Devon Shultz

2016 | Detroit, MI

“There are many law school programs out there that teach the basics of pretrial and trial advocacy, but what sets the TPI program apart is its rigorous pace and the chance to learn from sitting judges and actively practicing attorney.”

Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Devon Schulz, ’16, credits the Trial Practice Institute (TPI) at MSU Law for preparing her for her career.

“There are many law school programs out there that teach the basics of pretrial and trial advocacy, but what sets the TPI program apart is its rigorous pace and the chance to learn from sitting judges and actively practicing attorney,” said Schulz. “The program mimics the real world pace and standards of the practice of law, while teaching you these fundamentals through practical assignments and full length trials.”

Schulz is assigned to the docket of one of the 23 Circuit Court judges in the criminal division, responsible for maintaining and managing a docket of all kinds of felony cases at various stages of production. Routinely, she tries capital and noncapital felony cases, interact with and interview victims and law enforcement, and prepare cases for prosecution.

“Being on the court and on the record every single day has continued to emphasize how much the Trial Practice Institute prepared me for my career and what an incredible opportunity the program is.”

In addition to the Trial Practice Institute, she enjoyed the Trial Advocacy Board, which she says helped to sharpen her skills and allowed her to compete in national competitions.

“The friendships I made and maintained were the highlight of my time on the Board,” said Schulz. “It felt like a family within MSU Law, and pursuing your passion is even better when you are surrounded by people you respect and whose company you enjoy."

Schulz also noted that the legal field is ultimately a “field of service”, and that students should think about where they want their efforts focused on.

“Spend some time and seriously reflect on who, or what, it is that you want to devote your service to,” said Schulz. “That passion absolutely will reflect itself in your work product, and you will be the best advocate and the best lawyer you can be when you have a clear idea of why you chose to be a part of this profession.”