Jennifer L. Mozwecz (JD ’08) is one of the founding partners of SRM Law, P.C. in Chicago. Jennifer specializes in litigation. We asked Jennifer to tell us about her DePaul Law experiences and what has shaped her career.
Q: Why did you choose to attend DePaul University’s College of Law?
Prior to speaking with friends about law school, I did not know about the field of intellectual property law. The more I learned about it, the more interested I became. When researching where to go for law school, I knew I wanted to be in a city environment, and I wanted a school with a good reputation in intellectual property law. DePaul was the perfect fit for both of those reasons, and they were also able to offer me a partial academic scholarship to attend.
Q: What do you remember most about your time at the College of Law?
There are two things I remember most. Law school was really my first experience reading legal history and theory, as well as my first exposure to case law. I remember it being challenging for me to transition from a background of math and science where there are definitive answers to an environment of reading, interpretation and debate, but I loved the process. I was surrounded by so many intelligent people, and I have no doubt that studying and discussing legal tenets and theories with them paved the way for me to be a competent attorney. Those people are the second thing I remember, but no less important than the first. Some of the best relationships are forged in common struggle. I was lucky enough to be placed in a group of fellow students who appreciated the need for balance in life. I keep in contact with many of them today, and their work ethic and intelligence are challenged only by their enthusiastic nature and zest for life.
Q: What inspired you to focus on the area of law that you are currently practicing in / your profession?
Initially, I thought I would hate litigation. I had the assumption that you had to be mean or very antagonistic to be a litigator. I thought I would work in patent prosecution, since most attorneys with an engineering background tend to gravitate to that area. I have done that work, and I am a registered patent attorney, but I found myself drawn more and more toward litigation as I progressed in my practice. I made a deliberate shift to move more in that direction for two reasons. First, I re-examined why I wanted to become an attorney in the first place. The motivation in my search for a career was finding the intersection of what I liked, what I was good at, and what helped people. Litigation is usually the last resort for people who have run out of options or do not otherwise know how to resolve an issue, and it has a lot of rules that can be complicated and confusing to follow. I feel like I’m able to help with that. Secondly, I love a challenge, especially strategic ones, and litigation challenges me to seek different and creative ways to resolve clients’ issues.
Q: What is your current role and what does it entail?
I am one of the founding partners of SRM Law, P.C. In this role, in addition to being responsible for the direction and strategy of my cases, I am directly responsible for my client acquisition, client relationship management and counseling, and growth planning strategy. When I first became an attorney, I was a solo practitioner. After some mutual referring with a fellow DePaul Law graduate and fellow founding partner, Adnan Shams, we created Mozwecz & Shams, LLP. Then three years later after finding another attorney with our similar work ethic and goals in fellow founding partner, Adam Rodriguez, we created SRM Law, P.C. We are continuing to grow our firm in personnel and practice areas, and I enjoy the responsibility inherent in that process.
Q: What would you consider your most interesting accomplishments since starting your career?
I received my post-graduate diploma in European Union Law from King’s College London several years ago, and that is something of which I am very proud. Prior to this degree, I had never taken a course long-distance, or by mail for that matter. The sheer volume of reading and study and paper writing was a massive undertaking, especially while trying to get our fledgling practice off the ground. I also had to travel London for the final exams, which needed to be hand-written. It was even worse than the written portion of the bar exam since I couldn’t use a computer! I’m very keen to expand our practice into a more global arena where the opportunity arises, and I am glad to have the EU base of knowledge as a foundation.
This second accomplishment is more of an ongoing one than a one-time achievement, but I am immensely proud of the firm that Adnan, Adam and I have created to this point and that we are continuing to grow. There is an enormous amount of trust you must have in other people when you share a professional and thus necessarily a financial future with them. I find it fascinating when people make those commitments to and investments in other people generally, but especially in a situation like ours where there was no history of demonstrated success or ability. We invested in each other literally and figuratively when we had nothing, and the three of us have grown together into a very uniquely capable and productive group of attorneys. This has had a hugely positive impact on how we are able to relate to and assist our clients, since we have had to navigate and negotiate so many decisions in our own development to get to this point. I don’t know how we would have gotten this experience and ability in any other way.
Q: How would you describe the College of Law alumni community?
I believe DePaul has a strong alumni community, and I have never reached out to an alumnus for advice or guidance and not been received warmly. I have particularly good things to say about our graduating class of 2008 and the classes immediately before and after ours. In addition to staying in touch for professional networking and referrals, there have been many instances where we have connected friends and family members for professional advice and advancement completely unrelated to our law practices. My experiences with the DePaul alumni community have confirmed that the community has a genuine interest in helping each other without a concern for self-interest.