Kate G. McCabe

Kate G. McCabe

What is special about NIU Law? The thing that really stuck out to me through my visits here, and certainly was supported by everything I experienced as a law student, was that people are nice to each other. They watch out for each other. They help each other. They seem to actually care about each other. In my professional life, I have met other attorneys who are amazed by my stories of the close-knit community that we have here. I feel that it sets NIU Law apart and makes it a very special law school.

The network of alumni is also amazing. There are alums in the court that I work in, and there are alums all over Northern Illinois. When a family friend or a neighbor needs an attorney, I can just go on the Northern blog or email a few friends, and they, especially my classmates, will come to help. We’ve all been through a unique experience, and we have a connection. There is a great network.

Did you always want to be a lawyer, and how did NIU Law help you achieve your goals? I never wanted to be a lawyer, but I always wanted to go to law school. I never really considered that I would go during my working life but hoped that I would go during retirement. I did not think through the fact that I would eventually become an attorney, but now I am thrilled that I am a lawyer. NIU Law gave me a sense of what interested me the most, what area of law was best suited for my skills, and it gave me a variety of choices for my career. I was comfortable with my professors and with the Office of Career Opportunities. I still keep in touch with some of my professors and with the Office of Career Opportunities.

What do you find the most rewarding about your work? I love that I get to learn something every day. There are some more routine cases, but a lot of the cases are on appeal because they are not so clear cut. The issues raised on appeal require me to engage in thoughtful dialogue and research to help resolve them. Appellate decisions can advance, clarify, or transform the law. I am honored to play a role in the process.

Do you have any advice for future attorneys? Have a passion. The law is the foundation of our country and is what makes our country work. Importantly, people put their lives in the hands of lawyers and look to those lawyers for guidance and counsel. I feel thankful everyday to be a part of the profession.

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