Asked & Answered: Looking to make a difference Matheson ready to see results.

AuthorTeske, Ali
PositionEllen Matheson

Byline: Ali Teske

Following her military service, Ellen Matheson was ready to make a difference through a career in the law. She graduated on Sunday from Marquette Law School and will be serving as a law clerk to a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Matheson received her undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point before serving active duty for five years. She spent two separate rotations in Korea and, during that time, read Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. The statistics related to the representation of landlords versus tenants in the court system influenced her decision to go to law school after her service.

During her time at Marquette, she secured a judicial internship with Judge Diane Schwerm Sykes of the Seventh Circuit and a summer clerkship with Foley & Lardner and spent time working with Norhwestern Mutual.

Matheson recently sat down with the Wisconsin Law Journal to discuss her law school journey and her hopes for her career.

WLJ: You come from a military background. What made you want to pursue a career in the law?

EM: I was nearing the end of military commitment, which was five years. The five year mark is the first time when I and many of my classmates were considering if we wanted to stay in for a bit longer or what we wanted to do. This was three years ago. When thinking about whether I wanted to stay in or get out, one thing that I had been thinking about for some time was getting into a career field that had more immediately observable impacts on the local community. I think that military service is obviously valuable and needed, but when you're actually in the military you don't always get to see the immediate effects of what you're doing. It's an abstract sort of mission. I think law is conducive to that sort of thing. You get to work on cases that are resolved in a discrete timespan for the most part, have immediate impacts on people that you know and have formed relationships with. Sometimes the cases are significant for the community as well. I felt that my interest in reading, writing, and policy and those sorts of things would translate well to law, and I would be able to have that sort of feeling that I was doing something more immediately for my community.

WLJ: It is a long-time coming and now you're going to graduate. What do those emotions feel like to have been thinking about this career during your service and then to...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT