1L Joanna Curry: A Mid-Career Professional and Mother of Three Who Came to Law School to ‘Shake Things Up’
After years servicing the the reinsurance needs of insurers, 1L Joanna Curry knows a lot about risk. So when she decided to take a chance on law school, you can be sure it was a meticulously calculated decision. The mother of three school-aged children does not have a lot of free time, but is able to de-stress and maintain wellness with hot yoga.
Could you discuss a bit about your background?
I was a broker and represented insurance companies in their purchase of reinsurance. Reinsurance is a financing mechanism where insurers share risk with a global market. I oversaw all aspects of the transaction and the team involved in the placement; analysis of the exposures, negotiation of terms, and execution of contracts.
How does it connect to your decision to pursue law as a career?
While I loved my career, the truth is it wasn’t really connecting with my ultimate goals. That said, the field did provide me with a lot of real world experience in negotiating deals, drafting contracts, and dealing with the challenges that would arise after placements were complete.
What do you hope/plan to do with your legal education (realizing, of course, that may change during the course of your studies)?
I’m trying to keep an open mind, but am currently excited about criminal or immigration law. My intention is to explore an area that is well outside my prior business career — I came to law school to shake things up.
There are many law school choices. Why did you select Minnesota Law?
I have three school aged children and really wanted to stay in the Twin Cities area. I was lucky to have a top notch law school just a few miles from home!
Minnesota Law strives for a diversity of perspectives in the classroom. What are you hoping to add to the mix?
Having been in the corporate world for quite some time, I am definitely going to bring a highly experienced perspective. Also, I’ve learned more life lessons as a parent than I ever thought possible.
Minnesota Law as an institution emphasizes leadership. What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership to me is the ability to have a vision, a plan for the future, and to inspire and enable those around you to work together to execute on that vision and make it a reality.
Things you are most looking forward to about being a law student?
I am thrilled to be back in an academic environment and am so grateful to have this opportunity in mid-life. I think that first day of school is exciting—and this year I got to share that with my family. My children and I went back to school shopping together, which they thought was hilarious.
What are your hobbies/ interests?
Hot yoga is my daily go-to exercise and relaxation outlet. I love to travel and explore new places — I used to have to travel quite a bit for work and visited some wonderful places, but it wasn’t quite the same as travelling for leisure. I’m looking forward to fewer but more meaningful trips.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Fortunately, perhaps, given the impending 1L year, I’m not used to having a lot of free time!
Favorite inspirational quote, book, or personal hero that you would like to mention?
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough” —Mae West