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Non-traditional student tackles, excels at law school

May 04, 2010

Blair Moses had a three-year window of opportunity, and she climbed right in.

Her older daughter had just graduated from college, and her younger daughter was three years away from going to college, just enough time for Moses to go to law school. She wanted a change. After working for 30 years in health care, she no longer recognized her industry, which had become all about the bottom line.

"My friends told me I was being ridiculous because I was too old, that I would go to school and no one would hire me," she said. "My concern was whether I could keep up with younger students."

"But there’s a point where you really have to do what your heart tells you to do."

On May 14, with her husband and daughters beaming with pride, Moses will graduate with a Juris Doctor degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Not only did she keep pace with her younger classmates, she has a job lined up with a big law firm.

"I adore this law school" she said. "This has been a joyous time for me."

Moses was drawn to ASU for two reasons: its superior Center for Law, Science & Innovation, from which she will receive a Law, Science, & Technology Certificate with an emphasis in biotechnology and genomics; and an early impression that it would be a warm and helpful environment. She was right.

But law school was hard, and Moses had to relearn how to study – often 90 hours a week. It took a semester to realize her success should be about more than just grades. Her resume is the proof: She was president of the Women Law Students’ Association; executive editor of Jurimetrics, an official journal of the American Bar Association; a student ambassador; a Daniel Strouse Scholar; and a Willard H. Pedrick Scholar, to name a few. She earned a full tuition scholarship this year from the College’s Alumni Association.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor knows her by first name.

At a time when many people her age are clearing debt for future retirement, Moses refinanced her home and took out loans to attend law school. Soon, she will begin a new career at the law firm of Polsinelli Shugart. She wouldn’t have it any other way.

"I’m excited that I did it," Moses said, "that I accomplished things I wanted to accomplish."

Written by Janie Magruder