The word “career” has the ability to strike fear in the hearts of many Lawrence seniors as they realize they have to find a job soon. There are so many questions, should I go to grad school, what if I don’t get accepted, will there be any jobs available that interest me, why did I choose this major, what can I do with it? However, what so many seniors fail to realize is that there are a vast array of opportunities waiting for them and their liberal arts education has provided them with a lot of marketable skills- just ask Priscilla Weaver.In 1969, Priscilla Weaver did not know what she wanted to do with her major in Applied Piano, but she knew that she needed to support herself. She spent a few years teaching part-time, as well as, full-time secretarial positions. For a brief time she was a music librarian at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. As different as these jobs are they led to her present career as a partner at Mayer, Brown, Rowe, & Maw LLP, the largest law firm in Chicago. She has worked there for over 23 years. As a trial lawyer Priscilla solves other peoples’ problems, and believes that it is the most interesting way to practice law. She compares her practice area to a recital “except no one claps”, which reveals her love of performing both inside and outside the courtroom.
When asked why she decided to practice law, Priscilla Weaver states, “Because my older brother told me to”. One day while walking a golf course in 1976 and discussing her career plans her brother, a lawyer, knew she was the perfect candidate for law school. Priscilla later decided to go, “before [she] became even more aged”. For Priscilla there was no defining moment when she knew she would succeed as a lawyer. She did catch a glimpse, though, while serving jury duty. The lawyer handling the case was a “moron” and Priscilla knew that if he could practice law, she could. Within six and a half years she was a partner at Mayer, Brown, Rowe, & Maw LLP with master’s degrees in musicology and library science. She received her juris doctorate from Duke University.
Priscilla attributes her success to the liberal arts education she received at Lawrence. Critical thinking and analysis, listening, and “a sense of humor” she believes, have made her an excellent lawyer. These skills, according to Priscilla, are guaranteed to provide one with a successful and satisfying career in any field. Her one piece of advice to those interested in law is to “stretch your brain in as many ways as possible”. That advice is applicable to everyone at Lawrence. Priscilla Weaver did not have it all figured out when she graduated, yet she found a rewarding career..
Written by Erica Marshall ’04
Career Assistant II