Katheryn Pearson Thorson ’10

When she began at Simpson College, Katheryn Pearson Thorson ‘10 knew she wanted to be a lawyer. There was one problem though. She didn’t know what kind of law she wanted to study. That’s where her Simpson experience helped her the most.

As an economics and political science major, Thorson took a variety of classes that inspired her to get into the business side of law. She credits Professor Jim Palmieri for peaking her interest in learning about how the economy works.

Thorson describes her Simpson experience as a great foundation in moving forward. Though Simpson does not have a law program, she said her liberal arts experience proved to be very valuable.

“The Cornerstone program made you take classes in so many different areas, and that is kind of how the law is,” Thorson said. “While you might be doing business law, there are so many different parts to it.”

The interaction with other Simpson community members was another helpful experience that gave Thorson the real life skills she needed to succeed.

“Anytime you get a job, or whatever you are doing, especially in law, you are going to be interacting with people,” Thorson said. “The more you are able to do that, the more beneficial it is.”

The interaction with others and wide-variety of knowledge Thorson learned while at Simpson have helped her as she continues in her third year at Drake Law School.

“At a larger university, you sit in a lecture hall and you’re never called on and you’re never asked to interact with the professor or even the students that you are in the classroom with,” Thorson said. “At Simpson, you always have that one-on one- classroom conversation with your professor and work on projects with your classmates, so that was very helpful.”

Recently, Thorson and her competition partner Nathan Borland were named national champions in the American Bar Association’s National Client Counseling Competition. The team is currently at the University of Glasgow competing for in the International Client Counseling Competition.

The competition, where the students act as attorneys, simulates an initial client interview. The students must question the client and then help them develop possible solutions.

“Simpson just gave you a well-rounded education, and that is kind of how the law is,” Thorson said. “You need to be a well-rounded attorney in order to take someone’s problems and be able to see all the different aspects to it.”

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