Alumni Profiles

Dan Glazier

Executive Director and General Counsel
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

Dan Glazier

Q: What kind of work do you do now, and how has your JD/MSW degree influence your professional experiences?
A: I am the Executive Director and General Counsel of LSEM, a position I have held since 2005. I have been at LSEM my entire legal career, beginning in 1981, working first on behalf of public benefits clients, and then representing homeless persons and low-income tenants in our Housing Unit. LSEM provides civil legal assistance and holistic representation on behalf of low-income individuals. We have both lawyers and social workers on staff, which enables us to more fully advocate on behalf of our clients. I often consider LSEM to be a social service agency with law as our “treatment modality”. In that sense it is an appropriate setting for someone with a J.D./M.S.W. degree.
Q: Why would you suggest that someone pursue the JD/MSW dual degree?
A: With a J.D./M.S.W. one has many options; it needs to be viewed as an expansive and not a limiting degree. It is worth pursuing because it allows one to do many things to help those in need in a variety of different settings. It has allowed me to pursue my dream job at LSEM and can provide a similar opportunity for others to make a meaningful difference. I am very honored and pleased to call myself a J.D./M.S.W. from Washington University.

Katie Crank

Coordinator of Domestic Violence Programs
Center for Court Innovation

Katie Crank

Q: What made you decide to pursue the JD/MSW dual degree program at Washington University?
A: During my undergraduate years I had decided to pursue an MSW because of its versatility and alignment with my interest in social justice issues, but I had also seriously considered pursuing a law degree. I started at Wash U as an MSW student, but during my first semester there, I researched the law school a bit more and learned about their public interest offerings. These included great clinical programs as well as the Loan Repayment Assistance Program for students planning careers in public interest. After talking with several professors, I was convinced I wanted to pursue both degrees, and applied to the law school.
Q: Looking back, what activities/classes/internship opportunities did you participate in while at Washington University that have best informed your career and work?
A: My summer internships, practica, and clinics were extremely valuable. St. Louis is a great community for building connections, because it is small enough that you can really get to know the attorneys and social workers in your field, but big enough to offer a variety of placements. Not only did my practicum and internship placements offer me the chance to build substantive skills, but I also found a couple of great mentors along the way. The crossover between the JD/MSW degrees also allowed me to fit into a wider variety of roles as an intern: Rule 13 student attorney, crisis counselor, court planner, legal researcher. A close second for me would be the seminars offered at the law school -- I've relied on some of my seminar papers, such as my writing on human trafficking laws, after graduation.
Q: What kind of work do you do now, and how has your JD/MSW degree influence your professional experiences?
A: I work at a nonprofit called the Center for Court Innovation, which focuses on three main areas: (1) demonstration projects, which test criminal justice innovations in sites throughout New York City; (2) technical assistance to jurisdictions around the country wishing to implement problem-solving courts; and (3) research to measure the effectiveness of our projects and inform future innovations. My work focuses specifically on domestic violence courts, including program planning, research, and technical assistance.
Q: Why would you suggest that someone pursue the JD/MSW dual degree?
A: In no way would my graduate experience have been the same if I simply pursued one of these two degrees. I've ended up at a nonprofit that draws equally on the knowledge of attorneys and social workers, and coming into that setting with both degrees has been a perfect fit. More broadly, the JD/MSW really sets you up to be fluent in two professional languages, and in this economy, that's a safety net that I wouldn't want to be without. Beyond the economic concerns, of course, is the fact that if a student knows that s/he wants to pursue public interest law in any form, these two degrees are the perfect preparation for such a career path.

Sandy Padgett

Attorney of Counsel
Thomeczek & Brink, LLC
Q: What kind of work do you do now, and how has your JD/MSW degree influence your professional experiences?
A: Currently, I represent school districts. The skills I obtained in the MSW program have assisted me in interviewing clients and understanding the needs of school systems and students in a variety of socioeconomic situations. My JD/MSW has most influenced my volunteer work. I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate (“CASA”) and am currently in the process of completing a training program to become a Guardian Ad Litem in the St. Louis County Domestic Violence Court. As a CASA, I have worked for over two years with an older youth who is in the foster care system. My MSW degree has assisted me in understanding his social and emotional issues, his family dynamics, and the social services that are available for him. As an attorney, I am able to navigate the court system and advocate for his best interests.

Shaina Goodman

Public Policy Coordinator, National Network to End Domestic Violence 

Shaina Goodman

Q: What did you like most about the JD/MSW and how has having the JD/MSW helped you in your career?
A:The JD/MSW was a great intellectual home for me and an outstanding foundation for my career because it allowed me to engage across and at the intersection of the theory/practice divide. The dual degree program taught me the practical skills I need to engage in effective policy analysis and advocacy, and also encouraged me to think critically about the systems that I work with and within every day. But most of all, I love the JD/MSW program because of the people in it - a community of people engaged in interesting, meaningful work that have been the most wonderful support system, classmates (now colleagues!), and group of friends I could have asked for!