practice of law,” he said. “I also feel being involved in such organizations has sharpened my written and verbal communication skills.”
According to Isso, he continues to make the most of his time in an effort to be a prepared and well-rounded attorney as he graduates from Wayne Law in May 2011.
His thoughtful planning, academic success and student involvement earned him a 2010 recognition entirely new to Wayne Law. Isso was one of only 20 recipients of the American Bar Association’s prestigious 2010 Janet D. Steiger Fellowship, a national fellowship that provides recipients with $5,000 stipends to gain legal experience in state consumer protection departments over an eight-week period.
“The Steiger Fellowship provided me with an incredible opportunity to gain legal experience prior to graduation during the summer of 2010 with the State of Nevada,” he said. “While there, I assisted with civil and criminal cases, summarized proposals of governing bodies, and assisted in the recommendation process. I also completed legal research projects, document review/identification, went to court with the state's attorneys, and participated in conference calls.”
With his brimming resume and his time on WSU’s campus fleeting, Isso feels both thankful and optimistic.
“I feel very prepared to begin practicing law upon graduation,” he said. “I have experienced many great things and much success during my years at Wayne State University as an undergraduate and as a law student. I will always be a strong supporter of Wayne State University because it helped allow me achieve what I was aiming for – and much more. I don't think I would have had the same experience anywhere else. Go Warriors!”
Isso, who still writes for select publications, plans on practicing entertainment law or government law upon graduation.
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Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.
For more information about Wayne State University Law School, visit law.wayne.edu.