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University of Michigan alum Monica L. Dorman spoke to about 80 economics students in Lorch Hall Friday afternoon. Her talk was a part of a lecture series for the semester designed to help students implement the skills they learn in the classroom in everyday life. 

Dorman is an immigration lawyer and has represented clients from over 60 countries. She began her own law firm in 2010 after realizing her previous work at a different firm was not allowing her to grow as an individual. 

She explained she begins her day by meeting with new clients and assessing their current immigration status.

“In any given day, I meet about four clients,” Dorman said. “At least one of those will be a new client — someone who’s coming into my office who has never met me before who’s going to be explaining to me what their current immigration situation is … I’ll sit down with them, look over all of their paperwork, and we’ll assess both their current situation and what their options are.”

During Dorman’s time at Michigan, she majored in economics. After debating  whether or not to take the GRE, Dorman ended up deciding to pursue a career in law. Then, after pursuing law school and working at various corporations, Dorman said she wanted to help more people. 

“I realized that there were three main components that I was looking for in a job that I would derive utility from,” Dorman said. “One was contact with clients. I knew that I wanted to engage with my contacts … that I wanted some autonomy over my career, over my caseload. I wanted to be able to make decisions about the proper way to handle a case … to make decisions about whether or not I even felt comfortable representing that client at all.”  

Dorman told the economics students to only pursue a career they feel is rewarding to them. 

“I would encourage you as you go through your studies in econ, whether or not you’ve decided this is truly your academic home or not, whether or not you buy into the principles behind economics, at least utilize them to your advantage, so you’re able to make those decisions for yourself and come to a conclusion or come to a career or come to some other undertaking that you find rewarding,” Dorman said. 

LSA sophomore Ryan Perry said he thought Dorman’s words were different from what students typically hear from other guest lecturers. 

“The whole semester has been a series of different speakers, so this was very interesting, because it was something totally different from the rest,” Perry said. “The other ones were about consulting and business, which it great, but it was cool to get another, diverse view on what you can do with an econ major.”  

LSA junior Isabel Chaney said she was surprised by the event overall. 

“I really liked the diversity of questions that students had,” Chaney said. They were about a mix of her career, the immigration process in general, and I liked that she was able to touch on a lot of different things through the talk.” 


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