Little did Amy Van Ostrand know when she traveled halfway across the country in search of degree No. 2 that it’d be a bit of an extended stay.
Two decades, three years, one month and change at last count.
“When I arrived at the University of Illinois College of Law in the summer of 1996, I was a small-town California kid, the daughter of a mail carrier. My parents had been teens when I was born, and I felt lucky to have attended college, and luckier still to be starting law school – particularly a top-20, nationally ranked law school like Illinois,” Van Ostrand says.
“When my now-husband, Derek, and I arrived in Champaign, and I saw the beautiful Illinois campus, the farm fields and all the Midwest had to offer, I felt more at home than anywhere I’d ever been. Twenty-three years later, and I’m a grateful, fulfilled Indianapolis personal injury attorney, having never left the Midwest.
“The University of Illinois made an indelible positive impression on me, and shaped the course of my life forever. The law professors were, without exception, stellar, though my favorite, and the one I most remember, is Professor Charles Tabb.
“Though I became a litigator, and not a bankruptcy practitioner, his style of engaging students, and making class a joy, is still vivid more than two decades later.
“The University of Illinois prepared me well enough to secure a job with one of Indianapolis’ premier firms, Faegre Baker Daniels, where I learned the ropes as a litigator. I found my way to personal injury work years later, and have loved it for 15 years, and can’t imagine practicing in any other arena.
“I get to help everyday folks with everyday problems, and help them put their lives back together. I’m grateful for the life that my education at University of Illinois College of Law has made possible.”