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EIW Careers Series
Entrepreneurship: Careers Launching the Next Generation in Business

Aug. 4, 2014

Michigan Law graduates enter a wide range of professions, but the starting point for many—more than half of all recent classes—is a firm. Others begin with public interest jobs, clerkships, government agency positions, or other areas. Honing their skills and further diversifying their interests, they go on to build careers in a variety of different fields, some of which are highlighted here. Read their stories as you consider your career path in advance of Early Interview Week (EIW), when 575 offices of top firms and agencies will be on campus Aug. 7-8 and 11-12, 2014​ to conduct around 5,000 interviews among rising 2Ls and 3Ls.

Sharon R. Barner, '82: Sharon R. Barner’s career in intellectual property law has led her to the executive boardroom of a Chicago law firm, to a spot as vice president and general counsel at a Fortune 500 company, and to Washington, D.C., where she helped shape policy for protecting American patents and trademarks. "One thing I’m very proud of is my international engagement at the office," Barner says. "We focused on the strength and implementation of intellectual property systems. From an economic perspective, that’s where our U.S. companies are going to have the greatest growth and the greatest need for a level playing field." Full Story

Nick Gorga, '02: Nick Gorga—the hiring partner at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP—is the cofounder of Hatch Detroit, a yearly contest that helps Detroit-area entrepreneurs set up shop by awarding start-up funds and other support services to the winning business. "What I saw living in Chicago is that the neighborhoods were able to attract and retain people and develop cool and diverse retail shops, bars, and restaurants," Gorga says. "We didn't see anybody in Detroit helping out in that vein, so we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to carve out a niche and help to foster dense retail districts in the city." Full Story

Eric Jarrett, '13: Before landing a coveted associate position at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, Calif., Eric Jarrett started a nonprofit foundation aimed at helping distressed families in Detroit, developed the idea for a cookie truck in Washington, D.C., and launched an online business selling men's pocket squares and handkerchiefs. "I decided that I wanted to be involved in business by creating wealth and value for people with the hope that one day I could play a role in revitalizing my city and state," Jarrett says. Full Story

Chris Rizik, '86: Chris Rizik is the chief executive officer of Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, a Michigan-based venture capital fund that invests in top-tier venture firms that are active in Michigan as well as emerging Michigan companies. "I didn't get to venture capital in a planned way," says Rizik, who started his legal career at Dickinson Wright. "But I set myself up in my law career to do something entrepreneurial." Full Story

Tom Stasi, '12: An associate with the firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP in Cincinnati, Tom Stasi counsels start-up companies through all stages of business development. He also serves as chair of The Brandery Fellowship Program, where he supervises and trains law students to work with emerging companies. "A large part of the work I do in Cincinnati is start-up based either on the company side or the investor side, and it's what I wanted to do when I graduated," he says. Full Story

Also read about alumni whose careers center on sports and entertainment and social impact.

Visit the Office of Career Planning website for more information on EIW, one-on-one counseling opportunities, resume review, and other services available to Michigan Law students and alumni.​

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