Full Circle Series: Karen Casas
Full Circle Series: Karen Casas
Brianna Sloan

In our Full Circle Series, we highlight Cristo Rey graduates currently employed for their former Corporate Work Study Partners.

Karen Casas was a freshman in 2014 when she started working at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP for her Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP) assignment. She and another student were the very first DLSNC interns at DWT. Karen worked there all four years of her time at DLSNC, including summers and winter breaks. Now, having graduated in three years from the University Honors College at Portland State University, she has landed her first full-time job as an administrative legal assistant for, you guessed it, DWT.

"It has been extremely helpful that I know mostly everyone. Walking down the hallways and having everyone say "welcome back" was so nice," said Karen about her return to the law firm. She came full circle to land her new position through a connection to a DWT mentor from her CWSP days who guided Karen with job search basics as well as a DWT recruiter who recommended she attend the Oregon Diversity Legal Job Fair in March. Among the firms she interviewed with that day was DWT, doing "an excellent and memorable job," according to LaDonna Luu, her legal assistant manager. "The impression Karen made four-plus years ago has now come full circle," said Luu about Casas' first month on the job.

Karen's CWSP experience has significantly impacted her path. "What I really liked about my time at DLSNC was how I was encouraged to grow...Now I'm hoping to go to law school so I feel like DWT is a great place for me to learn about the different fields of law and get a better understanding of what I want to do in the future," Karen said. She looks forward to supporting the four DLSNC students who will share one FTE position at DWT starting this September. "I was once in their shoes, so I think it would be great to be in touch with them as much as I can," she concluded.

Profiled by Karen Stahr, Annual Fund Manager at De La Salle North Catholic High School