Shane MulrooneyAugust 11, 2020
Shane Mulrooney is currently the Head of Growth and Customer Experience at IgniteADR, an e-arbitration technology solution. Shane is also Of Counsel at Litwin Law, where he provides legal counsel to entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses. He currently lives in Ann Arbor, MI, with his girlfriend while she is pursuing her MBA at the University of Michigan. Although they enjoy living in Ann Arbor now, they do not plan to stay after she graduates. Prior to Ann Arbor, Shane and his girlfriend traveled the world for six months and, prior to that, he lived in Chicago for several years since graduating from law school.
What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?
I graduated in 2009. My concentration was Communication Studies (focusing on Rhetoric).
What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?
Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait? Why?
Yes, University of Illinois College of Law. I went there immediately after leaving Truman as I was anxious to begin law school and, quite honestly, I had not ever really planned on finding a job after Truman otherwise.
What was your first job after graduation?
Corporate Tax Associate at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP in Chicago, in the Private Equity/Mergers & Acquisitions group
What work do you do/What are you doing now?
I am still technically an attorney, specifically Of Counsel at Litwin Law based in Chicago, where I provide outside general counsel consulting services to entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses. However, I am in the process of transitioning away from that role into the Head of Growth and Customer Experience at IgniteADR, which is a legal technology company I have co-founded with a couple of other attorneys in Chicago.
How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?
Immediately I think of the writing. Having good writing skills is essential to being an effective attorney, and I was way ahead of my classmates in law school because of all of the writing I did at Truman. There was still much to learn as legal writing is a discipline of its own, but many of my classmates had to start from zero, and that was obvious from the beginning.
Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?
Great question! That was probably my first 300-level Spanish class with Profesora Lee. Spanish had always come easy to me in high school and freshman year of college, so that class was a major wake-up call. I struggled in areas that never gave me trouble before (like grammar) simply because of the pace and complexity of the class. I think it really pushed me to take my Spanish to the next level, which helped tremendously when I studied abroad in Spain my senior year, and ultimately to this day whenever I still travel to Spanish-speaking countries. I’m grateful for the hard lessons I learned from that class, even though I was very frustrated at the time.
Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?
Many people are of the same mindset – they come to Truman to learn and succeed, but not at the cost of friendships or making memories. Truman is competitive but not cutthroat; it’s academically-focused, but with a lot of opportunities for fun too. It’s a great balance.
What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?
Figure out how to finagle a staff parking pass for Barnett Hall . . . Kidding (sort of).
Take Interpersonal Communication very seriously. Although generally not considered the most rigorous of classes at a 200-level, it is more of a life lesson than it is an academic class. The lessons one can learn from that class can improve a person over a lifetime. I still try and think of how I can be a better listener every day because of that class, which helps me in my relationship with my significant other, with my friends and family, and in my job.
What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?
The summer after my senior year I participated in the Journey of Hope, which is a 4000-mile cycling event put on by the philanthropic arm of my fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi. In order to participate, all members must raise $5000 each before the start of the event.
Although the event itself technically took place after I graduated, my final semester at Truman I spent a lot of time raising the $5k and training for the event itself, mostly with two of my friends as the three of us participated together. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?
Take time off after Truman and get a job using your major first before applying to law school. But don’t take too much time off, since you’ll still want to make sure you’re highly motivated once you get in (if you still choose to do so). One or two years is all you need to reset and make sure that being a lawyer is actually what you want to do. It also gives you time to really study for the LSAT when you don’t have a million pages of Plato to read already.
What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?
Thousand Hills State Park! I wish I had taken advantage of that glorious place more often while living there.
What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?
I’m terrible at this stuff, I have no idea. I studied more rhetoric than media!
If you could come back to Truman and teach a class for a semester, what would be its title and what would it be about?
If it were based on my current specialty/career I suppose it would be about startup law – Legal Issues in Forming and Running a Startup. But if I could teach anything, I think I’d prefer to teach something about theoretical quantum physics and quantum gravity. I find that stuff fascinating, but I just read about it as a hobby and am far from an authority on the topic.
What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?
Definitely do all you can to take advantage of Truman’s liberal arts curriculum. Even if you think you’re not interested in business at all, still take an accounting class or two, as I promise it will come in handy in life at some point. There are probably a host of similar classes that sound specific while in college but actually are very broadly applicable in the real world. Seek those out regardless of your major. Truman offers a unique opportunity to receive the most well-rounded education possible, and I highly recommend any student use it.
If you would like to learn more of Shane’s story, you can follow him on LinkedIn.