Listening, truly listening, to what clients need to make them whole is the hallmark of Julianne Pastula’s approach to the law and to life. Julianne, the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Foundation’s (WLAM Foundation) 2009 Dickinson Wright Women’s Network Scholarship Recipient, defines clients broadly. Her first and most important clients are her family, especially her three children, ages 10, 12 and 15. Her clients also include the citizens of Detroit with whom she meets regularly as a Policy Analyst for the Detroit City Council’s Research and Analysis Division (RAD) and the domestic violence victims that she counsels through her pro bono work with First Step in Western Wayne County. She describes her position at RAD as a gift and her law degree as a tool that equips her to help others.
The Dickinson Wright Women’s Network Scholarship that Julianne received through the WLAM Foundation acknowledged and validated all of the hard work she invested throughout law school. Julianne earned her law degree in 2010 from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, where she began her studies after working for a decade as a paralegal. She was a part-time evening student while parenting and working full time. In spite of her family and work commitments, Julianne still found time to fully participate in law school life. She was a member of the Women’s Law Caucus and earned several academic honors and awards. Since graduation, she has continued to successfully maintain the work-life balance that often is elusive all while being an active new member of the bar—she has joined the WLAM-Wayne Region, DMBA, and ABA—and giving back to her community through her work with the PTA and the Jaycees.
“Pay it Forward” is not a phrase that Julianne tosses around lightly. To her, it means that it is incumbent upon her and fellow WLAM Foundation Scholarship recipients to help others, particularly other women. Speaking about the scholarship she received from the WLAM Foundation, Julianne said it was “good to know that the female legal community was so tight-knit.” She found it reassuring that, through the WLAM Foundation, there were opportunities for scholarships, mentoring and building relationships. “Once you reach your goal, these relationships don’t stop.”