Jade Guevara came to law school not knowing exactly what kind of law she wanted to study.
But Guevara, a 23-year-old second-year student from Las Vegas, quickly found she was interested in a broad range of issues in business law— from contracts to dispute resolution.
“Lawyers in business have to be both business people and legal people,” Guevara said. “It’s a different world. I love it and find it so interesting.”
Guevara is working toward her J.D. at Mitchell Hamline as well as an international business negotiation certificate.
Her path toward a career in business law is getting a big boost from an externship this spring with Minneapolis-based Target. Guevara was chosen as one of Target’s Diversity Scholars, a 180-hour externship that comes with a $5,000 scholarship. Target also picks one student each year from the University of St. Thomas and University of Minnesota law schools for the program.
As a part of the externship, Guevara has worked with Target’s in-house corporate attorneys in a number of roles. She assists the legal department in business meetings, researches legal questions affecting the Fortune 500 company, helps draft business agreements, and advises on legal matters relating to Target’s new business ventures.
Jen Okerlund ’04 (WMCL), Target’s senior corporate counsel, said Guevara was chosen for the externship because of her “strong academic performance, demonstrated leadership qualities, service to the community, and her intent to practice law in Minnesota.”
Okerlund said the effort is Target’s way to help law students with diverse backgrounds move on to successful careers.
“Target is taking a proactive step to foster the development of the next generation of diverse legal professionals in the Twin Cities by providing local law students with valuable experience, insight, practical skills, and professional relationships,” Okerlund said.
For her part, Guevara knows it’s wise for companies to pay attention to diversity.
“I am of a different culture, but I am American,” said Guevara, whose ancestry includes a mix of Philippine, French, and Hispanic roots. “I have a lot of different identities, and I can relate to people in different ways and understand on a deeper level who they are. It’s good to have different perspectives so you can understand where people are coming from.”
Guevara is set to graduate in the spring of 2018. Her ultimate goal is to serve as general counsel for a corporation.