Curious what Concordia University School of Law alumni are up to? We’re checking in with some of our recent graduates to see what life after law school is like. Meet Carlie Foster, who graduated from Concordia Law with the inaugural class in 2015.
Q. Where are you currently working?
A. I am an attorney and a lobbyist currently working at Lobby Idaho, a contract lobby firm here in Boise. My job entails a lot of different things. I help to draft legislation and assist clients with any legislation that is coming through. I craft messages for clients and help keep them current on any relevant committee hearings or other important information they may need to know. It’s a fun job, and I find every day really interesting.
Q. How do you think Concordia Law helped prepare you for your current position?
A. Concordia Law was immensely helpful in preparing me for my career in the lobbying world! At Lobby Idaho I use my oral and written advocacy skills – skills learned at Concordia – on a daily basis. Additionally, the research opportunities and classes at Concordia Law really taught me how to conduct research for clients who need information quickly and efficiently. Also, through the case briefings, I learned how to narrow my focus, so when I’m researching legislation, for instance, I am able to do a better, more in-depth analysis for my clients and hone in on what’s really important. I feel that a lot of what we did in law school, like those case briefings, really applies to real-world legal work. and I think it also helps show how going to law school transfers into the lobbying world.
Q. Was there a specific aspect of your experience at Concordia Law that particularly stands out?
A. Definitely. One of my favorite parts about Concordia Law School , which I frequently share with people, are the practicum courses they offer. I noticed other law schools in the area don’t seem to put much emphasis on them. Concordia Law does. I took four different practicum courses. And these courses helped give me the confidence and experience that a student needs in a classroom so that when I graduated I didn’t feel nervous about walking into a courtroom the next day – or for me, about walking into a committee hearing or presenting legislation. Those practicum courses are a really safe environment where you can learn and grow while at the same time getting valuable feedback from a professor. It’s something you just can’t get at another law school.
Q. Concordia Law is a Lutheran university with a mission to serve others. How did that impact your decision to attend the school?
A. I think Concordia Law’s mission of service to others is something that is extremely important and was instilled in me from a very young age. One of the reasons I wanted to become an attorney was to help others, and now in my career as a lobbyist I’m helping to draft legislation that really does have a great impact on our state and citizens. Concordia’s mission to help others is constantly in the back of my mind as I am drafting legislation. Additionally, Concordia’s emphasis on pro bono service is something I find extremely empowering for attorneys, and it has been an important subject of conversation among the Idaho bar as well as the national bar. Doing pro bono work helps to ground attorneys and reminds us what the justice system is about.
Q. What advice would you give someone considering law school in general and, more specifically, at Concordia Law?
A. I would tell them to attend a class. I think that attending class can really help show the differences among universities. When I was a student, we had potential students coming in and sitting in on classes; they would get the opportunity to participate and see that yes, it is a daunting experience, and that you have to be extremely hard-working. But at a Concordia Law class, they would also see that it’s such a rewarding experience and that Concordia in general is a school that emphasizes helping students grow to become the best version of themselves. They would see that the professors really care about the students, about making sure you understand the material and that you are getting the most out of your experience.
But I would also tell a prospective law student to make sure that you are preparing your friends and family because this is going to be a very busy time in your life – and the stronger your support system, the better you’re going to do. You’re going to feel bad about missing events, missing dinners with your friends and your family. So prepare them early on.
Q. How would you describe Concordia University School of Law in one word?
A. Community. I remember when I was thinking about going to law school, several attorneys I knew would tell me these horror stories about their experiences in law school – about classmates who would hide books and tear pages just so their classmates couldn’t excel on assignments or tests. So that is something that I feared about coming to law school. But Concordia is nothing like that! From the administration to the professors and all of the students, there really is a school-wide feeling of community. We care about each other’s success and we genuinely want to help each other in whatever we are doing. That strong sense of community really represents what Concordia Law is all about.