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Ryan and Michelle Schultz Share How UC Law Launched Their Careers


Both originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Ryan and Michelle Schultz, both members of the Class of 2006, met during their undergraduate years at the University of Minnesota. In fact, the couple met the weekend before college started in the fall 1999; Michelle, as a freshman, had moved in early to participate in a new student weekend sponsored by the school to allow fellow incoming freshmen to get to know other students before classes started; and Ryan, a junior, was working as one of the counselors.

After graduating from U of Minn., the couple decided upon law school. They’d attend together. Although they both chose law school, their reasons for doing so were different. During her undergraduate experience, Michelle, a finance major, had interned for a litigation consultant, and helped with preparing the calculations that supported expert witness testimony. “I found the way in which business and law interacted incredibly interesting,” she said. Ryan, who had studied biochemistry and genetics, had been working on a project that involved the need for a patent. He was asked to look into the related intellectual property issues. “The blend of science and technology with intellectual property and the aspects of the law was incredibly interesting to me,” he said.

The couple chose Cincinnati for law school for several reasons. “Ryan had a friend living in Cincinnati,” Michelle explained. “We had visited previously and liked the city.” The couple also cited the quality of the school, the small class sizes, and in-state tuition as reasons for choosing the school as well. “Overall,” said Michelle, “it was a really good fit for both of us.”

During law school, Michelle spent one summer in Paris at a law firm, and also worked for the law firm of Carmichael & Powell in Phoenix, Arizona; she also did document review for Waite Schneider Bayless & Chesley during her 2L and 3L years. Ryan also spent a summer at Waite Schneider Bayless & Chesley, and worked at Quarles & Brady the other summer.

Both of the Schultz’s commented that they enjoyed working and going to school together. “It was great to be a part of each other’s school experience,” said Michelle. “You were going through the experiences at the same time, so we could talk about it, and relate to and understand the demands and pressures of law school and big firm life that each other was going through.” Ryan expanded on this same point: “We could relate and suffer together,” he said, “and you didn’t have to explain a bunch of background on your stories because the other person was going through it too.”

Both made sure they still had friends outside of law school—and they still do so with work—which helped with work/life balance. In addition, they had common interests, like their mutual love of sports and travel that were unrelated to work or law school, which helped keep them sane in the face of the challenges of school and their careers. The couple married after fall break of their 3L year.

On to their Careers

After graduation, both Ryan and Michelle went to work for Quarles & Brady in Phoenix, Arizona, where they worked through June of this year. While there, Michelle worked in securities and mergers and acquisitions, and Ryan did both commercial and intellectual property litigation.

Now, they have moved back to Minneapolis. Michelle now works as an associate attorney at Briggs & Morgan, Professional Association, where she is a member of the business law section. She focuses her practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, securities and general corporate services. Ryan now works as an associate attorney for the Minneapolis office of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, focusing on intellectual property litigation.

In their free time, the couple enjoys going out to restaurants, traveling, and being outdoors. They are also huge Minnesota sports fans; they go to many University of Minnesota (Go Gophers!) sporting events and are big supporters of the Vikings and the Minnesota Twins.